September 20, 2020

Woman Fatally Shoots Charging Bear in her Front Yard

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) | A black bear is dead after being shot by a St. Regis woman who says the animal was in her front yard when it charged.
Source: Woman Fatally Shoots Charging Bear in her Front Yard

StRegisIdaho

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Preventing Congress from Ratifying a Flawed CSKT Water Compact

The Water Rights Compact (treaty) recently signed by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, the State of Montana and the U.S. Department of Interior is a complex, first-of-its-kind agreement that will seriously impair the rights of Montana land and water rights holders, including CSKT Tribal members. The Compact also will reshape, for the worse, future water rights compacts currently being contemplated by other U.S. states and regions (including in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oklahoma, the Midwest and the East).

The Water Rights Compact must first be approved by Congress before it can be implemented by the Parties. This means that Congress will have the opportunity to closely examine the processes these Parties employed to enter into the Compact as well as the Compact’s specific terms, andthat Congress bears the primary legal and fiduciary responsibility for ensuring that such processes and terms, as defined and as to be applied, willnot violate federal, state and/or tribal laws and the U.S., State and Tribal constitutional rights of Montana’s citizens.

You are cordially invited to attend an exclusive meeting organized to discuss these critical issues. The meeting will be led by a team of experts who will provide an overview of these issues and potential paths forward for educating Congress about them. These experts include:

· Lawrence Kogan, The Kogan Law Group, P.C., NY, NY, an attorney specializing in international trade, regulatory and treaty law;
· Quentin Rhoades, Rhoades & Siefert, PLLC, Missoula, MT, an attorney specializing in Montana and Federal trial and appellate court litigation;
· Elaine Willman, Board Member, former Chair, Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, specialist in Indian law and policy; and
· Robert Fanning, former Republican Candidate for Governor (2012).

Given Congress’ indispensable role in reviewing the Water Compact, it has been confirmed that top aides from both congressional offices will have senior representatives in attendance.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm, at the Lexington Inn and Suites, located at 3040 King Ave W, Billings, MT 59102. Directions are provided below:

http://www.lexingtonbillings.com/ (406) 294-9090

We would be honored to have you come and listen to their presentations, and we welcome your constructive inputs.

Thank You!

Mae Woo
406-651-9103

On behalf of Lawrence Kogan, Quentin Rhoades, Elaine Willman, Robert Fanning and Eric Olsen

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About Bullock’s veto of HB 298 – Permitless Carry

News Release from Montana Shooting Sports Association:

I wrote this right after Bullock vetoed HB 298, but didn’t want to release it until MSSA no longer had any bills potentially hostage to the Governor:

The people of Kansas are more law-abiding and trustworthy than the people of Montana, at least that’s what the respective governors of those states believe.

Sam Brownback, Governor of Kansas, just signed into law a bill that would allow adults in Kansas to carry firearms discreetly without advanced government permission.

Meanwhile, Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, just vetoed HB 298, a bill that would have allowed non-criminal adults in 6/10ths of 1% of Montana to carry discreetly without advanced government permission. The rest of Montana, 99.4% of Montana, has been that way for 24 years now, entirely without the negative consequences now predicted if HB 298 had been signed by the Governor.

In order to justify his distrust of Montana people, Governor Bullock had to lie about the consequences of HB 298, unless you wish to be more generous and simply suppose that former Attorney General Bullock is dangerously incompetent in misunderstanding Montana law on the subject.

Just two of the several lies the Governor told to justify his veto from his veto letter are, “HB 298 would void our state’s reciprocity agreements with more than 40 states that recognize concealed weapon permits and it would void our laws allowing Montana permit holders to bypass the federal background check required for a firearm purchase.”

The first truth is that Montana has zero reciprocity agreements with any other states – none -, so there is nothing to be voided. Plus, HB 298 had no effect whatsoever on the existing Montana law recognizing permits of other states for use in Montana.

The second truth is that there is no way at all to bypass the federally-required background checks for Montana people to buy firearms from licensed dealers. All that Montana law does is to allow a permit to clarify that the buyer is not some other prohibited person who the federal computers may confuse the buyer with. Plus, HB 298 had no effect whatsoever on that existing Montana statute.

Really, the Governor knows this stuff, or at least he should unless he’s dangerously incompetent.

Or, Governor Bullock simply lied to the people of Montana in attempt to justify his rank distrust of Montana people, unlike Kansas Governor Brownback who appears to believe the people of Kansas more trustworthy than Bullock believes the people of Montana to be.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association

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ESA Recovery Plans: Mandated, Needed, Necessary?

Lynx canadensis  Canada LynxI’ve been involved in business nearly my entire life. Most dealings with business have been in “micro” business and yet I learned decades ago that the ONLY way to be successful in business, or anything in life for that matter, was to have a plan.

Having said that, why does the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) not have a Recovery Plan for Canada lynx? As you will discover, this is just another example of why the Endangered Species Act needs to be either seriously amendment or ripped up and written all over again.

On March 3, 2000, the USFWS formally listed the Canada lynx as a “threatened” species in part or all of the following states: CO, ID, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH, NM, NY, OR, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY

Before I post that portion of the Endangered Species Act that spells out exactly, in a way where lawyers can have a field day with it, let me first say that a definite change to the ESA that is necessary is that NO species should be allowed to be listed in any category if it does not have a Recovery Plan with it – PERIOD.

[Sec. 4] (f)(1) RECOVERY PLANS.—The Secretary shall develop and implement plans (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as ‘‘recovery plans’’) for the conservation and survival of endangered species and threatened species listed pursuant to this section, unless he finds that such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species. The Secretary, in development and implementing recovery plans, shall, to the maximum extent practicable—

(A) give priority to those endangered species or threatened species, without regard to taxonomic classification, that are most likely to benefit from such plans, particularly those species that are, or may be, in conflict with construction or other development projects or other forms of economic activity;

(B) incorporate in each plan—

(i) a description of such site-specific management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan’s goal for the conservation and survival of the species;

(ii) objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination, in accordance with the provisions of this section, that the species be removed from the list; and

(iii) estimates of the time required and the cost to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan’s goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal.

(2) The Secretary, in developing and implementing recovery plans, may procure the services of appropriate public and private agencies and institutions and other qualified persons. Recovery teams appointed pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

(3) The Secretary shall report every two years to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries of the House of Representatives on the status of efforts to develop and implement recovery plans for all species listed pursuant to this section and on
the status of all species for which such plans have been developed.

(4) The Secretary shall, prior to final approval of a new or revised recovery plan, provide public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment on such plan. The Secretary shall consider all information presented during the public comment period prior to approval of the plan.

(5) Each Federal agency shall, prior to implementation of a new or revised recovery plan, consider all information presented during the public comment period under paragraph (4).

Sec. 4 (f)(1) states that the Secretary shall create and implement a recovery plan – well that is if he deems it necessary to protect and recover a species. The ESA must be a joke. Think about it for a minute. If a recovery plan was deemed not necessary for the protection and conservation of a species then why is it even listed to begin with? Either way, because the ESA was written for lawyers and not for the purpose of protecting and recovering endangered species, we now know that there doesn’t necessarily have to be a recovery plan.

However, early on in Section 4, 3(B) of the ESA, we know that the Secretary, must designate “critical habitat” at the same time any species is listed as “threatened” or “endangered.”

(3) The Secretary, by regulation promulgated in accordance with subsection (b) and to the maximum extent prudent and determinable—

(A) shall, concurrently with making a determination under paragraph (1) that a species is an endangered species or a threatened species, designate any habitat of such species which is then considered to be critical habitat; and

Fourteen years after the Canada lynx listing, a U.S. District Court in Montana ordered the USFWS to develop a timeline in which they are to create and implement a Recovery Plan for Canada lynx. That Court made the determination that the USFWS had no justifiable reason to not have a recovery plan. The ESA provides “flexibility” or deference, if you will, that allows the Secretary to not include critical habitat listing at the time of species listing but the Secretary must prove doing so would negatively affect the conservation of the Canada lynx. The Court said it couldn’t be proven.

According to the linked-to article just above, it states that according to the ESA there is no timeline to list critical habitat. I disagree. Above, the ESA clearly states that the Secretary: “Shall, concurrently with making a determination…that a species is an endangered or threatened species, designate any habitat…” Last time I checked, concurrently meant at the same time.

The USFWS also argues that it hasn’t been able to devise a Recovery Plan because of lawsuits involving the designation of critical habitat. If the law requires that critical habitat be designated at the same time that Canada lynx is listed as threatened, and no critical habitat has been designated, then why is the species listed as threatened? By law, it should have been delayed.

We also know that last January, the USFWS announced – and still without a plan – that it is going to be conducting a review to determine what to do about the Canada lynx listing, i.e. keep it as “threatened,” increase it to “endangered,” or remove the animal from the list altogether.

This is a very sad joke being perpetrated onto the American public. All of this reveals why the ESA doesn’t work. In the meantime, there is no plan for lynx recovery, there is no designated critical habitat in all areas and people are suffering economically because of an illegal protection with no plan to find an end.

Disgusting government bureaucracy geared to fattening the wallets of lawyers and environmental groups.

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Northwestern Energy Turns Against the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Press Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Northwestern Energy, a company usually concerned only with efficient delivery of electricity and natural gas in Montana, took the bold step today to also become an active opponent of the right to keep and bear arms in Montana.

In a dramatic departure from usual corporate practice, Northwestern took a strong stance against House Bill 598, the Gun Owners Access to Justice Act, in a public hearing before the Montana House Judiciary Committee today. Since the purpose HB 598 is to create a referendum on this issue for a vote by Montana citizens, Northwestern is also against allowing Montana people to vote on this important issue.

During the hearing on HB 598, the lobbyist representing Northwestern actually took the committee microphone five different times to reiterate Northwestern’s total opposition to the bill.

Also speaking in opposition to HB 598 was a representative of Moms Demand Action, a national group founded and funded by billionaire and anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This concurrence and Northwestern’s dramatic departure from its former policy of lobbying only about energy bills raises the question of whether billionaire Bloomberg may have financial ties to Northwestern.

Gary Marbut is President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the primary political advocate for gun owners in Montana. Marbut supported HB 598 before the committee and commented on the unusual opposition by Northwestern, “It’s a mystery to me why Northwestern would choose to burn so much political capital with the Legislature, with Montana ratepayers, and with investors, by launching so actively and visibly against the interests of Montana gun owners. I’d guess that 90% of Northwestern’s Montana customers are gun owners. How does it serve Northwestern’s corporate interests to poke a stick at this bear?”

The Gun Owners Access to Justice Act clarifies that a high level of judicial scrutiny be applied to any government actions that impair the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, a level of scrutiny that is already applied to other fundamental rights. It would also allow court costs and attorney fees for any person who successfully sued a governmental entity because the person’s rights had been violated by that government entity.

In D.C. v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right. Under the Montana Constitution, fundamental rights are considered to be those which the people have reserved to themselves from government interference in Article II, the Declaration of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms is in the Declaration of Rights at Section 12.

If approved by the House Judiciary Committee, HB 598 will move to the floor of the House for Second and Third Readings, and then on to the Senate for the same consideration. If approved by both House and Senate, HB 598 will go on the next General Election ballot for a vote of the people, and will not require the Governor’s signature. HB 598 is sponsored by Rep. Matthew Monforton (R-Bozeman).

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Death Threats Will Not Stop Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt

Death threats from some sick, perverted eco-terrorists will not stop the first annual Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt. Understandably frightened off by these sick subhumans, Idaho for Wildlife has stepped in to help bring the event about. Please help in this effort.

MontanaDerby

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Post-Normal Science Concludes Wolf Control Increases Livestock Depredation

PostNormalScienceBelow is the Abstract from a “quasi-experimental” study done in which outcome-based, paid-for conclusions determined, through modeling, that wolf control caused increases in livestock depredation in the year following disruptions to packs near livestock regions.

If an honest scientist were to accept the “quasi-experimental” research for what it is, I would assume that it would be consider mostly worthless nonsense. Overlooked in most of these studies are the words used to describe the quasi-results of modeling, i.e. “estimate, the odds, possible reasons, may be, may sometimes.”

It appears that for the actions they took, they used models and achieved some numbers. But do they really mean anything? First consider that this group of researchers got some of their information from, “wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and the number of wolves killed,” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Interagency Wolf Reports. There should be little disagreement to the fact that these estimates are barely estimates, are deliberately low-balled and arguably inaccurate as hell. In short, they are political.

Missing from the study, from what I can tell, is factoring in to the modeling of what was transpiring with the natural prey base for the wolves. Certainly no real conclusions can be made unless all aspects of the natural prey base for wolves are accurately calculated and placed into the modeling equation.

Modeling is mostly nonsense and should be used, if at all, for purposes of discussion only as history, as short as it is with this kind of modeling, reveals it is extremely inaccurate and easily manipulated to achieve desired outcomes.

From my perspective, what gave away the biased intent of the study, is revealed in the Abstract where it states, “but we recommend that non-lethal alternatives also be considered.”(emphasis added) I wasn’t really aware that the purpose of “scientific” research was to make recommendations on how wildlife should be managed….unless of course the study was funded by someone looking for such a recommendation. If so, and it certainly appears that way, this is a classic example of “post-normal” or “new-science” outcome-based manipulations of reality. Also referred to as “romance biology.” It should have no place in any real scientific community and yet the push has been on for many years, from the Environmental Movement, to “find new understanding” and shifting the paradigm as to how wildlife management is discussed.

However, indications from the study might not be too far off in some of the things that were discovered, or revealed, whether intended or not. There was some discussion about how “disruptions” to packs “may be” a contributing factor to increased depredations on livestock by wolves. More and more studies, even from the real scientific community, are beginning to uncover troubling information that due to hybridization of wolves, normal and natural behaviors are causing reductions in the existence of the progeny of the breeding female within a pack. This results in multiple litters within a pack. The changed behavior infused by hybridization, combined with multiple litters, i.e. larger than normal packs, “may be” contributing to coincidental, small increases in livestock depredations in what appears to be the year following a culling of wolves by something in the order of less than 25%. Where is this information made available in this study?

Few, myself included, will argue with the point that little change will result in livestock depredations without, at least, a reduction in wolf numbers that exceed 25%. That’s the entire point of wolf control and better management.

Please read the complete study, linked-to below, but at least approach it with a better and more honest understanding of what it is and isn’t telling us. The bottom line is the data being used are estimates, therefore the modeling outcome is also only an estimate. It is not accurate in any way. There is nothing conclusive to this study.

Abstract

Predator control and sport hunting are often used to reduce predator populations and livestock depredations, – but the efficacy of lethal control has rarely been tested. We assessed the effects of wolf mortality on reducing livestock depredations in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from 1987–2012 using a 25 year time series. The number of livestock depredated, livestock populations, wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and wolves killed were calculated for the wolf-occupied area of each state for each year. The data were then analyzed using a negative binomial generalized linear model to test for the expected negative relationship between the number of livestock depredated in the current year and the number of wolves controlled the previous year. We found that the number of livestock depredated was positively associated with the number of livestock and the number of breeding pairs. However, we also found that the number of livestock depredated the following year was positively, not negatively, associated with the number of wolves killed the previous year. The odds of livestock depredations increased 4% for sheep and 5–6% for cattle with increased wolf control – up until wolf mortality exceeded the mean intrinsic growth rate of wolves at 25%. Possible reasons for the increased livestock depredations at #25% mortality may be compensatory increased breeding pairs and numbers of wolves following increased mortality. After mortality exceeded 25%, the total number of breeding pairs, wolves, and livestock depredations declined. However, mortality rates exceeding 25% are unsustainable over the long term. Lethal control of individual depredating wolves may sometimes necessary to stop depredations in the near-term, but we recommend that non-lethal alternatives also be considered.

<<<Link to Complete Study>>>

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Marbut Files Suit in Questionable Late Election Ballots

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release – November 26, 2014
Candidate questions late-night turnaround in HD 94 race

MISSOULA, MONT. Independent House District 94 candidate Gary Marbut has filed a lawsuit in Missoula District Court questioning county-created ballots posted late on election night that turned the election in favor of his opponent.

In question are two small posts totaling 192 votes that were applied to the HD 94 race, at 11 PM on election night and 2 AM the next morning, that changed the outcome of the race. Two professional statisticians have examined this data and assert that there is less than a .00017% chance that these late ballots came from the same pool as the previous 3,191 ballots cast in the HD 94 race. Marbut asks the district court to allow examination of these questioned ballots.

The ballots in question were created by “resolution board(s)” appointed by Missoula County, and made to replace other ballots rejected by electronic, vote-counting scanners because of alleged defects in the ballots. An atypically disproportionate percentage of those recreated ballots favored Marbut’s opponent, thereby changing the outcome of the HD 94 race early in the morning after the election.

Before the questioned ballots were applied to the race, Marbut was ahead by 1.16%. After the questioned ballots were applied to the race, Marbut was behind by .86%. Where the ballots previously counted in the race had been nearly split, 50.43% for Marbut and 49.57% for his opponent, the late-applied and race-changing ballots were atypically 2/3 for Marbut’s opponent.

About this legal challenge, Marbut commented, “Many of my supporters noticed the anomaly in the sequence of posted vote numbers for HD 94. Heck, even the Missoulian had declared me the likely winner in HD 94 before everyone went to bed. My supporters insist that I look into this. That’s why I have asked the court to review the atypical, late ballots that changed the election. I just want to be confident that the correct result was obtained.”

“It is important to remember, ” Marbut continued, “that these 192 ballots were not ballots voted by voters, but were new ballots created in a locked room at the Fairgrounds to replace scanner-rejected ballots. These replacement ballots should be examined, if for no other reason than to bolster public confidence in the election apparatus and process. If these ballots are actually as evenly divided as the previous 3,000+ were, the outcome of the race changes.”

Quentin Rhoades of Missoula is the attorney representing Marbut. Marbut’s opponent and Missoula County have been noticed on the court filings.

Many Missoula-area residents remember the famous mill levy election of 2011, where mysterious, late-applied votes changed the outcome of the election. Such after-hours turnarounds in local elections may erode public confidence in elections.

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RMEF Permanently Protects, Secures Access to Prime Montana Elk Country

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation acquired 988 acres of private elk habitat in south-central Montana which it conveyed to the Helena National Forest. The transaction also improved existing access to thousands of acres of Forest Service lands.

“This is another ‘win’ for sportsmen and women who want improved access to some great Montana elk country,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “The acquisition breaks up a pattern of private and public land by opening land never before accessible to the public and securing a new entry point into adjacent public land for hunting and other recreational outings.”

Located in the upper Missouri River watershed on the west slope of the Big Belt Mountains, the parcel contains rich, diverse habitat for native wildlife and features large groves of aspen, Douglas fir, grasslands and sagebrush. It is home to large numbers of elk year-round, provides habitat for deer, black bear, mountain lion and other wildlife, and is a migration corridor for grizzlies, lynx and other species.

“This is much more than just vital elk habitat. The property contains a stretch of Ray Creek covering more than two miles,” said Mike Mueller, RMEF land program manager. “The riparian areas are a prime source of cold water habitat for spawning and rearing of westslope cutthroat trout, a native fish currently listed as a Montana Species of Concern.”

The project is a collaborative effort between RMEF, the Helena National Forest and the Neild Family Partnership consisting of four sisters. It received broad support from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, various other state and local government organizations, and numerous conservation and sportsmen groups.

“I am incredibly pleased to share in this moment—a moment that relied heavily on our partnership with RMEF and the support from the Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund—of celebration with all who have spent countless hours working on this incredibly important project that brought 988 acres of land, within the Canyon Ferry Lake watershed, into public access and ownership,” Forest Supervisor Bill Avey said. “Through this partnership and all the hard work put into the acquisition, these lands will provide excellent elk habitat, aspen groves and pure-strain Westslope cutthroat trout habitat for many generations to come.”

“We are grateful for the Neild family and their recognition of the importance of conserving a vital piece of land that plays such an important role for elk and so many other different species,” added Henning.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Trust, RMEF and the Land and Water Conservation Fund provided funding for the project along with other funding partners, all with the same goal of conserving valuable fish and wildlife habitat, open space and productive forest and grasslands.

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Montana Senate Hopeful Curtis and Guns

An email sent to members of the Montana Shooting Sports Association from Gary Marbut:

Dear MSSA Friends,

A Missoulian story about aspirant for the Democrat nomination for U.S. Senate (to replace withdrawn Walsh), Amanda Curtis of Butte, has her portraying herself as a supporter of the Second Amendment. The article says, “Curtis said she’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and that she and her husband own firearms.”

That’s not what her record says, not by a long shot.

MSSA tracked 24 gun-related votes cast by Curtis in the Montana House last session. Curtis voted anti-gun on 23 of 24 opportunities. For that, she scored a miserable 2.6%. A 59% score would have earned her an “F” on gun issues. She is well below F-, if there is such a thing.

Curtis voted:

NO on a bill to encourage manufacturers to move to Montana and create new jobs if those manufacturers make firearms (HR5).

NO on two bills to protect hunters’ hearing by allowing sound reduction for hunting (HB205 & HB27).

NO on a bill to prohibit the university system from suspending the Montana Constitution (HB240).

NO on a bill to allow investigators working for public defenders to carry firearms for self defense (SB133).

NO on a bill to exempt from criminal “disorderly conduct” charges a hunter who fires a shot at a deer or elk (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB446).

NO on a bill to allow people located inside city limits the same ability for self defense as those outside city limits (HB304).

NO on a bill to allow a person eating at a restaurant that serves beer to provide for his or her self defense (HB358).

NO to medical privacy for gun owners (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB459).

NO to preventing newspapers from publishing the private information about people who have been issued a concealed weapon permit by the local sheriff (the Governor disagreed with her on this bill too) (SB145).

Curtis is virulently anti-gun. Her claim to support the right to keep and bear arms sounds like the beginning of another Walsh thesis.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

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