FWP Director to Counties: You don’t matter in wild bison decisions

Montana FWP Director Martha Williams had a stark message for Montana counties in her interview on the Voices of Montana Program this week.  When asked if FWP would comply with county ordinances related to bison management, Williams revealed that her Department had no intention of doing so. Voters in several Montana counties have enacted bison management ordinances, which require that all bison in the county, both domestic and wild, be tested for brucellosis, be branded or tagged and have their health status tracked.  Under these voter-enacted ordinances, entities that wish to graze bison in the county must have a management and conservation plan. Bison management ordinances have been popular in the counties that have been targeted by FWP and APR for massive free-roaming...

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Free-Roaming Bison EIS draws battle lines in Montana, and FWP is on the wrong side

The Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks is now formally recommending the introduction of free-roaming bison in Montana after the release of a long-awaited environmental impact statement. It’s a move that dramatically intensifies conflict over wildlife management in Montana. And worse, it’s a sobering message to the thousands of Montanans who provide habitat to wildlife. FWP has made clear it would rather advance the agenda of a radical, out-of-state environmental group—the American Prairie Reserve—than give even the barest amount of credence to the virtually unanimous opposition to free-roaming bison from Montana landowners. Let’s be clear about who is driving this process. The APR derives nearly all of its support from outside Montana. They are pushing a radical plan...

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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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