East Crazy Mountain Land Exchange

Did you thank Tester and Simpson for giving you the opportunity to be sitting in that wolf blind?

That 08 "song and dance" you talked about regarding wolves, what exactly did you discuss with Tester?

Was getting legislation passed to delist part of that "song and dance"?
They didn’t get delisted until ‘09 and the Tester/Simpson deal didn’t happen until 2 yrs later, so when we briefly spoke in ‘08, possibly ‘07, I doubt it was even a thought much less draft legislation. But you know this…and yes, I did send an email thanking him. No reply.
It’s obvious a D can do absolutely no wrong and all Rs are evil in your mind. I have no problem calling out BS on either side.
 
They didn’t get delisted until ‘09 and the Tester/Simpson deal didn’t happen until 2 yrs later, so when we briefly spoke in ‘08, possibly ‘07, I doubt it was even a thought much less draft legislation. But you know this…and yes, I did send an email thanking him. No reply.
It’s obvious a D can do absolutely no wrong and all Rs are evil in your mind. I have no problem calling out BS on either side.
Maybe your brief talk was taken to heart. I've had some interactions with Congressional folks that at the time didn't seem to be very effective, only to have them vote the way I wanted.

Oh, and for the record, Simpson is an R and he did the right thing with wolf delisting.
 
Yes please do, and please share a photo of yourself so we can report you to the FBI for insurrection.

You pretend to care about our democratic process, then say you wish to overthrow a legitimate election. Get outta here with that bull chit.
Easy warrior…I was being facetious. I don’t travel east of the Mississippi anymore. Just threw that in there to see who it would trigger. Now we know.
 
To take Gerald's advice and trying move this back to topic; our last chance to stop this terrible proposal is upon is and time is of the essence. I have linked to the BHA action alert page because I used it and it is easy to use. I understand the other orgs will be setting one up as well, but this one is live and easy to use. If you don't want the mailings and future coms, please make sure you check the box opting out.

I hope everyone understands now that there are no people who advocate for public lands who now advocate for this. There has been a lot people hiding behind and trying to take advantage of the false confusion created by what appeared to be disparate views on this proposal. Those disparate views no longer exist. The only people (that I know of) who are now on the record as advocating for this are the Yellowstone Club, members of the Yellowstone Club and the landowners themselves.

Please join me in trying to stop this fatally flawed proposal.

Thanks
Andrew

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Good on you, @RobG

Curious if RMEF is involved or has weighed in?

I don't know the minutiae of Montana land politics, but I like it when I see coalitions of stakeholders working around the table on something.
You give what have to and keep what you can. There will be those who did not so much as comment who will complain.

Checkerboard is curse. There will always be someone who doesn't like the outcome of swaps, but how else can we fix such a mess?

Raucous threads about corner crossing aren't going to do it. Nor lawsuits really.
The only solution I can come up with is making land locked public land closed to any use at all.
 
The only solution I can come up with is making land locked public land closed to any use at all.
Ha! That is like the nuclear option for elk management: Cows only in any HD considered over objective.

Another option, rather than making land locked public land closed to any use, is to never give up the fight to preserve our legal and historical public access, put people in power who fight for the public good rather than self-serving interests and big donors, and prevent agencies from rewarding bad actors who block legal access. I know I'm simplifying the issue, but stopping this land swap is a huge step in that direction.
 
Two more orgs have issued action alerts on this terrible transfer. If you didn't respond above, please use one of these to do so and forward to as many folks as you may know. Heard today that the above alert has generated significant number of letters to the committee, nearly as many comments as the swap originally received in the USFS data room! As word of this heist continues to spread, we gather strength.

It will take everything we got!

Andrew


 
Another option, rather than making land locked public land closed to any use, is to never give up the fight to preserve our legal and historical public access, put people in power who fight for the public good rather than self-serving interests and big donors, and prevent agencies from rewarding bad actors who block legal access. I know I'm simplifying the issue, but stopping this land swap is a huge step in that direction.

As most know, I won’t support the exchange without conservation easements.

That said, I’d like to thank Sullivan for explaining he's trying to prevent "rewarding [landowners] who block legal access.” In other words, it’s just sour grapes, and I’ve been dealing with that since before there was even a formal proposal. It is frustrating and counterproductive to say the least. Enough to drive a guy to being unprofessional.

The Sweet Grass blocking happened thirty years ago and I’m looking for a way to mitigate it now that it is too late to do anything about it. (If it isn’t too late, shame on BHA for not suing the landowners to prove an easement exists – that is how you don’t reward a landowner that blocks legal access.)

The status quo if this exchange fails is access to only 1.5 sections of land in the area of interest. Plus Smeller Lake and Cave Lake access will still be at risk. That has to be weighed against the bad taste of sour grapes.

There was a meeting in January between the main objectors and the FS to discuss objections. Several groups including BHA and myself spoke. The overwhelming issue brought forth was the lack of conservation easements on the lands being transferred, especially in Sweet Grass drainage. A secondary concern is giving up the public right of way on the public lands in that drainage.

Nobody, including BHA’s representative Emily Wilmott, talked about “theft” or “heists” and I know more than one person isn’t happy that Poz and Sullivan are trying to lump us in with them and that language. Yes, we object, but that would change if conservation easements were in place.

If I read Sullivan’s rant on BHA’s call to action email without knowing the truth I’d be scared shitless and write in. But of course the Appropriations Committee isn’t going to take serious knee jerk reactions from people acting on a line of bull. Therefore, I wouldn’t dilute my comments by going through the BHA site. Instead go through the Wild Montana portal, or, better yet, write Committee members Zinke and Tester directly using the contact information on the PLWA site.

Say what you want in your letter, but I hope you’ll keep in mind the overwhelming concern expressed by the objectors is lack of conservation easements in the Sweet Grass drainage. If people can focus their objections on that maybe it can be fixed and we can open up a ton of acreage in the Crazies.
 
As most know, I won’t support the exchange without conservation easements.

That said, I’d like to thank Sullivan for explaining he's trying to prevent "rewarding [landowners] who block legal access.” In other words, it’s just sour grapes, and I’ve been dealing with that since before there was even a formal proposal. It is frustrating and counterproductive to say the least. Enough to drive a guy to being unprofessional.

The Sweet Grass blocking happened thirty years ago and I’m looking for a way to mitigate it now that it is too late to do anything about it. (If it isn’t too late, shame on BHA for not suing the landowners to prove an easement exists – that is how you don’t reward a landowner that blocks legal access.)

The status quo if this exchange fails is access to only 1.5 sections of land in the area of interest. Plus Smeller Lake and Cave Lake access will still be at risk. That has to be weighed against the bad taste of sour grapes.

There was a meeting in January between the main objectors and the FS to discuss objections. Several groups including BHA and myself spoke. The overwhelming issue brought forth was the lack of conservation easements on the lands being transferred, especially in Sweet Grass drainage. A secondary concern is giving up the public right of way on the public lands in that drainage.

Nobody, including BHA’s representative Emily Wilmott, talked about “theft” or “heists” and I know more than one person isn’t happy that Poz and Sullivan are trying to lump us in with them and that language. Yes, we object, but that would change if conservation easements were in place.

If I read Sullivan’s rant on BHA’s call to action email without knowing the truth I’d be scared shitless and write in. But of course the Appropriations Committee isn’t going to take serious knee jerk reactions from people acting on a line of bull. Therefore, I wouldn’t dilute my comments by going through the BHA site. Instead go through the Wild Montana portal, or, better yet, write Committee members Zinke and Tester directly using the contact information on the PLWA site.

Say what you want in your letter, but I hope you’ll keep in mind the overwhelming concern expressed by the objectors is lack of conservation easements in the Sweet Grass drainage. If people can focus their objections on that maybe it can be fixed and we can open up a ton of acreage in the Crazies.
There are no meaningful conservation easements and ultimately never will be because we are dealing with real estate developers teasing out their next 30 year project.
 
I do enjoy being told how to frame my discontent for this land exchange by someone who opened the barn door to let the wolves in.

Haven’t been in support of this, ever. Thinking a for-profit billionaire club and a bunch of landowners who have systematically shut gates to public access was going work was a terrible idea. What did you expect, honesty and a fair deal?

Fight for status quo.

I am pissed. Tired of being told this turd only needs a little shining.
 
In your letter feel free to say that, with proper conservation easements, the area will be better protected than it is now.
 
Some constructive input from a Montana Wildlife Federation alert (but I think the first one is a deal breaker - it has already been tried - and a better alternative is to scrap the Sweet Grass portion of the swap).

We urgently ask you, our members, Affiliated organizations, and all supporters of public access to public lands to promptly contact Montana's U.S. Senators and a Senate Subcommittee before April 3rd requesting that the U.S. Forest Service reconsider its proposed East Crazies Inspiration Divide Land Exchange.


Please ask our U.S. Senators to block the exchange until a better deal for the public is secured.


The Montana Wildlife Federation has long sought a fair resolution to the access hurdles the public encounters due to the historic checkerboarded land ownership in the iconic East Crazies Mountains.


MWF has consistently withheld its support for the land exchange since the beginning of the process until several conditions were met by the U.S. Forest Service, including:


● USFS must work with private landowners to establish a permanent unrestricted public and administrative access easement (road and trail) in the Sweetgrass Drainage. USFS should consider using Yellowstone Club trail development funds for costs associated with acquiring this easement. This critical element should occur before the exchange.

● USFS must work with private land proponents of the exchange to develop conservation easements that maintain current land uses, restrict subdivision, and limit
structural building development on all parcels leaving the Federal estate.

● USFS must address widespread concerns regarding riparian habitat, access issues, and land value inequality. Specifically, in the Sweetgrass drainage, retain sections 8 and 10 and acquire sections 5, 7, and 9 while working with landowners to develop the East Crazies portion of the exchange.

● USFS must acquire the first right of refusal on all parcels leaving the Federal estate if they become available. This right would be transferable to an NGO so as not to slow the sale of a property.


The Senate has the final say on the East Crazies Inspiration Divide Land Exchange, as the parcels involved are valued at more than $1,000,000.


Please call our senior Senator and member of the Appropriations Interior subcommittee, Jon Tester, at (202)-224-2644.

Please call our junior Senator, Steve Daines, at (202)-224-2651.


Finally, please call the Subcommittee itself at (202)-224-7363 and ask to leave a message for all the Senators on the subcommittee: block the East Crazies Inspiration Divide Land Exchange until the USFS makes a better deal in the public interest.
 
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As most know, I won’t support the exchange without conservation easements.

Therefore, I wouldn’t dilute my comments by going through the BHA site. Instead go through the Wild Montana portal, or, better yet, write Committee members Zinke and Tester directly using the contact information on the PLWA site.

Say what you want in your letter, but I hope you’ll keep in mind the overwhelming concern expressed by the objectors is lack of conservation easements in the Sweet Grass drainage. If people can focus their objections on that maybe it can be fixed and we can open up a ton of acreage in the Crazies.

I did directly but only got a general reply from a assistant from Zinke, and nothing from Tester. But Tester did reply directly on another issue so I assume he seen it. But he didn't acknowledge this issue.
 
As a resident of SD I’m just wondering if my email to the committee does any good. As far as I’m aware neither of my senators is on it. I did it anyway, but received a lot of responses telling me that since I’m not in their state they don’t have time to consider/ reply to my email. Should I email my senators too even though neither is on this committee?

Thanks to all who are bringing attention to this!
 
As a resident of SD I’m just wondering if my email to the committee does any good. As far as I’m aware neither of my senators is on it. I did it anyway, but received a lot of responses telling me that since I’m not in their state they don’t have time to consider/ reply to my email. Should I email my senators too even though neither is on this committee?

Thanks to all who are bringing attention to this!
Send it buddy - these are your public lands too!
 

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