April 30, 2017

Logging, intentional fires planned in Superior National Forest to improve moose habitat

*Editor’s Note* – Well, I’m confused but that probably doesn’t surprise many of you. Last time I checked Minnesota officials said there was little to be done about saving the state’s moose herd because “global warming” was causing everything imaginable that might work against the moose herd…including the defeat of Hillary Clinton last November.

Using the circular reasoning of unreasoned circular nonsensical clap-trap, isn’t cutting down forests contributing to global warming which in turn kills off the moose herd?

“Twenty years ago the Superior National Forest was criticized for allowing loggers to cut too many trees, especially too many large swaths of forest.

Environmental groups and others contended that so-called clear-cuts were more than just an aesthetic eyesore, but that they contributed to monocultures of small aspen trees and disrupted wildlife that depended on thick, mature forests of big, old trees.

The Forest Service responded by cutting back on cutting.

Flash-forward a couple decades, however, and plans to cut more and larger swaths of trees are getting high praise. Wildlife biologists and others say more logging and more fire are the only hope for Minnesota’s dwindling moose herd.”<<<Read More>>>

Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act

*Editor’s Note* – Below is President Trumps Executive Order (EO) designed to REVIEW, and nothing more, the hows and whys of land designations as National Monuments in the U.S. since 1996. In the following statements made by various political criminals (because they all are), the emotional clap-trap, designed specifically to continue the anger, hatred and fury of brainwashed members of the fake political left and the fake political right. 

On the one side, the lying right is trying to make people think all those monument designations are going to be lifted and the BS slogan of “Make America Great Again” will be in full force while nothing happens except the strategically used rhetoric to fan flames and garner support while ensuring the left continues to hate the right, bringing things ever closer to violent protest or all out civil war. The fake left is of no exception in this incitement of anger and hatred. As is typical, the fake left convinces its blind followers that the world is going to come to an end because some people want to question the need for more and more parks and national monuments.

It will never be learned that the fake left and the fake right, along with their fake president and fake cabinet, have no interest in looking out for what is best for you and I. They never have and never will. The will make you think they are because they are the masters of deceit. Trump and Congress do not decide what will be and what will not be. They are but puppets, controlled by the real powers of the world. Trust me, any and all national monuments are not created with you and I and our future interests in mind.

In short, everything that I have posted here is a bunch of horseshit and should be seen as such. The president and his staff of clever liars are hard at work pretending they are caring for the people and fulfilling campaign promises. They choose their words carefully and then present an EO that does nothing except create bureaucratic garbage. To date, all of Trump’s EOs are nothing but false rhetoric to drive hate.

EO follows:

 

Presidential Executive Order:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in recognition of the importance of the Nation’s wealth of natural resources to American workers and the American economy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  Designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906, recently recodified at sections 320301 to 320303 of title 54, United States Code (the “Antiquities Act” or “Act”), have a substantial impact on the management of Federal lands and the use and enjoyment of neighboring lands.  Such designations are a means of stewarding America’s natural resources, protecting America’s natural beauty, and preserving America’s historic places.  Monument designations that result from a lack of public outreach and proper coordination with State, tribal, and local officials and other relevant stakeholders may also create barriers to achieving energy independence, restrict public access to and use of Federal lands, burden State, tribal, and local governments, and otherwise curtail economic growth.  Designations should be made in accordance with the requirements and original objectives of the Act and appropriately balance the protection of landmarks, structures, and objects against the appropriate use of Federal lands and the effects on surrounding lands and communities.

Sec. 2.  Review of National Monument Designations.  (a)  The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders, to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.  In making those determinations, the Secretary shall consider:

(i)    the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected”;

(ii)   whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest”;

(iii)  the effects of a designation on the available uses of designated Federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy of section 102(a)(7) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(7)), as well as the effects on the available uses of Federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;

(iv)   the effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-Federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;

(v)    concerns of State, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation, including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected States, tribes, and localities;

(vi)   the availability of Federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and

(vii)  such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.

(b)  In conducting the review described in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall consult and coordinate with, as appropriate, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of any other executive departments or agencies concerned with areas designated under the Act.

(c)  In conducting the review described in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall, as appropriate, consult and coordinate with the Governors of States affected by monument designations or other relevant officials of affected State, tribal, and local governments.

(d)  Within 45 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall provide an interim report to the President, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, summarizing the findings of the review described in subsection (a) of this section with respect to Proclamation 9558 of December 28, 2016 (Establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument), and such other designations as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for inclusion in the interim report.  For those designations, the interim report shall include recommendations for such Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law as the Secretary may consider appropriate to carry out the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(e)  Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall provide a final report to the President, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, summarizing the findings of the review described in subsection (a) of this section.  The final report shall include recommendations for such Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law as the Secretary may consider appropriate to carry out the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

Sec. 3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 26, 2017.

Bishop Statement on Antiquities Act Executive Order

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2017

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement on national monument designations.

“Today’s action sends the powerful message that communities will no longer take a back seat to out-of-state special interest groups. I’m pleased to see President Trump recognize long-standing abuses of the Antiquities Act. It was created with noble intent and for limited purposes, but has been hijacked to set aside increasingly large and restricted areas of land without public input.

“I applaud the Trump administration’s clear commitment to do what past administrations refused to do, actually talk to real people who live in the area. This EO is not the end of the story, we will work the Trump administration and our communities to get this right.”

Murkowski Commends Executive Order on National Monuments

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today joined President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for the signing ceremony of an executive order directing the Department of the Interior to conduct a review of national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act since 1996.

Secretary Zinke will review onshore and marine monument designations over 100,000 acres in size, and provide recommendations to the president for changes to the scope and size of those monuments within the next 120 days.

“I strongly support President Trump’s order to review the largest national monuments designated over the past two decades,” Murkowski said. “During the past administration, we saw the Antiquities Act result in sweeping designations that frequently ignored local opposition. This review is a good step forward in our efforts to reform the monument designation process to ensure the concerns of those who stand to be impacted are heard and respected.”

The Obama administration designated a total of 554 million acres—an area five times the size of California, and more than the previous 18 presidents combined—as national and marine monuments. The scale and extent of those designations sharply contrast with the explicit wording of the Antiquities Act, which requires the reservation of “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

Murkowski is a leading congressional advocate for Antiquities Act reform. Earlier this year, she and 27 Republican colleagues introduced S. 33, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act. The bill would facilitate greater local input and require state approval before national monuments can be designated on federal lands and waters.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

WATCH: Cantwell Defends The Protected Status Of National Monuments

President’s Executive Order Threatens San Juan Island and Hanford Reach

Download broadcast-quality video of Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement here.
Watch Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement on YouTube here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today defended the Antiquities Act and the protected status of National Monuments across the country.

Senator Cantwell took to the Senate floor to oppose the President’s short-sighted attempt to illegally roll back the National Monument status for some our country’s most treasured public lands and national monuments, protected to preserve them for public recreation and enjoyment.

“The shortsighted move is a pretext to attack the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah,” Senator Cantwell said. “Sacred to five tribes, Bears Ears is a breath-taking sight for all Americans who come to experience what is the unbelievable unique beauty of the West.”

In Utah alone, outdoor recreation is responsible for $12 billion in consumer spending each year: more than twice the value of oil and gas produced in the state ($5 billion).

Just today, the Outdoor Industry Association released a new report on the economic contributions of the recreation economy. Nationally, the recreation industry currently creates $887 billion in consumer spending every year. That’s up more than $200 billion (from $646 billion) the last time this study was conducted, a few years ago.

In addition, outdoor recreation industry is responsible for 7.6 million jobs in this country today. That’s growth of 1.5 million jobs since the last time this study was conducted.

Sen. Cantwell explained that President Trump’s Executive Order calls into question more than just Bears Ears National Monument. “Reviewing any designation in the last 20 years, threatening the question of the San Juan Island or the Hanford Reach National Monument and the creation of other sites around the United States and threatening our economies. Time and time again, the Trump administration is pushing for policies that are harmful to our recreation economy, a disaster for our pristine places, and setting a terrible precedent for future conservation efforts.”

In Washington, the outdoor recreation economy generated $22.5 billion in consumer spending and $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Watch the video of Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement here.

RMEF Salutes Volunteers

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is proud to recognize and honor its conservation army of 11,000 volunteers during National Volunteer Week.

“We cannot express how grateful we are for good men and women who do so much for elk and elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “They work tirelessly on their own time to raise funds to further our shared conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”

Volunteers host fundraising banquets, membership drives and other events in more than 500 chapters from coast-to-coast. They also assist with youth seminars, camps and other activities that bolster the future of hunting and conservation. Additionally, they take part in on-the-ground projects such as fence pulls, noxious weed treatments, erecting wildlife water sources and other activities.

RMEF honored its volunteers at its 2017 National Convention in Nashville by collectively awarding them the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award. Presented only 22 times, it is awarded to those who have made a contribution of lasting significance to the benefit of RMEF’s conservation mission across North America.

“There’s absolutely no doubt about it. RMEF would not be where it is today without the dedicated and passionate effort of our volunteers,” added Allen.

The award itself will be on display at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s headquarters in Missoula, Montana.

Go here for more information about RMEF volunteer opportunities.

SAM’s Testimony on Right To Hunt Amendment, Makes Claims Not Entirely True

Recently I wrote about a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that is being presented as an amendment to protect the “right” to hunt, trap and fish – LD 11. I also wrote that this proposal was one that I could support and I was wrong to have made the statement using the words that I did because I failed to succinctly express the full truth in my statement. Please let me explain.

Yesterday, I was reading David Trahan’s (Executive Director of the Sportman’s Alliance of Maine) testimony before the Legislative Committee in support of the proposed amendment.

To many, his words ring true, much because most of us have been taught certain things about our federal and state constitutions and the rights we have been granted under those constitution. Men don’t grant rights to anyone. They simply claim ownership of them and hand them back to us in some kind of limited form or fully deny us of such rights.

Trahan states that when this nation was founded, wildlife was “placed in the public trust” and as such we had the right to take it for sustenance. Therefore, Americans have always possessed the right to hunt, fish and trap. I will have to save for another day any debate on this so-called public trust and our inherent right to hunt, fish and trap. I will proceed from the perspective of most that they do have either a right or a privilege.

As Mr. Trahan also pointed out, man decided that in order to sustain game and other wildlife, they must construct laws to limit that activity. What happened to our inherent “right” to hunt, trap and fish when the limitations by law became enforced? Is anything really a “right” when it is controlled by man? We evidently believe so. When men, because they couldn’t maintain viable game populations through their own disciplines, called upon man-governments to do it for them, it began the process of destroying any semblance of a right to hunt. I ask once again, what happened to a so-called “right” to hunt wildlife “placed in the public trust” when at least some of that right was ceded over to government and restricted?

This is not that much different than the argument of sovereignty, in which most people do not understand sovereignty of an individual or a government agency. How are you a sovereign individual? Oh, you might say, “Nobody tells me what to do! I’m my own man!” But you are not. You might be a legend in your own mind, but you are not a sovereign individual. Once a man agrees to become part of a community, whether it is a small as a neighborhood or as large as a nation, they have agreed to relinquish that sovereignty and place it under the control of the government. Your act of relinquishment places decisions about your life into the hands of the controlling government agencies.

In Maine, at some point in time, the full right to hunt, trap and fish, was ceded to the State Government to control and make the decisions for us as to what, when and how we might harvest game. Trahan points this out in his testimony. In reality, the sportsmen have very little control over their perceived right to hunt. What has evolved since the creation of game and wildlife laws, is that the government agency formulated to oversee hunting, trapping and fishing, call the shots. Yup, proposals for new laws can be presented. Sometimes they get through a committee and most times not. You are heard before a committee but if you can’t get by the committee then what has become of your “right” to hunt, trap and fish. If you do get through committee you are at the mercy of the Legislature. Where then is your protected right?

Many believe that an amendment to the Constitution will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish. They are wrong. I have written many times on this subject and stated that unless an amendment mandated or forced the government to do something, it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper.

The proposed LD 11 states, in reference to the right of the people of Maine to hunt, fish and trap, that this right: “may not be infringed.” (emboldening added) This is not a mandate. It does not force the Legislature, the Governor, Law Enforcement, or anybody else to stop any infringement of a person’s right to hunt, trap and fish. Go ask a lawyer – or at least an intelligent and honest one (yeah I know). Or go research it yourself. “May” is not a mandate – only a suggestion.

Further, the amendment says that this non infringement of the right to hunt, trap and fish is subject to “reasonable” laws enacted by the Legislature and “reasonable” rules adopted by the department in charge of management of game, fish and other wildlife. Is a “reasonable” law or rule an infringement? We’ve already established that the protection against infringement is non binding because the lawyers chose “may” instead of “must.”

So, who decides what “reasonable” means? I hope you are beginning to understand.

The amendment establishes that the department in reference is supposed to “promote wildlife conservation and management” and “maintain natural resources in trust for public use” (emboldening added) and this evidently will “preserve the future of hunting and fishing.” Nothing here is a mandate that forces anybody to do anything. What is wildlife conservation? As it is in operation today, wildlife conservation becomes a matter of which social entity has the most dollars and the loudest mouth to force their idealistic perceptions and conceptions of wildlife conservation.

The Department, according to this amendment will “maintain” natural resources. Maintain them how and to what levels of population that will guarantee, protect or create the “right” to hunt, trap and fish? This, of course, is left up to the Department, which is what takes places now. There is no mandate. There is no protection of any right.

The amendment further states that “public hunting and fishing are the preferred means…” (emboldening added) Where is the mandate here that will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish? The Department might “prefer” to use hunting and fishing but what if they decide to import wolves to control populations of deer and moose? Where is the mandate? Where is the protection of any “right” to hunt, trap and fish? And would such a decision be “reasonable?”

The truth is, that while this is better language than previously proposed in other amendments, voters in Maine should not be misled to believe that this amendment, as written, will guarantee, protect or create for Maine citizens, the “right” to hunt, trap and fish.

And on the reverse of this, as I have already read in a few spreads of clap trap nonsense, such an amendment, as written will not destroy the process to petition the state. This should be obvious once you understand this proposal has nothing in it that is a mandate, forcing anybody to do anything.

When I said this amendment was something I could support, that statement was not accurate and I apologize for misleading people, if I did. First, I could not “support” such and amendment in the literal sense because I am not a legal resident of Maine and therefore could not vote for it if I wanted.

My thinking at the time was that while there still were no mandates in the proposal, perhaps the language was such that it might deter the onslaught of lawsuits and referendums that have been piled onto the Pine Tree State. It may, in fact, increase them. It is difficult to assess.

I will work harder to choose my words and the statements I make more carefully.

Wildlife Habitat Protected, Access Improved in Nevada

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with a conservation-minded landowner, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect 4,500 acres of key wildlife habitat in northeast Nevada via a voluntary conservation easement agreement. The project also improves access to nearly 19,000 acres of adjacent public land.

“We appreciate Bryan Masini and his partner owners of the Wildhorse Ranch in recognizing the importance of protecting and conserving the wildlife values of their land,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

Located approximately 70 miles north of Elko, the property lies within the Owyhee River watershed just east of the Independence Mountain Range.

As part of the transaction, the NDOW holds an access agreement that allows public access for hunting and other recreational activities to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands which border the ranch.

“We are grateful for all the partners in this effort and find great hope in innovative approaches such as this conservation easement,” said Tony Wasley, NDOW director. “This is a great solution that protects private land, while also maintaining the land’s benefits for the wildlife species that depend on it.”

“This specific area is year-round habitat and crucial summer range for up to 100 elk. It’s also a key area for mule deer and antelope, crucial habitat for Greater sage-grouse and it features riparian habitat for fish and other species,” added Henning.

Current range conditions consist of enough forage for cattle and wildlife and a plan has been implemented to ensure that best management practices maintain quality habitat going forward.

“This project is a great example of the private and public partnership efforts that exist to protect critical habitats and preserve agricultural working lands for future generations,” stated Ray Dotson, NRCS state conservationist.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and the Nevada Department of Wildlife provided funding for the project.

Small Utah Project Has Big Public Access Dividends

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Sportsmen and women now have permanent access to 3,800 acres of National Forest land in central Utah thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Back Country Horsemen of Utah and Emery County.

“This project shows how working together can bring about improved public access that benefits hunters, hikers, horseback riders and so many other people who enjoy our national forests,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

“The American public benefits greatly by acquiring this property which allows access to some of the best country for hunting and horseback riding on the Manti-La Sal National Forest” said Darren Olsen, district ranger for the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The project site is located approximately 20 miles west of Huntington and secures permanent public access from a parking area on Highway 31 to the popular Candland trailhead.

RMEF recently conveyed the 10-acre parcel of land to the Manti-LaSal National Forest which now oversees management responsibilities. Back Country Horsemen of Utah (BCH), San Rafael Chapter, originally acquired grant funding and coordinated trailhead construction. Emery County donated thousands of dollars in equipment use, labor and materials.

“The Candland Mountain trailhead more than triples the parking for users of the Candland Mountain trail system,” said Rod Player of San Rafael BCH. “It would not be possible were it not for the generous donations from Emery County and RMEF. RMEF has ensured the existence of the trailhead for future generations.”

“Emery County appreciates the opportunity to partner in this project which will benefit residents of the county as well as visitors to our area,” said Ray Petersen, Emery County public lands administrator. “The Emery County Road Department displayed its typical professionalism in constructing this parking area. We are very proud of the work they do. As is often the case, it takes a willingness to collaborate by many partners to accomplish beneficial results on our public lands.”

The area accessed by the trailhead is primarily elk spring through fall habitat, including calving areas, and is used by more than 1,000 elk. It is also home to mule deer, black bears, mountain lions and a host of bird and animal life.

RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) provided funding for the project. TFE funding is used solely to further RMEF’s core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

Katahdin Woods and Waters Dog and Pony Show

*Editor’s Note* – If the new Obama/Quimby national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, is so damned “beautiful” that the world would want to come and see, the media and promotional information about the monument can only come up with two pictures to show off – the Penobscot River (in fall foliage) and Mt. Katahdin (which isn’t in the park).

Maine is headed into black fly season, perhaps this new “tool kit” written about in the below linked article will suggest close-up photographs of mosquitoes and black flies, as they will most certainly be the featured distraction for a great part of the duration of when people might think about coming to the monument to see…..er, to experience….er, uh, to be part of….um. Well maybe they will just consider a ride through the park, gazing at stands of dense spruce and fir trees, except in places where they have cut the trees down to see outside the park.

Also, the article attempts to compare a recent “monument” in New Mexico in hopes of convincing people the park will be popular despite its so-called “controversies.” What that means is the majority of the people didn’t want the monument but fascist power forced us to have it anyway. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks officials say visitors to the park has risen 102% since the monument was created. Swell, but someone help me with the math. 0 visitors before monument designation, times 102%, equals? But maybe you don’t quite understand.

And remember, all the two-faced Environmentalists who wanted so much to “protect” this piece of land, good mostly just for its timber, are eager to bring the entire world to the park…after they get done cutting down trees, building roads, building visitor centers and bathrooms, picnic grounds, etc. Yessiree, that’s some protection.

In addition, how are these mentally unstable Environmentalists going to handle any Trump Administration laws that will provide that this monument remain open for such things as hunting and snowmobiling, etc?

“Rather, Hamblen says new opportunities are likely to open up. However, the task of developing a new regional economy is not a small one. One piece of the puzzle that’s perhaps been missing from other designations, says Hamblen, is a plan to guide local businesses to help them get the most out of the new monument.”<<<Read More>>>

The Two Faces of Environmentalism

A man who is a member of the National Parks Conservation Association, wrote: “The northern Maine of my childhood was a perfect wilderness. In the car, as we drove north, houses and businesses would disappear from the sides of the highway, and the woods would close in. They were dense and dark and appeared entirely wild. I imagined, as a child, that no human had ever before dared to set foot in them. No one but us, of course.”

And this: “As it turns out, from the summit of Mount Katahdin I was looking out over what would become Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The area appeared then as it does now, and as it has for thousands of years: It’s a rolling green sea of pine trees, broken only by granite peaks and shimmering lakes. It looked the same to Henry David Thoreau, who described finding “a primitive forest, more interesting” than any other for “a thousand miles westward.” It looked the same to a young Theodore Roosevelt, who took his experiences in the Maine woods and turned them into a life dedicated to conservation.”

Along with: “Having left Maine….There is simply nothing like the woods of Maine left in the eastern United States….Miles of forest floor covered in a thick bed of pine needles. Stands of fir so dense you need to turn around and use your back to push through.”

And finally this little tidbit: “My grandfather taught me years ago that Maine’s environment doesn’t stay wild on its own; rather, it requires ceaseless effort from those who are dedicated to protecting the land.”

These quotes were authored by a man, who not only supported the National Monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, but claims to have been an active participant in getting the job done.

What puzzles me, and which is part of the nonsensical, two-faced hypocrisy of Environmentalism, is how can any person, with a straight face write such wonderful words to describe his memories of what Maine meant to him and his family, and then turn around and actively participate in creating a park, hoping to bring in hundreds of thousands of people, cutting trees, building roads and other infrastructure?

I think there is one small part of what this author writes that might go unnoticed. In the beginning the author describes how, while driving further and further north, the woods grew ever more wild and dense, imagining that no human had ever stepped foot into these forests, or ever would – No one but us, of course.”

And isn’t that the real face of Environmentalism?

The wonders of “conserving” wild lands and forests!

New Chairman, Members Added to RMEF Board

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is pleased to announce Philip Barrett as the new chairman of its Board of Directors. An avid hunter, RMEF life member and conservationist, Barrett is also vice president of finance for Chick-fil-A.

“I am very honored to be asked to serve RMEF in this capacity,” said Barrett. “It will be a joy to continue to work with such an outstanding group of board members and staff. They all have great passion for our mission and a strong willingness to be a part of the continued growth of the foundation.”

Barrett succeeds Chuck Roady as the 18th chairman to lead RMEF. The new board members are Mark Baker and Lewis Stapley.

Among his goals, Barrett says RMEF will remain relevant and loyal to membership while continuing to protect public lands and hunting’s tradition and heritage. He will also focus on maintaining RMEF’s financial health while putting a high percentage of each dollar toward the organization’s on-the-ground conservation work.

“Philip brings significant business and life experience to our board,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “He is also a deep believer in furthering our conservation mission.”

Barrett began his career at Chick-fil-A as a corporate accounting manager in 1980. He has been responsible for all financial aspects of the company. Barrett also serves as chairman of the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Outdoor Ministry and as a national board member for the Catch-A-Dream Foundation.

“RMEF is among the very best of conservation organizations. Our past accomplishments in the areas of land protection and elk reintroductions are well-known but we continue to have a great opportunity and responsibility to help shape the future of our public lands and wildlife management strategies in our great country,” added Barrett.

He and wife Peggy have two children and five grandchildren.

New RMEF board member bios:

Mark Baker
• Helena, Montana
• Managing Partner ABS Legal, PLLC
• Special Counsel to Mercury public strategy firm
• Past counsel/staff director for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns
• RMEF life member

Lewis Stapley
• Schroon Lake, New York
• Owner/operator Drake Lumber Corporation (1989-2003)
• Founded first volunteer emergency ambulance service in Schroon Lake, NY
• RMEF life member, sponsor member, Habitat Council & Trails Society
• RMEF Olympic Chapter (NY) co-founder and chairman & member of the New York State Leadership Team

Panel: Ballooning Federal Estate a Primary Barrier to Modernizing Infrastructure on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2017

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held an oversight hearing on ways to improve infrastructure and management at the National Park Service (NPS) and the Forest Service (USFS).

A reasonable person might conclude that federal agencies with deferred maintenance backlogs of $6 billion [USFS] and $12 billion [NPS] should first take care of the land it currently administers before acquiring new land. Yet, our land management agencies continue to push for additional land to be included in their systems. Real conservation means taking care of the things that you already own,” Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) said.

Prioritizing the care and management of existing federal lands was echoed by the panel. Executive Director of the Property and Environment Research Center Reed Watson pointed out the significant increase in units managed by the NPS over the past decade despite its growing maintenance backlog. NPS managed 390 units in 2006, today they manage 417 units.

It is ironic and unfortunate that many of the laws and regulations intended to enhance the value and accessibility of our national parks and forests are, in fact, accelerating their deterioration,Watson stated.

According to John Palatiello, President of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, the massive federal estate rivals that of the Soviet Union and the federal government doesn’t know what it actually owns. He also referenced remarks from President Ronald Reagan during a question-and-answer session in Cleveland, OH in 1988:“West of the Mississippi River, your first glance at the map, you think the whole thing is red, the government owns so much property […] I don’t know any place other than the Soviet Union where the government owns more land than ours does.”

Thousands of acres, valued at billions of dollars, could be in Federal ownership that Uncle Sam doesn’t know he owns,” Palatiello added.Not only does the government lack a current, accurate land inventory, but dozens of agencies spend funds operating and maintaining a variety of out of date, inaccurate and duplicate single-purpose land records databases.”

In addition to creating an accurate inventory of the federal estate, the panel encouraged the use of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for deferred maintenance over further land acquisition.

The majority of LWCF appropriations have actually exacerbated the federal land infrastructure crisis by stretching the agencies’ maintenance budgets over an ever-expanding the federal estate,” Watson said.  

Other witnesses and members discussed streamlining cumbersome regulatory processes, increasing opportunities for philanthropic donations and engaging with volunteer and partner groups to improve infrastructure and management while saving costs and increasing efficiency.

Click here to read full witness testimony.