May 24, 2019

City of Missoula Proposal to Regulate Private Firearms Sales

Statement of the issue: Missoula City Council Member Bryan von Lossberg has proposed that the Missoula City Council consider adopting an ordinance that would require a federal background check to be done for every private sale of a firearm within the boundaries of the City of Missoula. City Attorney Jim Nugent has written a “Legal Opinion” concluding (sort of) that such an ordinance would be valid under Montana law.

Source: City of Missoula Proposal to Regulate Private Firearms Sales

Public Hearing, October 19th, 7 PM, Missoula City Hall.

What You Must DoSHOW UP, be heard

Who:  You
What:  Public hearing
Why:  Participation
Where:  Missoula City Hall
When:  10/19; 7PM

More detail:  The Missoula City Council will hold public hearings on three proposed ordinances on the evening of October 19th, including the proposed ordinance to prohibit transfers of firearms inside Missoula city limits unless that transfer is accomplished through a federally licensed dealer, including a federal background check on the buyer.  Proponents say this will “reduce gun violence” and make Missoula safer.

Be prepared to offer comment at the public hearing.  This means going to the microphone during the public comments portion of the process.<<<Read More>>>

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USFS Road Closures Balloon to 21,000 Miles in Montana Counting More Categories

New information from the Montana Environmental Quality Council (EQC) shows that, accounting for roads that have been decommissioned along with roads considered “unauthorized,” the mileage of road closures on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land in Montana balloons to 21,951 miles.

On Monday, Media Trackers reported that a study commissioned by the state legislature earlier this year and reported to the EQC last week found that 9,784 — or nearly 31 percent — of the nearly 32,000 miles of roads in Montana managed by the USFS were “level 1 roads,” meaning they are closed to motorized traffic and only open for “administrative use.” However, the 32,000 total miles of roads does not include the 5,796 miles of officially decommissioned roads or the estimated 6,191 miles of “unauthorized” roads.

Source: USFS Road Closures Balloon to 21,000 Miles in Montana Counting More Categories

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Oath Keepers/III% Bring About Lawful Resolution in Montana Land Rights Dispute 

Operation Big Sky has achieved its primary objective. The Owners of the White Hope Mine have received their due process and will begin scheduling their constitutional right to a day in federal court. Evidence that substantiates the miners’ rightful claim to private property will be weighed against claims of unauthorized use by the United States Forest service. Summons for a civil suit have been served by the USFS in a meeting between owners of the mine, DEQ officials, and the Sheriff’s department. While this is not an all-encompassing victory, round one goes to the miners and patriot groups nationwide. (emboldening added)

Source: Oath Keepers/III% Bring About Lawful Resolution in Montana Land Rights Dispute – The Shasta Lantern

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Win for sheep ranchers in ongoing litigation

A federal judge has spared a Montana ranching family from removing 8,000 head of sheep from their federal range this summer. This is one piece of good news for the Helle family—but the lawsuit by an anti-grazing group is not over.,News

Source: Western Livestock Journal Online is your source for cattle news, cattle auction reports and analysis. Livestock and cattle news from Western Livestock Journal Win for sheep ranchers in ongoing litigation Livestock and cattle news from Western Livestock Jou

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RMEF Conserves, Opens Access to West-Central Montana Elk Habitat

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with a conservation-minded family and the U.S. Forest Service to permanently protect 317 acres of prime elk habitat in Montana’s Elkhorn Mountains.

“We are grateful to the Williams family for their desire and commitment to protect and conserve this inholding within the Elkhorn Mountain Range,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “This is crucial elk winter range that is also home to mule and whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, bear and a wide variety of other wildlife and bird species.”

The property is about 14 miles west of Townsend in the Missouri River-Canyon Ferry Lake Valley. It is also located in the southwestern section of the Elkhorn Wildlife Management Unit which is well-known to sportsmen and women as a prime area for trophy bull elk.

RMEF supervised the purchase of the land and will convey it to the Helena National Forest for public use.

“The Jenkins Gulch property, as it is called, has never been open to the public but now it will be accessible year-round for hunting, hiking, camping and other recreational outings. More importantly, since it is now permanently protected, there is no longer a potential threat of development which could have led to a loss of habitat,” added Henning.

Aside from the Williams family, conservation partners and supporters include the Land and Water Conservation Fund through the Helena National Forest as well as the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust (MFWCT), Mule Deer Foundation, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Broadwater and Jefferson County Commissioners, and Elkhorn Restoration and Working Groups.

“The Montana Fish Wildlife and Conservation Trust is very pleased to be a part of the Jenkins Gulch critical inholding acquisition. This parcel was our flagship project for 2015 and helps to ensure that the Forest Service can manage habitat, wildlife, access and recreation for the benefit of the public,” said Bill Orsello, MFWCT chairman.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners have completed 862 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Montana with a combined value of more than $149 million. These projects have protected or enhanced 781,157 acres of habitat, of which 228,519 acres have been opened or secured for public access.

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Montana Receives RMEF Grant to Bolster Wolf Management

*Editor’s Note* – Wolves should not be “managed.” They need to be controlled. On the one hand, we must commend the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for caring enough to be willing to give money for wolf management. Yet, on the other hand, the money is being given for a useless purpose that will NEVER, EVER, attain control over wolves in order to protect the rights of humans and the existence of other wildlife species. Further studies and spending money to obtain “more accurate information,” is playing into the hands of environmentalists who want wolves in everyone’s back yard while destroying all hunting and trapping opportunities.

It is complete dishonesty for any fish and game management entity to corruptly and deliberately UNDERESTIMATE the population of any species, because doing so placates the will of the wolf perverts. To offer an “official” population estimate of wolves out of the corner of their mouths, while stating real populations are “27 to 37 percent higher” is dishonest and should not be tolerated by anyone. If nothing more, it simply makes no sense.

It is my opinion, that while RMEF’s intent might be good, their $50,000 is going to enhance a ridiculous wolf “management” program. It is a bad choice of what to do with $50,000.

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $50,000 in grant funding to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and Wildlife Services to assist Montana with its wolf management plan implementation.

“RMEF stands behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which calls for the management of all species so their populations will be sustained forever,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Predator management is a key principle in the model. And in Montana, we have a wolf population that far exceeds minimum objectives so we need to obtain more data to enhance the science of estimating wolf numbers so we can have more accurate information to assist in overall effective management.”

The funding goes toward additional collaring for wolves in order to expand the science related to wolf pack locations, size and home ranges. More specifically, GPS collars will be deployed to help refine the Patch Occupancy Model for estimating wolf numbers and number of packs. The expectation is to use the modeling in conjunction with harvest surveys to have a less labor-intensive method of estimating wolf populations.

With the onset of hunting seasons, wolf packs seem to be smaller in size yet the number of breeding pairs reportedly increased from a year ago. The goal of this research utilizing collars is to gain a better understanding of the new population dynamics of wolves in a hunted population.

Montana reported a 2014 minimum wolf population of 554 animals but biologists maintain the actual on-the-ground count is 27 to 37 percent higher. If you do the math, that places Montana’s wolf population somewhere between 705 to 760 which is still more than 400 percent above minimum objectives.

“The bottom line is it’s extremely difficult to manage wolves toward a given objective unless managers know how many wolves there are on the landscape. This grant funding will help FWP determine just that,” added Allen.

RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves and their effect on elk and other prey through research efforts. In the last three-plus years, RMEF awarded approximately $300,000 in grants specifically for wolf management.

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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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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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Analysis of a News Release

By James Beers:

I just received the following news release from a knowledgeable and trustworthy friend in Washington, DC. I long ago lost all trust in the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in DC; the National Wild Turkey Foundation and Trout Unlimited (TU). The Outdoor Writers Association of America is a sort of union of outdoor writers whose interests lie in sponsorship and payments for writing to outdoor writers and, sad to say, this goal lies today with political hidden agendas: therefore their interest in American values and their fellow citizens are akin to the West Coast Longshoremen’s Union’s membership and leadership’s concern for rural South Dakotans.

Titles like “Backcountry Hunters and Anglers” are purposeful misnomers on the scale of “People’s Republic of…” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.. This info burst below could well have been written recently by some Russian newsperson about how a handful of brave Ukrainian freedom fighters have liberated much of their homeland recently against tremendous odds and despite all the military supplies and reinforcements that could be provided by Europe and the USA. Look no further in this propaganda masterpiece than all the references to hunting and fishing to be reserved for “athletes” that will eventually be unavailable to all as wildlife and fishery management thanks to these guys goes the way of Dodo birds; and the identification of the Democrat operative nowhere as a Democrat but rather as having worked for “Republican Legislators” much as all the anti-hunters I have listened to over the years that began their speech with “I am a hunter” or “I grew up hunting”.

Note the underlines below and you will recognize that quasi-religious nature worship that despises humans of certain types, similar to eugenicists and population controllers whose real motives and future plans must remain hidden until, like the 1939 Blitzkrieg into Poland, it is too late to resist.

Finally consider today’s political date: there is an upcoming Presidential Election that is already underway. First, these sorts of outfits will be grinding out national political publicity and environmental extremism disguised as news from the Montana (environmental holy land-like) backcountry in an orchestrated and quickly responsive way as the election process proceeds; and second, in case of a loss in the Presidential election, this “Backcountry seminary” will serve as a refuge for political hacks and ne’er-do-wells (as NWF and TU have each done often in the past) as either a roost until the political trumpet sounds the next campaign or until they can retire, whichever comes first.

Jim Beers
23 February 2015

The News Release:

Subject: BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS AND ANGLERS: (This is a Democrat Party front group based in Missoula, MT with serious cash behind it.) – This underlined remark in parentheses is from my friend in Washington,,, Jim)

PUBLIC LANDS:

Backcountry sportsmen’s group beefs up policy, outreach team

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

Published: Monday, February 23, 2015

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a national sportsmen’s advocacy group based in Missoula, Mont., has hired two new staff members to strengthen its policy and communications work.

John Gale is the group’s new conservation director after serving nearly a decade at the National Wildlife Federation, where he supported sportsmen campaigns and public lands policy.

Katie McKalip is BHA’s new communications director after several years with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, where she led media outreach and other communications work.

Both joined BHA’s national staff this month.

“John’s background and appetite for engagement in the policy arena combined with Katie’s expertise in communicating these issues to the media and sportsmen in general will be instrumental to our continued and increasing success,” Land Tawney, BHA’s executive director, said in a statement.

“They’re joining BHA at a pivotal moment, and I couldn’t be more excited to have them be part of our team.”

The hires come at a time of fast growth for BHA, a decade-old group whose membership numbers have doubled over the past 18 months, the group said. It had six staffers and ran on a $582,000 budget in 2013, according to its most recent filing to the IRS.

See

BHA now has 13 staffers and is hiring a 14th, it said.

BHA works to preserve non-motorized access to backcountry hunting and fishing grounds and protect wildlife habitats from incompatible off-highway vehicle use and energy development. It has ramped up efforts to oppose bids for states to take over federal lands, which it argues would reduce access to quality wildlife habitat.

Gale, who hails from Idaho, cut his political teeth after high school working for Republicans in the Gem State Legislature. He later was a whitewater river guide and ranger while studying natural resources at the University of Idaho. Currently a resident of suburban Denver, Gale said he considers elk season “a spiritual time of the year.”

“The backcountry is where wildlife populations are healthiest,” he said in an interview. “If you’re willing to work for it, the rewards are tremendous.

It’s getting more difficult to experience solitude and get away from it all.”

Gale, who has served on BHA’s board, said the group appeals to a younger generation of hunters and anglers.

“We’re attracting backcountry athletes who invest more in their hiking boots than their beer bellies,” he said. “There’s an ecumenical set of hunters who want to go deeper into the forest. The hike in is worth the pack out.”

Gale spent the past couple of years directing NWF’s national sportsmen’s policy effort, organizing hunters and anglers as advocates in public lands and energy policy. Before joining NWF, Gale worked for three years at Trout Unlimited in Washington, D.C.

McKalip cited BHA’s work to protect Americans’ ownership and access to public lands, as well as the enthusiasm of its members.

“Communicating the importance of policy and legislative issues to rank-and-file sportsmen can be a challenging task at best,” McKalip said in a statement. “I’m eager to put my experience to work in support of BHA’s mission and in service of the millions of citizens who cherish the solitude, solace and physical challenges found in America’s backcountry.”

McKalip has worked with the board of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, where she previously directed communications. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree from the University of Montana.

TRCP last month announced that it and more than a dozen other sporting and conservation groups — including BHA, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Trout Unlimited — were forming a grass-roots coalition of sportsmen to persuade lawmakers not to transfer federal lands to the states.

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