November 23, 2017

LePage Testimony: Monument Designation “Blatant(ly) Disregard” For Opposition

*Editor’s Note* – Below is a press release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources involving testimony toward considerations to amend the process of a president’s executive authority to designate lands as National Monuments. This PR is followed by Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage’s, testimony before the Committee and that of Lucas St. Clair, a representative of Elliotsville Plantation, donors of the land designated by President Obama as a new National Monument – Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Panel Outlines Devastating Social and Economic Consequences of Antiquities Designations
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard testimony on the consequences of Executive Branch overreach of the Antiquities Act. The panel discussed national monuments designated without significant local input or support or that included excessively large or restricted areas of land.

Director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and former head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Kathleen Clarke discussed the devastating economic consequences for Utah communities after President Clinton designated 1.7 million acres in Utah as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in 1996.

Families that have lived for generations in affected communities find their families torn apart due to lack of employment opportunities for the next generation. Populations are declining. In the twenty years since the creation of the Grand Staircase, school enrollment in Escalante has gone from 150 to 57 students,” Clarke said.

The monument included roughly 176,000 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA) lands, which generate revenues for the state’s K-12 public education system. According to the Utah Geological Survey, the value of resources on school trust lands dropped by $8 billion immediately after the monument designation.

President Obama’s December 2016 Bears Ears National Monument designation similarly locked up 109,000 acres of SITLA land in southern Utah. “What impact will this have for SITLA as they try to grow their fund to benefit more schoolchildren in the state,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) asked Clarke.

This will “diminish opportunity,” Clarke responded, adding that it threatens Utah’s entire K-12 public education system.

Knox Marshall, Vice President of the Resources Division at Murphy Company, testified that President Obama’s January 2017 expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon and California has “devastated the social fabric of our rural communities and crippled county finances.

Douglas County in Oregon, for example, has recently closed its entire public library system because timber sale revenues that previously funded those libraries and a robust set of other public services have largely disappeared,” Marshall added.

Maine Governor Paul LePage outlined current and anticipated adverse impacts resulting from the August 2016 Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation by President Obama, including economic losses to the forestry industry and public access barriers such as the loss of connectivity for ATV trails in the region.

Not long after President Obama designated the Monument, Maine residents started to feel the negative effects of having the federal government as their new master,” LePage stated. 

These designations were often imposed in spite of local opposition, without consultation with Congress, or the state or local government’s effected, and without regard for the economic damage these designations have had on surrounding communities,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.

After reading letters and resolutions from local tribes in Utah opposing the Bears Ears designation Chairman Bishop stated, “I hope that those listening today will remember these voices, the ones that have been excluded from this conversation and the ones that President Obama ignored when he designated Bears Ears National Monument.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

testimony_lepage
testimony_stclair
Share

Utah: Biologist Back With Family After Accident

*Editor’s Query* – Of course I have questions. Reading the information in this article, we see where a biologist is “accidentally” injected with a tranquiler (dart) intended for a yearling cub black bear – weighing how much? And how much did the biologist who got “accidentally” injected weigh?

The article doesn’t tell us the dosage the biologist received, only that they made note of that dosage to give to medical personnel. Are we to assume the dosage the biologist received was no more – perhaps less – than what was intended for the bear? If so, is there somehow a greater danger to the health of a man than that of the bear, or is this really not that newsworthy of an item?

I don’t know the procedures being used here but in some research methods, once the data is collected the animals are given and antidote that will counter the tranquilizer effects and soon the animal is going about his business. 

“Quick action and training are the reasons a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist is resting comfortably at home with his family today.

The biologist, a 20-year veteran with the DWR, was released March 15 from the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. He was hospitalized after accidently being injected with a tranquilizer meant for a bear.”<<<Read More>>>

Share

Utah and Maine Want Trump to Rescind Monuments

*Editor’s Note* – In a recent article I was reading in one of the Maine newspapers about the new national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, one of the comments after the article was one of ignorance, as are many. The person leaving the comment said that there is no guarantee of access with private land but there is with Federal land. I would strongly suggest this person expend a little effort and do some historic research into all the lands that the Federal Government has seriously limited access and use after they took control.

“PORTLAND, Maine — Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Donald Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.

Former President Barack Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.”<<<Read More>>>

Share

Mule Deer Buck Battle

There ain’t room enough for both of us here. Git out of town before the sun goes down.

Share

Utah Senate votes to repeal 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Utah Senate on Wednesday called on Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment — so that state senators could again select U.S. senators.

It voted 20-6 to pass SJR2, and sent it to the House. It calls for Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was ratified in 1913 to allow people to directly elect U.S. senators.

Source: ConstitutionAlly | Utah Senate votes to repeal 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Share

Colorado Faces Fascist Government Dealing With Wolves

*Editor’s Note* – I’ve highlight the most relevant part of any discussion involving the spreading of GI toxic wolves across the entire landscape of the United States. We live in a fascist state where the Federal Government dictates to everyone what will be. Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and any other state can oppose wolf introduction and be damned. We operate in a rigged system of totalitarians. Expect wolves and disease on every doorstep in America once the fascists are through.

It amazes me how this corrupt government is all concerned about following the letter of the law…when it’s convenient for them and promotes their fascist regime. When it doesn’t they piss on the rule of law.

Federal officials declined to comment. They’re not required to seek state blessings as they develop a Mexican wolf recovery plan by the end of 2017 to prevent extinction.

Source: Colorado turns cold shoulder to endangered wolves – The Denver Post

Share

RMEF Confirms Utah Expo Bid

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—In response to a high volume of calls and questions received related to the Wildlife Expo Permit Series in Utah, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation confirms submitting an application on September 1 to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources (DWR) for the opportunity to administer the Wildlife Expo Permit Series and associated event.

The wildlife expo permits are a series of special hunting permits attached to an expo and convention event in Utah offered to the public through a drawing system administered by a qualified non-profit organization. 2016 marks the final year of a five-year term currently administered by the Mule Deer Foundation and its expo partner, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. RMEF applied for the next series term beginning in 2017.

If selected, RMEF would bring its national convention and an all-new hunting and outdoor exposition to the Salt Lake City area beginning in the first quarter of 2017 and in the first quarter of each subsequent year through the term of the agreement, in an effort to support the administration of the Wildlife Expo. The expo permit series drawing and associated event would remain in Utah by statute.

“RMEF is excited about the opportunity to submit an application for the Wildlife Expo Permit Series in Utah,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We believe we are in a unique position to bring the highest quality event possible with a strong diversity of partners to Utah and generate significant revenue for wildlife conservation there.”

An example of its commitment to generate significant revenue for wildlife conservation is evident in RMEF’s application, which includes a commitment to direct 100 percent of the revenue generated from the sale of the $5 application fee for expo permits to on-the-ground wildlife conservation projects in Utah.

Current legislation allows for the administering non-profit organization to keep 70 percent of the $5 application fee, while 30 percent is returned to DWR. In 2015, the $5 application fee generated more than $1.1 million.

“These permits are a public trust and directing 100 percent of the proceeds they generate for the benefit of wildlife and conservation in Utah is just the right thing to do,” added Allen.

This week the Utah DWR confirmed receipt of RMEF’s application. The DWR also informed RMEF of a new request for proposal (RFP) process that will be implemented for the first time to select the conservation organization that will administer the expo permits in conjunction with its convention and expo event. RMEF is awaiting details and instructions from the department related to this process.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 451 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Utah with a combined value of more than $51.3 million. These projects have protected or enhanced 999,138 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 27,192 acres.

Share

Rep. Newhouse Introduces Legislation to Remove Gray Wolf from Endangered Species Act List

April 23, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 1985, the Pacific Northwest Gray Wolf Management Act of 2015 to remove the gray wolf from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and return management authority for the species back to the individual Pacific Northwest states. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) joined Rep. Newhouse to introduce this legislation as original co-sponsors:

“This is a commonsense bill that would allow states to provide a more flexible management program and move forward with the implementation of the gray wolf delisting efforts, which are long overdue,” said Rep. Newhouse. “States are fully qualified to manage gray wolf populations responsibly and are better equipped to meet the needs of local communities, ranchers, livestock, and wildlife populations. Delisting the gray wolf under ESA would allow state wildlife officials to manage wolf populations more effectively.”

For the text of the legislation, click here.

BACKGROUND:

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) released a proposed rule that would have removed the gray wolf from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.” This determination was made after FWS “evaluated the classification status of gray wolves currently listed in the contiguous United States and Mexico under the Endangered Species Act of 1973” and found the “best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the currently listed entity is not a valid species under the Act,” according to the proposed rule.

The statutory purpose of Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to recover species to the point where they are no longer considered “endangered” or “threatened.” The gray wolf is currently found in nearly fifty countries around the world and has been placed in the classification of “least concern” globally for risk of extinction by the Species Survival Commission Wolf Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN). Ample populations in the United States and Canada have already led to the delisting of the gray wolf from ESA in the Northern Rocky Mountain and Western Great Lakes region.

Share

Utah Elk Habitat Gets Upgrade Thanks to RMEF Grants

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded grants to fund more than 50 projects that will improve more than 51,000 acres of habitat for elk and other wildlife in 22 counties across Utah.

The grants, awarded in 2014, total $226,500 and will directly benefit Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Washington and Wayne Counties. There are also two projects with statewide benefits.

“It’s vital for elk to have access to the nutrition they need to survive in this arid, high desert region. This funding will help clear encroaching pinyon and juniper trees in many areas that stifle forage for elk, deer and other wildlife,” said David Allen. “The grants will also restore ailing water sources and assist with the construction of new guzzlers.”

Allen thanked Utah volunteers who raised the grant funding through banquets, membership drives and other events. He also thanked volunteers and members from around the country for their dedication to elk, elk country and conservation.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 451 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Utah with a combined value of more than $51.3 million. These projects have protected and enhanced 999,138 acres and opened or secured public access to 27,192 acres of land.

RMEF grants will help fund the following projects, many of which carry over into 2015, listed by county:

Beaver County—Improve up to 2,850 acres of elk and mule deer winter range and reduce hazardous fuels on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands near Beaver and North Creek by broadcast seeding and then mechanically treating encroaching pinyon-juniper; and aerially seed 500 acres of low elevation pinyon-juniper woodland habitat that was treated by prescribed fire in 2012-2013 to combat potential cheatgrass invasion and reduce soil erosion in a steep, inaccessible canyon east of Sulphurdale on the Fishlake National Forest.

Box Elder County—Improve 950 acres of BLM sagebrush habitat in the Etna area by thinning juniper and then seeding with desirable forage species; and capture and transplant up to 50 bighorn sheep from the Newfoundland Mountains to meet population management objectives for the area and relocate the animals to the Oak Creek Mountains.

Cache County—Remove 21 acres of subalpine fir at the top of Green Canyon east of Paradise and Hyrum where the fir trees are outcompeting mature aspen stands due to fire suppression; and treat approximately 600 acres of sagebrush habitat in Elk Valley in the Saddle Creek drainage on the Cache National Forest to reintroduce disturbance and create a more varied structure and reduce wildfire hazards to the north of the Hardware Ranch.

Carbon County—Implement a hazardous fuels reduction/habitat restoration/forest health project on 566 acres within an approximately 2,000-acre project area that includes the Ford Creek and Diamanti Canyon areas on BLM lands; remove encroaching conifer trees on 68 acres of the Cold Springs Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to promote aspen and desirable forbs for big game and grouse 12 miles northeast of Sunnyside; and apply two-way chain treatment to 308 acres of pinyon-juniper followed by seeding to improve winter range conditions for deer and elk and reinvigorate sagebrush communities southwest of Helper.

Daggett County—Replace two old guzzlers on Bare Top Mountain which is home to the largest bighorn sheep herd in northeast Utah while also benefitting elk, mule deer and pronghorn; seed 300 acres of thinned pinyon-juniper encroachment to increase grass and browse cover on crucial big game winter range in Browns Park at the mouth of Birch Creek Canyon on Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and private lands; and apply pre-commercial thinning of young lodgepole pine and conifer removal from riparian areas and sagebrush communities to improve 1,482 acres of habitat in the Cart Creek watershed on the Ashley National Forest.

Duchesne County—Improve 584 acres of winter range through removal of pinyon-juniper trees encroaching into sagebrush habitat at the top of Gate Canyon on BLM lands southwest of Myton; lop and scatter encroaching pinyon-juniper on 1,150 acres of elk, deer and potential sage grouse Wyoming big sagebrush winter habitat at the top of Gates Canyon; install two wildlife guzzler tanks and aprons in the Big Wash area of the Ninemile-Anthro Wildlife Management Unit in an area where numerous pinyon-juniper management projects have been completed; and lop and scatter encroaching pinyon-juniper and Douglas fir trees on 1,272 acres of sagebrush and mountain brush communities on the Jeep Trail and Nutters Ridge areas of Anthro Mountain on Ashley National Forest southeast of Duchesne; and seed 240 acres to improve winter range for elk, mule deer and sage grouse on the Tabby Mountain WMA.

Garfield County—Improve 2,000 acres of elk, sage grouse, mule deer and pronghorn habitat and reduce hazardous fuels on BLM lands near Hatch by broadcast seeding and then mulching pinyon-juniper encroachment; develop trailheads on the Mt. Dutton/Sevier Plateau area on the Dixie National Forest as a continuation of Dedicated Hunter projects which have developed trailheads into roadless areas for hunter access by foot and horseback; and construct a 10,200-gallon wildlife guzzler to benefit elk, mule deer and pronghorn in the Sage Hen Hollow area approximately nine miles southwest of Panguitch on SITLA land while also installing a fence to exclude livestock.

Grand County—Improve big game winter range northeast of the Green River in the Floy area of the Book Cliffs by lopping and scattering 642 acres of pinyon-juniper, and also apply bullhog treatment to an additional 660 acres on BLM, SITLA and private lands; install three new big game guzzlers on the Little Creek Ridge WMA in the Book Cliffs; and install three new water guzzlers, two at Hatch Point and one in Hell Roaring Canyon, as part of a multi-year effort to restore wildlife water developments across BLM lands in the Moab area (also affects San Juan and Wayne Counties).

Iron County—Perform lop and scatter maintenance treatments in previously chained areas in the northwest corner of the Cedar City Ranger District on the Dixie National Forest to improve winter range for elk and mule deer while also applying bitterbrush seeding.

Juab County—Improve sagebrush habitat on the south end of the East Tintic Mountains on BLM lands by thinning pinyon-juniper on approximately 855 acres and then seeding where necessary; and improve winter forage opportunities on 836 acres in the Salt Creek drainage on the Uinta National Forest to avoid supplemental feeding and depredation issues on adjacent private lands by establishing natural winter forage plots through seeding and transplants.

Millard County—Conduct two-way chain treatments of pinyon-juniper on 682 acres of the North Fillmore WMA, install a new pipeline and two watering troughs for wildlife, and apply supplemental seeding with grasses and forbs; and apply two-way chain pinyon and juniper and one-way chain treatments to older sagebrush stands to reduce fuel loads, improve critical wildlife habitat, improve rangeland and watershed health, and increase the understory of grasses, forbs, and shrub species on private land on the east side of the Phavant Management Unit.

Piute County—Remove encroaching pinyon-juniper trees from mature tree stands on 946 acres within the Cedar Grove areas on SITLA and BLM lands on the northwest portion of Parker Mountain; clean up and remove old debris from five water source ponds and upgrade them to catch water from winter runoff and seasonal rainfall on Parker Mountain; lop and scatter encroaching pinyon-juniper from 1,500 acres of BLM lands while applying two-way chained treatment and seeding to an additional 730 acres between Parker Mountain and Grass Valley (also affects Sevier and Wayne Counties); and apply harrow treatment to 1,200 acres of elk and mule deer habitat on the Fishlake National Forest to reduce decadent big sagebrush and enhance browse (also affects Wayne and Sevier Counties).

Sanpete County—Improve 1,393 acres of winter range by hand-cutting pinyon-juniper encroaching into a previously chained area, seeding three shrub islands and cleaning out and sealing three storage ponds on BLM lands in Antelope Valley; and use hand and mechanical treatments to remove pinyon-juniper from approximately 629 acres in the eastern portion of the Ferron/Price Ranger District on the Manti National Forest. Up to 40 percent of the project area may be treated with prescribed fire (also affects Emery County).

Sevier County—Lop and scatter pinyon-juniper trees encroaching on 1,847 acres of important wintering sagebrush communities within the Sand Ledges Recreation Area on SITLA and BLM lands east of Richfield; mechanically treat more than 700 acres of wildlife habitat as part of an ecosystem restoration and hazardous fuels reduction project focusing on improving native species diversity adjacent to the mountain community of Acord Lakes on the Fishlake National Forest; conduct two-way chaining treatment with seeding between passes to remove encroaching pinyon-juniper on 897 acres approximately 15 miles east of Richfield on SITLA land; and lop and scatter encroaching pinyon-juniper on 2,507 acres of elk and mule deer winter range on BLM lands within the Monroe Mountain area and also install two 1,500-gallon capacity guzzlers and repair one existing guzzler in the treatment area.

Summit County—Lop and scatter encroaching conifers on 332 acres of critical elk, moose and mule deer habitat, as well as potential bighorn sheep habitat on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains on the Wasatch National Forest eight miles northeast of Hoop Lake.

Tooele County—Thin pinyon-juniper on approximately 1,070 acres of BLM land on the south and west side of the East Tintic Mountains and aerially seed areas lacking perennial grasses and forbs; and improve sagebrush habitat on 1,050 acres by thinning encroaching juniper and seeding where necessary on the east facing slopes of the Onaqui Mountains.

Uintah County—Install four wildlife guzzlers in pinyon and juniper treatment areas on Atchee Ridge in the Book Cliffs to better distribute wildlife, including elk and bison, throughout treated areas in an effort to reduce pressure on regenerating aspen stands; install an additional water well with a solar-powered water pump to distribute water to a nearby trough at the Mail Draw WMA and also clean out 11 existing small ponds in the Rye Grass, Sears Canyon and Mail Draw areas (also affects Daggett County); and remove encroaching pinyon-juniper that are actively competing with sagebrush, grasses and forbs on SITLA and BLM lands in the Diamond Mountain area

Washington County—Aerially seed approximately 1,939 acres of existing fuel breaks around New Harmony to improve their effectiveness and enhance forage for elk, mule deer and Rio Grande wild turkey on the Dixie National Forest; build a 10,200-gallon wildlife guzzler, and the fencing to exclude livestock, in the Beaver Dam Mountains in southern Utah to support wildlife, particularly desert bighorn sheep; provide funding to capture up to 70 bighorn sheep on BLM lands and potentially within Zion National Park and transplant them to Nokai Dome on the San Juan River (also affects Kane County); and apply RMEF volunteer manpower to install a new water guzzler on a non-working guzzler site and build an exclosure fence in the Pine Valley Mountains north of St. George on the Dixie National Forest.

Wayne County—Clean and remove debris from established pond structures on BLM lands on Parker Mountain to increase water storage of winter runoff and seasonal rainfall, and to support wildlife and livestock grazing management systems.

Statewide—Apply funding for a study to develop an explicit understanding of elk spatial ecology in northern Utah in order to enable the identification of high-risk areas for the transmission of elk-borne brucellosis and provide the basis for a novel strategic adaptive management approach to controlling the spread of the disease in elk at the landscape scale, thereby mitigating the risk of spillover to livestock; and provide funding for a study placing radio collars on 300 elk throughout the state to better understand elk movements, help inform management decisions and allow managers to better manage population objectives.

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities.

Partners for the Utah projects include the Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti and Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Department of Natural Resources, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, local businesses, universities, private landowners, and various sportsmen, wildlife, civic and government organizations.

Share

More than 7K coyotes killed in Utah for bounties in 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s controversial coyote bounty program continues to rack up huge numbers. In a recently released report, the Division of Wildlife Resources said that 7,041 coyotes were turned in for the $50 reward in 2014. While that’s just shy of last year’s tally, more people participated in 2014, so the program appears to have maintained its momentum. <<<Read More>>>

Share