In defense of William Perry Pendley

The hysterical reaction by the left to the appointment of William Perry Pendley to serve as director of the BLM deserves a response. The chief accusation against Pendley is that he will sell federal public land to “special interest allies.” He can’t. The director of BLM has absolutely no authority to unilaterally sell the land under his jurisdiction. The Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 specifically prohibits the BLM from selling land, with very narrow exceptions. If William Perry Pendley wanted to sell BLM lands, it would literally take an act of Congress to allow him to do so. The Pendley detractors saying our public lands are in jeopardy are either woefully misinformed or outright liars. Pendley is also being criticized for holding the apparently-controversial...

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UPOM Releases 2019 Legislative Scorecard

The analysis includes a summary of the legislative efforts impacting property rights throughout the session and recognizes those elected officials who went above and beyond in working to protect private property rights. “Overall it was a positive session for property owners,” remarked UPOM Policy Director, Chuck Denowh. “We saw fewer overall attacks on individual property rights and we were able to successfully kill the bad bills that were introduce. The most significant win this session was the passage of House Joint Resolution 28 asking the BLM to deny the American Prairie Reserve’s application to change the grazing permits on 13 allotments in central Montana.” HJ 28 was a key piece of legislation that aims to prevent the APR from gaining ground in their pursuit to establish a free-roaming...

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The Telegraph on Save the Cowboy versus APR

British newspaper The Telegraph recently published an excellent article about the grassroots opposition putting up a fight against the American Prairie Reserve.  Here’s a few excerpts: The long-term vision includes establishing a population of 10,000 bison in the hope of restoring a fully functioning ecosystem on the prairies. However, cowboys in the area say the plans are tantamount to wiping them off the landscape, and will eradicate the cattle-breeding culture of the American west that has been passed down for over a century… “They took a red marker on a map and drew a red line around our place and said their goal is to own this piece of property,” (rancher KC) Weingart said. “They don’t really want people here. Their long-term goal is...

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Why we are fighting to stop the American Prairie Reserve

Parker Heinlein’s recent column (“Fewer cowboys? Don’t blame the American Prairie Reserve,” Nov. 1) is a perfect example of the derisive attitude that has turned so many Montanans against the American Prairie Reserve (APR). How could anyone object, Heinlein wonders, to APR creating an “American Serengeti” in north-central Montana? After all, jobs in cattle country are low paying and antiquated, so why won’t these people just step aside and let the APR take over. Apparently it will come as a surprise to Heinlein, but there are thousands of Montanans who live in the communities the APR wants to wipe off the map, and they don’t want to be displaced. If Heinlein bothered to spend any time in eastern Montana, he’d find close-knit, thriving communities, with great schools, hard-working people,...

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A federal land grab shows how no fences make bad neighbors

By Terry Anderson and Roger Meiners The U.S. Supreme Court shocked property owners in 2005 when it allowed the City of New London, Connecticut, to take the property of Suzette Kelo for a private development project. At least Ms. Kelo received some compensation. No compensation, however, was required in a new blow to private property. This June, in the case of Wonder Ranch, LLC v. U.S.A., the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of the U.S. Forest Service to take a public prescriptive easement across private land to access public land. Prescriptive easements are nothing new. The common law has long granted a permanent right for a person to cross another’s property if he had occurred for many years without an explicit “neighborly accommodation.” Click here to read more...

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Governor Bullock wrong to eliminate Land Board oversight of conservation easement

By Toby Dahl Governor Bullock’s decision to eliminate the State Land Board’s oversight of multi-million dollar state conservation easements is troubling to say the least. No elected official should have the power to spend taxpayer dollars so casually, without any checks or balances. That type of power breeds corruption. That’s exactly why the Land Board exists in the first place—to ensure that big, expensive land deals are handled properly. In other words, the Land Board was established in our Constitution to prevent sweetheart deals. Here are the details of the specific land deal that lead to Bullock’s decision to bypass the Land Board—you be the judge of whether a sweetheart deal occurred.

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