Montana FWP makes seismic shift in elk permits

Ben Lamb

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Wilks don't even have a vote because they are NRs. What they have is money, and they spend it on the national level.

The Wilks' have maxed out donations to MT Legislative candidates for a few years now. Only 1 party, but they max out to most of them, and they have their staff/family do the same.

They're buying the government of Montana.
 

Ben Lamb

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Amazing that it takes so little $$$ to buy a Montana politician.

There's the other sides of the money game as well: They have hired the same lobbyists as MOGA to get their trophy permits. They have funded several independent expenditures, PACs and dark money groups like UPOM, who also spend money on politicians and elections. That dark money isn't reportable at all.
 

SAJ-99

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There's the other sides of the money game as well: They have hired the same lobbyists as MOGA to get their trophy permits. They have funded several independent expenditures, PACs and dark money groups like UPOM, who also spend money on politicians and elections. That dark money isn't reportable at all.
Completely agree, but $170? I certainly hope that is the legal limit. Otherwise the candidate needs to take the initiative to say "Farris, how about we make it a nice round number and you make that an even $200?". I mean, come on, have some pride for goodness sake.
 

Ben Lamb

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Completely agree, but $170? I certainly hope that is the legal limit. Otherwise the candidate needs to take the initiative to say "Farris, how about we make it a nice round number and you make that an even $200?". I mean, come on, have some pride for goodness sake.

Since The Copper Collar and especially since William Clark famously said that he never bought a politician that wasn't for sale, Montana had tried to keep money out of politics. That was thrown out the window with a lawsuit and then recently, the state increased the overall dollar amount for donations:

 

MNElkNut

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Had an interesting question pop into my pea brain. For ranches that lease FS or BLM for grazing, is there a way to tie elk depredation reimbursement to what they pay for AUMs? In other words, if you are leasing an AUM for $X, then you will get reimbursed at $X (noting that elk don't eat as much as a cow so the AUMs would be normalized). Are ranches leasing land for ultra cheap to feed cows that wipes out the feed for elk and then demanding much more money when the elk come eat the private feed? Seems like if that happens, it is not a fair system. This is just a question that I do not know the answer to, but would like to know.
 

SAJ-99

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Had an interesting question pop into my pea brain. For ranches that lease FS or BLM for grazing, is there a way to tie elk depredation reimbursement to what they pay for AUMs? In other words, if you are leasing an AUM for $X, then you will get reimbursed at $X (noting that elk don't eat as much as a cow so the AUMs would be normalized). Are ranches leasing land for ultra cheap to feed cows that wipes out the feed for elk and then demanding much more money when the elk come eat the private feed? Seems like if that happens, it is not a fair system. This is just a question that I do not know the answer to, but would like to know.
Need someone with more expertise than I have in how rates are set, but I would say rates are reasonable and the cows might be left a little long. It depends a lot on the area, but in parts of Montana there is no one around to enforce it and rains at the wrong time can make it hard to get cows out (an excuse used a lot from what I hear). The answer to the premise of your question is yes, cattle eat food on public land that elk could utilize, and ranchers like to complain when the elk end up on wintering feed grounds. I’m sure it is a Montana tradition, like deer hunting on thanksgiving.
 

Carnage2011

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rogerthat

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Had an interesting question pop into my pea brain. For ranches that lease FS or BLM for grazing, is there a way to tie elk depredation reimbursement to what they pay for AUMs? In other words, if you are leasing an AUM for $X, then you will get reimbursed at $X (noting that elk don't eat as much as a cow so the AUMs would be normalized). Are ranches leasing land for ultra cheap to feed cows that wipes out the feed for elk and then demanding much more money when the elk come eat the private feed? Seems like if that happens, it is not a fair system. This is just a question that I do not know the answer to, but would like to know.
This would be really hard to do for federal grazing leases. They have nothing to do with wildlife management. The Taylor Grazing Act is what governs on BLM lands and the grazing lease is calculated via a formula that has a bunch of inputs such as current livestock market and leasing rates etc. it always ends up really way below market value but I suspect only Congress could change this formula. FWP would have to develop a program that provides the AUM reimbursement. Your proposal wouldn’t be impossible but it would require coordination between FWP and the feds. The federal agencies set the AUMs on these leases so if the forage is getting over grazed adjustments to the lease are the solution. In most places in the west these lease adjustments are very politically unpopular. Seen as the big bad gubmint taking the poor ranchers livelihood and thus the range suffers since a lot of the big public land ranchers see it as a “take all you can get scenario” from the feds rather than take care of these lands like their own private. I grew up on a ranch. Honestly if these guys don’t take care of their leased lands, they should lose their leases. That’s the solution to the overgrazing problem.
 

Nameless Range

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Brad Molnar commented on the article. That guy is calling a spade a spade these days!

Is that really Brad Molnar commenting? I know he has been vocal, but it would be useful to point out to others who see everything through a partisan lens that these ideas are so bad even elected Rs are turning against it.
 

bigsky2

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??? Please explain. Who is the "guy"?
He’s a Republican politician from Billings/Laurel area. He introduced the crossbow bill this past session. Kind of refreshing to see a politician willing to call out their own party on their bullshit.
 

Straight Arrow

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He’s a Republican politician from Billings/Laurel area. He introduced the crossbow bill this past session. Kind of refreshing to see a politician willing to call out their own party on their bullshit.
I know who Molnar is. My question is who is the "guy calling a spade a spade"? What is the Molnar comment? I can't bring up comments or Billings Gazette articles without a subscription. The Molnar reference means little without the explanation.
 

Carnage2011

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Is that really Brad Molnar commenting? I know he has been vocal, but it would be useful to point out to others who see everything through a partisan lens that these ideas are so bad even elected Rs are turning against it.
considering that Brad called into several meetings and threw shade and Greg and his commission, I’d bet it’s really him.
 
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