Yeti

UPOM as an Anti-Hunting, Anti-Fishing Organization

tjones

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Has anyone seen any take on this from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation?

I have not asked them and will, but wondered if there was any sort of comment or press releases or social media I was missing.

It’s hard for me to imagine a more radical scenario that runs against their mission statement.

Ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Our hunting heritage is the exact thing on the chopping block
Working super secretly behind the scenes.:rolleyes:
 

Wind Gypsy

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Mar 12, 2017
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706
The only issue would be what organization would carry the suit? I doubt any single citizen would want to... Maybe MWF or Montana BHA? The GoFundMe in Wyoming seems like we could raise the funds for a fight if we had a willing organization to carry the flag.

Good on WY BHA for the corner crossing deal. I sent em $ and did my best to spread the word about the gofundme. But fer fooks sake, don't make BHA the spearhead of the opposition to this UPOM garbage! That is like a giant gift to them in these days of identity politics.

Be happy to contribute financially if there is a good legal path to opposition to this mess that needs $.
 

winmag

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Colorado
UPOM’s only motivations are greed and money, although it’s an interesting thought exercise to see the parallels with an anti-hunting organization.
 

JBGESV

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I am fairly disappointed by the commentary and limited perspective expressed in so many of the threads. In our home state (VA), property owners (resident and non-resident) do not need a license to hunt their own property. Same for their immediate family. Seasons, bag limits, … still apply. If we leave our property to hunt, we have to buy a license. Residency status does not effect property taxes, crop damage, or the cost of habitat improvement projects. There is a very small cost differential between resident and non-resident hunting and fishing license costs. Several friends and multiple family members hunt on our farm and we coordinate access and timing. No one has ever gotten agitated when they were denied access, cursed us for hoarding game, or accused us of being carpet-baggers because we did not grow-up on the property we own. All visitors pay the same price to access our nearby national seashore. A season pass is $40 regardless of where you cast your vote. I can only imagine the noise level if non-residents were somehow charged 5X the rate as residents to access Assateague Island National Seashore.

I have been hunting in MT for 30+ years as a non-resident (exclusively DIY). I accept the rules of the game, but I do not think that they are particularly fair or logical. Non-residents finance a huge portion of the FW&P budget, and get absolutely clobbered when it comes to the cost and allocation of tags. I genuinely do not understand why non-residents should have to pay so much more for the privilege to hunt on federal land. Can you imagine if the cost to access federal lands was equalized between residents and non-residents (sort of a $200 duck stamp for big game on federal ground)? Other western states have equally challenging protocols; WY just changed the rules of the game for their “big 5” after many folks accumulated points for ages and now they have zero chance to draw. Bonus points, preference points, special draws, outfitter allocations… all just put the experience further out of reach for many as the price just goes up and up.

Private landowners come in all shapes and sizes; some of them are idiots and some of them are great. Well managed private lands make a huge contribution to the health and size of game populations, and if we are being honest, it is the reason we all covet access to private ground. Anybody ever been on an overgrazed section of BLM or state moonscape, a hammered refuge or WPA, …? Why shouldn’t non-resident property owners have better access to their own lands? They pay the same interest rates, taxes, cost to maintain their fences, etc (and create near-zero draw on the public services that our taxes fund). The ”bulls for billionaires” brothers outside of Lewistown, and their bastardization of the regulations is equally a function of the state’s dysfunctional legislation and the brothers’ self-interest. Can you really imagine investing a huge chunk of your own money in a ranch property, and then being told that you have to accommodate strangers in order to hunt your own land? Almost no one would accept these terms unless they were compelled to do so. It is easy to point to the worst case examples, but non-resident property owners are rarely evil billionaires. Everyone knows the rules and accepts them when they make the investment. The 454 nonsense was in the rules, so no one should be surprised when it gets exploited.

We have family in ID, CO and AZ. There has not been much positive change in Idaho Falls, Scottsdale, or Boulder from my perspective. The latest bits of progress in Bozeman look equally unappealing. Wherever you sit in the dialog, there is another valid perspective. We need solutions, less vitriol, and a cessation of hostilities. Happy warriors are far more likely to get something done without galvanizing disparate interests into an ossified opposition.

Sorry for the long note.
 

brockel

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I have been hunting in MT for 30+ years as a non-resident (exclusively DIY). I accept the rules of the game, but I do not think that they are particularly fair or logical. Non-residents finance a huge portion of the FW&P budget, and get absolutely clobbered when it comes to the cost and allocation of tags.

Apparently you and the other non residents don’t seem to have too big of an issue with the cost of the license being that you have been paying it for 30+ years and there’s not any leftover tags and plenty of people waiting in line for those tags to be turned back in.
 

JBGESV

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Apparently you and the other non residents don’t seem to have too big of an issue with the cost of the license being that you have been paying it for 30+ years and there’s not any leftover tags and plenty of people waiting in line for those tags to be turned back in.
No question. I have enjoyed my time in MT to the point that we bought a place in the Treasure State. I will soon be a resident, but none of this changes the need to maintain a balanced view and respect for other perspectives.
 

DougStickney

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Apparently you and the other non residents don’t seem to have too big of an issue with the cost of the license being that you have been paying it for 30+ years and there’s not any leftover tags and plenty of people waiting in line for those tags to be turned back in.
And this is why Montana is truly screwed.
 

Gerald Martin

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@JBGESV, a couple of points.

1. MT is not Virginia and doesn’t grant landowners the right to hunt their own property without license since all wildlife is owned by all the residents of MT. This is set in statute. What rights other states grant their residents isn’t relevant to what MT should or shouldn’t do.

2. Nonresident landowners have every ability to know and understand the regulations that govern the taking of wildlife in the unit their land is in before they buy. Nothing is being forced on them or taken away. The Wilkes brothers bought the N-bar long after that area was established as a special permit area.

3. Thank you for hunting Montana and paying a disproportionate amount of FWP’s budget. Non resident hunters especially should be outraged at the mismanagement of our elk herds and the incredibly low quality of hunting available for the majority of NR hunters who don’t pay additional fees to access exclusive properties.
IMO, the cost/value ratio available to nonresidents on public lands borders on fraudulent marketing by FWP. That low value for such a high cost can often be attributable to the management policies that FWP implements on public lands in response to private landowners complaining about too many elk on private land that don’t allow access. FWP cannot legally dictate that those properties allow access to reduce elk so they over issue cow tags and liberalize harvest on public lands in order to show a reduction of elk unit wide to comply with the legal requirement of “managing for objective.”
 

brocksw

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Messages
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I am fairly disappointed by the commentary and limited perspective expressed in so many of the threads. In our home state (VA), property owners (resident and non-resident) do not need a license to hunt their own property. Same for their immediate family. Seasons, bag limits, … still apply. If we leave our property to hunt, we have to buy a license. Residency status does not effect property taxes, crop damage, or the cost of habitat improvement projects. There is a very small cost differential between resident and non-resident hunting and fishing license costs. Several friends and multiple family members hunt on our farm and we coordinate access and timing. No one has ever gotten agitated when they were denied access, cursed us for hoarding game, or accused us of being carpet-baggers because we did not grow-up on the property we own. All visitors pay the same price to access our nearby national seashore. A season pass is $40 regardless of where you cast your vote. I can only imagine the noise level if non-residents were somehow charged 5X the rate as residents to access Assateague Island National Seashore.

I have been hunting in MT for 30+ years as a non-resident (exclusively DIY). I accept the rules of the game, but I do not think that they are particularly fair or logical. Non-residents finance a huge portion of the FW&P budget, and get absolutely clobbered when it comes to the cost and allocation of tags. I genuinely do not understand why non-residents should have to pay so much more for the privilege to hunt on federal land. Can you imagine if the cost to access federal lands was equalized between residents and non-residents (sort of a $200 duck stamp for big game on federal ground)? Other western states have equally challenging protocols; WY just changed the rules of the game for their “big 5” after many folks accumulated points for ages and now they have zero chance to draw. Bonus points, preference points, special draws, outfitter allocations… all just put the experience further out of reach for many as the price just goes up and up.

Private landowners come in all shapes and sizes; some of them are idiots and some of them are great. Well managed private lands make a huge contribution to the health and size of game populations, and if we are being honest, it is the reason we all covet access to private ground. Anybody ever been on an overgrazed section of BLM or state moonscape, a hammered refuge or WPA, …? Why shouldn’t non-resident property owners have better access to their own lands? They pay the same interest rates, taxes, cost to maintain their fences, etc (and create near-zero draw on the public services that our taxes fund). The ”bulls for billionaires” brothers outside of Lewistown, and their bastardization of the regulations is equally a function of the state’s dysfunctional legislation and the brothers’ self-interest. Can you really imagine investing a huge chunk of your own money in a ranch property, and then being told that you have to accommodate strangers in order to hunt your own land? Almost no one would accept these terms unless they were compelled to do so. It is easy to point to the worst case examples, but non-resident property owners are rarely evil billionaires. Everyone knows the rules and accepts them when they make the investment. The 454 nonsense was in the rules, so no one should be surprised when it gets exploited.

We have family in ID, CO and AZ. There has not been much positive change in Idaho Falls, Scottsdale, or Boulder from my perspective. The latest bits of progress in Bozeman look equally unappealing. Wherever you sit in the dialog, there is another valid perspective. We need solutions, less vitriol, and a cessation of hostilities. Happy warriors are far more likely to get something done without galvanizing disparate interests into an ossified opposition.

Sorry for the long note.
I certainly appreciate your pov. But west Virginia is a little like ND. By that I mean, you don't have a lot of elk either.

I give a lot of credit to our state game and fish department. I think, overall, they do an excellent job. But even in discussions with their staff I've mentioned how elk change things. Elk are a major attraction for hunters. With large elk populations comes large demand from nonresidents. Demand = money. Money leads to greed. Greed leads to conflict.

ND and WV are not MT. This is why I find it so odd that ND spends more on damage and depredation payments to private land owners. Either MT isn't paying enough, or ND is paying way too much. I'm not sure which is right. But like WV, we don't have nearly the conflict that MT does. We would if we had a 100 thousand elk.
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
I genuinely do not understand why non-residents should have to pay so much more for the privilege to hunt on federal land.
Just a point of clarification, because I see this argument all the time from non-residents. You are not paying FWP for the privilege of hunting federal land. You are paying for the privilege of harvesting a game animal, regardless of land ownership. You do this because Feds and States agreed at statehood the wildlife are held in trust by the States for the residents of each state.

From a land access perspective, you are paying the exact same amount of money that I do as a resident to hunt on federal land- which happens to be zero in Montana.

Many, many people don’t seem to understand what their hunting license actually buys.
 

JBGESV

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Feb 18, 2021
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I am aware of the public trust doctrine that established ownership of all wildlife across the country. The case was based in Virginia. Also, I noted that buyers are aware of the regulations before they invest (including the lousy 454 rules). You all make compelling arguments. It is a shame that the MTFThanks so much.
 

Gerald Martin

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Jul 3, 2009
Messages
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Personally, I couldn’t care less is landowners don’t allow access as long as their policies aren’t harmful to my hunting on public land. Elk that thrive and increase on private land means more elk overall and more elk is a good thing according to my interest.
The only problem is that FWP manages for “objective” according to unit boundaries and their answer to too many elk on inaccessible properties is to have hunters shoot more elk on accessible properties. Their policies directly affect the distribution of elk populations and in turn harm my interests of hunting elk on public land.

Working landowners who do suffer crop depredations when elk migrate from their neighbors inaccessible property need to work that out with their neighbors, not complain to FWP.
 

RobG

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Bozeman, MT
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this whole lawsuit was concocted behind closed doors by Hank, the Gov, the AG and UPOM.
That’s exactly what I thought. Hank couldn’t get his way past the public, but the lawsuit provides him cover to do so. Coincidence?
 

antlerradar

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Working landowners who do suffer crop depredations when elk migrate from their neighbors inaccessible property need to work that out with their neighbors, not complain to FWP.
Not all that easy to implement
I interact with my long time neighbors nearly weekly, but the new landowners I hardly ever see. I have about as much in common with them as a resident of Three Forks has with a Californian that owns a house in Big Sky. My influence with the new landowners is limited at best and I would venture a guess that the new comers are the ones doing the lions share of the hording.
Part of the unwritten code of the west is you don't tell your neighbors how to run their ranch. Failure to adhere to this code is sure to cause friction like 80 grit sandpaper. going to leave some scratches that are going to take a long time and a lot of work to erase. Few neighbors want to go there.
Maybe though, because wildlife does not respect property lines there is some room for peer pressure to be applied to those hording elk, but that peer pressure is sure to cut both ways. For example if it is ok for me to suggest a neighbor harvest more cows to help with the crop damage, there is nothing holding the neighbor back from suggesting I mitigate the issue by monetizing the elk or even suggesting that I cut back on hunters because the number of deer taken on my place is hurting his outfitting business. (been there)
 
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Straight Arrow

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Not all that easy to implement
I interact with my long time neighbors nearly weekly, but the new landowners I hardly ever see. I have about as much in common with them as a resident of Three Forks has with a Californian that owns a house in Big Sky. My influence with the new landowners is limited at best and I would venture a guess that the new comers are the ones doing the lions share of the hording.
Part of the unwritten code of the west is you don't tell your neighbors how to run their ranch. Failure to adhere to this code is sure to cause friction like 80 grit sandpaper. going to leave some scratches that are going to take a long time and a lot of work to erase. Few neighbors want to go there.
Maybe though, because wild life does not respect property lines there is some room for peer pressure to be applied to those hording elk, but that peer pressure is sure to cut both ways. For example if it is ok for me to suggest a neighbor harvest more cows to help with the crop damage, there is nothing holding the neighbor back from suggesting I mitigate with the issue by monetizing the elk or even suggesting that I cut back on hunters because the number of deer taken on my place is hurting his outfitting business. (been there)
That is the real life human dynamic and is key to any broader solutions. I think it is critical for FWP to play a role in the process of tactfully and respectfully working with all the landowners with wildlife habitat and species needing management. There are commonalities between and among landowners which have the potential to evolve into programs beneficial to landowners, wildlife, and hunters. FWP has the responsibility to identify and nurture those commonalities in order to facilitate improvements.
However, it seems politics and special interests always show up like Mr. Mayhem of the insurance ad to ruin the deal.
 

Gerald Martin

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Not all that easy to implement
I interact with my long time neighbors nearly weekly, but the new landowners I hardly ever see. I have about as much in common with them as a resident of Three Forks has with a Californian that owns a house in Big Sky. My influence with the new landowners is limited at best and I would venture a guess that the new comers are the ones doing the lions share of the hording.
Part of the unwritten code of the west is you don't tell your neighbors how to run their ranch. Failure to adhere to this code is sure to cause friction like 80 grit sandpaper. going to leave some scratches that are going to take a long time and a lot of work to erase. Few neighbors want to go there.
Maybe though, because wildlife does not respect property lines there is some room for peer pressure to be applied to those hording elk, but that peer pressure is sure to cut both ways. For example if it is ok for me to suggest a neighbor harvest more cows to help with the crop damage, there is nothing holding the neighbor back from suggesting I mitigate the issue by monetizing the elk or even suggesting that I cut back on hunters because the number of deer taken on my place is hurting his outfitting business. (been there)


Point taken Art. I respect that dynamic is a factor in how ranchers relate.

I respect that ranchers are sensitive to telling other folks how to manage and to having other folks telling them what they should do. I also observe that certain landowners have no problems telling FWP and other shareholders that they need to manage differently on public land and don’t seem to be concerned with how the management policies FWP implements to accommodate those demands hurts other shareholders.

Is this a situation of ranchers being so completely in tune with the needs of their land and operations that they are ignorant of the consequences of management policies that don’t occur on their property or do they not care because they don’t view other shareholders as being part of the community?

In the case of UPOM, I would consider them to be in that second category. For most working ranchers I have a hard time believing they don’t care. Most interactions I have had with landowners makes me believe they aren’t seeing the effects of management practices that don’t take place on their property.
 

antlerradar

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Point taken Art. I respect that dynamic is a factor in how ranchers relate.

I respect that ranchers are sensitive to telling other folks how to manage and to having other folks telling them what they should do. I also observe that certain landowners have no problems telling FWP and other shareholders that they need to manage differently on public land and don’t seem to be concerned with how the management policies FWP implements to accommodate those demands hurts other shareholders.

Is this a situation of ranchers being so completely in tune with the needs of their land and operations that they are ignorant of the consequences of management policies that don’t occur on their property or do they not care because they don’t view other shareholders as being part of the community?

In the case of UPOM, I would consider them to be in that second category. For most working ranchers I have a hard time believing they don’t care. Most interactions I have had with landowners makes me believe they aren’t seeing the effects of management practices that don’t take place on their property.
I would guess landowner reasons are just about as numerous as there are landowners. Some care only about what happens on their own property, others are sickened by what is happening on the public. Some care only about the money to be made or the crops that are lost, others are willing to have some losses to have wildlife.

Many of the "new landowners" are form places with little public land and have no real tie down to the communities were they buy. They bring a set of values that are in many ways foreign to the Montana of my youth.
 
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MONTANANS INTERVENE IN LAWSUIT ATTACKING STATE MANAGEMENT OF ELK​

https://www.keepelkpublic.org/

HELENA, Mont. – A coalition of Montana hunting and conservation groups has taken formal action to oppose the lawsuit filed in April by the United Property Owners of Montana against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Fish & Wildlife Commission, calling it “an attack on wildlife management and Montana’s egalitarian hunting traditions.”

Composed of Helena Hunters and Anglers, Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, Montana Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Montana Bowhunters Association, Montana Wildlife Federation, Public Land Water Access Association and Skyline Sportsmen, the coalition filed a motion to intervene on behalf of FWP and the citizens of Montana. The groups represent a broad array of interests and are committed to maintaining long-term, proven management that benefits all Montanans, not just a privileged few. All have a strong record of public participation in decisions affecting Montana’s natural resources and hunting heritage.

UPOM, an organization of out-of-state and resident landowners with a history of opposing the concept that public wildlife are owned by the public in Montana, alleges in its suit that the public process for managing elk and setting hunting regulations in Montana is unconstitutional. It attempts to force FWP to act to reduce elk numbers in the state substantially – by upwards of 50,000 animals – and giving landowners authority over management practices of elk on their properties, including opportunities to sell elk tags to the highest bidder. Similar attempts by UPOM at the legislative and commission levels have been loudly opposed and soundly defeated.

“Elk are a cornerstone of Montana hunting traditions,” said Steve Platt, president of Helena Hunters and Anglers. “UPOM and its billionaire backers are trying to privatize our public elk herds for their own gain. The citizens of Montana will not let them get away with this!”

“Hellgate Hunters & Anglers is proud to join in standing up for Montana’s elk and our time-honored, science-based wildlife management practices,” said Walker Conyngham, president of Hellgate Hunters & Anglers. “Montana hunters across the state look to the department and our wildlife managers for responsible, equitable management of our big game species. We’re stepping up to protect those men and women, Montana hunters, and our elk herds from this reckless, misguided attempt to fundamentally change elk management in our state.”

“The United Property Owners of Montana would like to upend Montana’s well-established wildlife management model, as well as Montana’s public hunting traditions,” said John Sullivan, chair of Montana Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “Regardless of our political affiliations, economic backgrounds and other views, we all have a stake in opposing this lawsuit and supporting responsive, state-based management of Montana game populations. The Montana chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with other groups who are taking action to defend elk management, as well as public hunting opportunity, in Montana.”

“We will not stand by and allow the United Property Owners of Montana to strongarm the state of Montana,” said Ken Schultz, president of the Montana Bowhunters Association. “We will stand strong along with several other groups in Montana who are stepping up to support the FWP and the state in this battle and in their efforts to manage elk populations in Montana.

“All the years of hard work by past and current state employees – and the committees that have spent hours of volunteer time to come up with a solid plan to manage the elk populations – would be for naught if UPOM succeeded in making this a ‘pay to play’ state,” Schultz continued. “This would change elk hunting for generations to come. This just can’t happen! We must unite and fight back with our fellow hunting partners in Montana.”

“The public season setting process has been used for decades,” said Chris Servheen, board chair, Montana Wildlife Federation. “To suddenly try to throw out years of hard work and wisdom from scientists, agency professionals, duly appointed fish and wildlife commissioners, and engaged citizens is simply wrong. What this lawsuit seeks to do is what UPOM has failed to do at the legislature: turn elk hunting into a rich man’s game in Montana. UPOM couldn't get its way in the legislature or the commission, and now instead of talking with those they disagree with, they filed a lawsuit.

“Elk in Montana belong to the public, not to wealthy special interests,” Servheen continued. “Generations of public hunters have stood up for science-based elk management, and the Montana Wildlife Federation is proud to stand with our partners to fight to keep elk public for public hunters.”

“PLWA values, recognizes, and appreciates the contributions private lands and landowners continue to make to ensure Montana is home to robust, viable, and huntable populations of elk and other wildlife statewide,” said Drewry Hanes, executive director of Public Land Water Access Association. “Central to this is the legal and social construct of elk and other wildlife to be held in the public trust for the benefit of all – elk are not to be owned and sold by private interests. The UPOM lawsuit challenges this very essence and what has served Montana well for more than 100 years. We believe in and uphold the principles of public participation, science-based management, equity in opportunity, and the duty to hold our elected and appointed officials responsible and accountable.”
 
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