The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is nearing the halfway point for a series of scoping meetings designed to learn what action should be taken, if any, with bison management in the state.
The agency is currently putting together an environmental impact statement (EIS) that, when in the draft stages, will present a range of possible alternatives for the management of the species. One of those alternatives will be “no action,” but others will look at “restoration” of a free-ranging bison population somewhere in the state.
Meetings have been held this week in Missoula, Kalispell, and Glasgow. Those attending in Missoula tell us the audience was split 50/50 over the idea of a wild herd. In Kalispell, we’re told that roughly 65% of the 40-person crowd was opposed. With a group of around 120 people assembled in Glasgow Wednesday night, including Northern Ag Network’s Haylie Shipp, only a handful were in favor of a free-ranging herd.
Glasgow’s meeting was heated right off the bat. As FWP personnel were explaining the process of breaking into small groups to provide feedback, comments started coming in from the audience. Those people were quieted by FWP and, as a result, roughly 20 people stood up and left the meeting.
Once the small comment groups were established, local FWP staff wrote out the concerns voiced by each member of their group. As expected, most sheets contained the phrase “NO BISON.” Other comments focused on worries that a free-ranging bison herd would present. Those concerns included reimbursement for bison damage and livestock health problems. Many attendees focused on the thought that it should be a local decision to put bison in an area. It was also brought up that if Montana FWP wants to manage bison, they should use the funds going into this EIS to better manage what is in Yellowstone National Park.
Arnie Dood with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks outlined feedback he’d heard at the first three meetings:
Five more meetings are on the schedule this week and next. Public comment during this scoping process will be accepted through June 25. For background details and the information you need to submit your official comments, read “Wild Bison? Give FWP Your Opinion This Week!”
© Northern Ag Network 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:51 PM
FWP runs these "public meetings" using the Delphi Technique- that is the breaking into small groups to hear your concerns & write them on the big sheet of paper. I handed Mr. Dood the comments we weren't allowed to present to those who attended. We then walked out. This is what we wrote:
Ron Korman and Maxine Korman remind Director Maurier that they have filed comments by email and certified mail. If our earlier comments are among those the department lost, we are fully prepared to provide the earlier emails and copies of the certified mail. Please see the attached document dated December 9, 2011.
We suggest you have your legal counsel provide the definition of “ public land” your agency is using in your so-called plan. Is your definition “ land open for sale, entry, disposal or settlement under the general laws?”
Does your definition recognize the United States Supreme Court rulings that it is well-settled that all land to which private rights and claims attach are not “ public lands” ?
Bardon v. Northern Pacific Railway which has been cited one hundred thirty-three times and has never been overturned in whole or in part.
We are providing a copy of land patent # 1117726 for a state trust section that the state has agreed we own the water rights to. Note the section marked “ subject to any vested and accrued water rights for mining, agricultural or other purposes.” We own the vested and accrued water rights and the fee ownership of the inheritable right to use that land. Private rights and claims have attached so that land is not “public land.”
We are providing a certified copy of Document # 436988 which is an Affidavit of Ramona Hage Morrison and was done in her capacity as a member of the Nevada Board of Agriculture. This document is a Default Admission by Secretary of Interior Kempthorne and all Interior Secretary Successors. In short, the default admissions are that the government can’t prove title to the lands, the lands aren’t public lands and the government does not have authority or jurisdiction over the lands. We again recommend you have your legal counsel study this, including the one hundred twenty-two questions that the Interior Secretary refused to respond to three times.
Kormans have put you on notice three times that there is no land within the exterior boundaries of our ranch that is “ public land.”
We had submitted a federal Freedom of Information Act request asking for land classified as “ public land” in Valley County and the response we got said they could not find any land with that classification in Valley County.
We are providing a copy of a letter from Director Maurier to Valley County Commissioner Dave Pippin. On January 18, 2012, Director Maurier wrote in part and I quote:
“ The quarantine bison originated from the herd in Yellowstone National Park. These bison have been tested for genetic purity and have been determined to be genetically pure with no indication of cattle introgression.”
Director Maurier you wrote that statement. We request copies of each animal’s identification number and each animal’s corresponding genetic test result that is the proof that each animal is genetically pure and has no cattle introgression. We suggest for openness and transparency that you also post these documents on the state fwp website.
If you refuse or fail to provide the proofs then we will have no choice but to conclude that there are no such proofs for each animal and that you made a false statement.
In the next to last paragraph you wrote and I quote:
“ As you are aware, Fort Peck Tribes already has a herd of bison they manage on their reservation. They are free to buy and sell livestock bison at their own discretion. We are perplexed as to why there is such opposition to them acquiring these genetically pure bison with all the protective stipulations when they can acquire as many livestock bison as they desire with no such provisions.
Director Maurier, are you implying, then, that these bison would be classified as livestock bison and managed as livestock bison and be held to the same state laws as livestock?
If not, Director Maurier, were you merely making a disingenuous statement that was intended to mislead?
In our two previous written records to you and your agency we asked the following same questions and instructed that refusal to answer would be acquiescence.
1.The buffalo in Yellowstone National Park, a United Nations designated World Heritage Site, are managed in accordance with United Nations Agenda 21.
2. Glacier National Park, a United Nations designated Biosphere Reserve is managed in accordance with United Nations Agenda 21.
3. Northeast Montana, of which Valley County is a part, is intended to be managed as part of Glacier National Park Biosphere Reserve in accordance with United Nations Agenda 21.
4. Relocation of buffalo to Northeast Montana, including Valley County is in accordance with the United Nations Agenda 21 Wildlands Project.
5. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks cooperates with Federal agencies of the United States government to implement United Nations Agenda 21 Wildlands Project.
Failure to respond to a statement will be prima facie evidence of agreement that the statement is in fact accurate and correct.
Neither you nor legal staff have responded to our two earlier requests. We specifically point out that if we do not receive a written response within twenty business days, these statements will stand. We are building a record for future litigation against the state if it becomes necessary and if you continue with your agenda, it will be necessary.
Submitted into the record May 16, 2012 in Glasgow, Montana
Ron Korman,Maxine Korman