Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some tree stand! It was a beautiful day to see the sights in Virginia City

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone! Remember to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who gave all for our freedom. Thank you to all who served, and still serve, with honor.


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This tree stand is little different than the kind I'm used to.

All kinds of interesting things to see in Virginia City, MT Sent from my iPhone


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

*Spotlight on Grizzly Bears and Water Rights*

By Senator Jennifer Fielder, R - Montana State Senate District 7
www.jenniferfielder.us

It is amazing how difficult it is to get government agencies to use unbiased scientific and legal information when it comes to land, water, and wildlife decisions. Certain science and law are being emphasized while other science and law are being ignored in what appear to be deliberate efforts to restrict people’s use of water and public lands.

It is imperative we use impartial and sound reasoning for these critical decisions that affect nearly every aspect of our lives and environment, rather than allowing selective, politicized bias to prevail.

Last week two legislative interim committees I serve on took a big step in the right direction. Receiving unanimous support from these committees, which are comprised of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, was a major achievement.

Fifty legislators, scores of citizens, and dozens of hours of testimony finally convinced Montana’s Water Policy Interim Committee (WPIC) to unanimously seek further analysis of the controversial CSKT Water Compact which will affect water rights throughout western Montana.

Two days later our Environmental Quality Council (EQC) voted unanimously to request state and federal agencies immediately update the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan and other related resource management plans and activities so that policies are based upon today’s best available science.

For over a year, Republican legislators and many NW Montana citizens have sought an in depth look at both of these issues.

Last spring, democrat Governor Steve Bullock vetoed legislation which would have required study of the proposed Water Compact. The legislature simply wanted better information about the impacts of the massive water rights agreement before we voted on it. Despite the Governor’s veto, I and several others successfully persuaded the legislative water policy committee (WPIC) to seek credible scientific analysis of the effects the proposed compact will have on people's water and livelihoods if it passes. Last week WPIC asked Montana's Bureau of Mines & Geology to begin assessing the effects of compact.

Regarding Grizzly Bears, agency actions geared toward closing public access and restricting natural resource production on public lands are being justified by very old, outdated technology from the 1980’s and 90’s.

Last week Montana’s EQC and 25 other elected officials requested use of current technology in agency plans and actions related to grizzly bears. Our statement acknowledged the federal government's 21 year old Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan is outdated and,"is no longer based on the best available science”.

We further affirmed,"Important new research is available, recent grizzly bear studies based upon GPS satellite monitoring and DNA analysis offer better quality and more accurate data, and proper planning is critical for bears, people, and resource management.”

We concluded,"The current recovery plan, based upon outdated science, continues to impact resource management and limit access and use of public lands, land management options, and our economy.”

To demonstrate this point, I shared with the committee an aerial photograph (attached) from a 2005 University of Montana scientific study which reveals over 20,000 GPS locations of 23 grizzly bears in NW Montana. *For a decade or more, state and federal agencies have failed to bring forth current scientific data such as this which may contradict their conclusion that bears avoid roads. *These agencies continue to base their decisions predominantly on a substandard 1997 study of just 2 female bears which used limited technology and underwent no credible scientific peer review.

The outdated reports, touted by agencies as "best available science", are being used to close and obliterate public access roads, restrict recreational activity, shut down natural resource industries, cripple our economy, and allow catastrophic wildfire fuel loads to build up on millions of acres of public lands.

In addition to obtaining unanimous support from the legislative interim committee on this issue, a similar statement signed by 26 legislators, county commissioners, and mayors from throughout Northwest Montana and
North Idaho was submitted last week to the Selkirk-Cabinet/Yaak Sub Committee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC).

Many thanks to those who signed and to my husband Paul, a retired wildlife biologist, for his assistance in researching this issue for us.

For more info on these or any other topics you can reach me by email at sen.jfielder@legmt.gov, or visit my web site and sign into my communication network at www.jenniferfielder.us

God Bless,

Jennifer

Senator Jennifer Fielder, R

Montana State Senate District 7 - Thompson Falls
www.jenniferfielder.us chumly.com/attachment/17780469


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Federal land transfers How the West was won back? - Daily Inter Lake sees wisdom in shift to state based public land management

www.dailyinterlake.com/members/federal-land-transf....html

"It truly is astonishing that Sanders and Lincoln counties have the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the state when they are rich in precious metals and have the most productive forests in the state. Problem is, most of that land is under federal management,"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A final farewell...

Joined the close friends and family of Norm 'Rawhide' Allen today to set his headstone in the family plot on the Allen Ranch - Blue Slide, MT. A great man... Teacher, boxer, firefighter, WWII veteran, highly skilled mountain man, and friend and mentor to all.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Busted! State and Federal Government ignoring current scientific information - using obsolete 1980's and 90's projections to justify closing access on public lands

Attached image shows the 2005 PhD thesis results out of UM with over 20,000 GPS locations of 24 grizzly bears collected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the Swan Valley Montana, verifying bears do not avoid roads and human activity. Recent DNA studies provide thousands of additional bits of data. Yet government bureaucrats insist a decades old, sub standard report based on two bears and obsolete technology with no scientific peer review is "best available science", and as a result we must continue to close roads, prohibit human activity, shut down resource industries, and allow catastrophic wildfire fuel loads to accumulate on millions of acres of our public lands.

Yes, even today, the federal government and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks continue calling for removal, obliteration, and prohibition of access roads on millions of acres of Montana's public land, citing Inter Agency Grizzly Bear Guidelines developed in the 1980's instead of using the extensive modern technology of GPS Collar and DNA studies that prove many of the old projections wrong.

Over the past two years I have brought this issue to federal authorities numerous times and publicly asked them to correct the oversight. Yesterday I brought it to Montana's Environmental Quality Council and received a unanimous vote of approval in favor of the following letter from the bi-partisan legislative council. In addition, I and twenty five other elected officials from NW Montana & North Idaho submitted a similar letter to the Cabinet-Yaak IGBC Sub Committee earlier this week.

May 15, 2014

To: Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks and the Inter Agency Grizzly Bear Committee

We hereby request that the IGBC and all appropriate state and federal agencies immediately update the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan and other related resource management plans and activities so that they are based upon today’s best available science related to grizzly bears.

The reasoning for this recommendation should acknowledge the following points:

• The 1993 USFWS Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan is outdated.
The 21-year old Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan published in 1993, which includes the Selkirk and Cabinet/Yaak recovery zones, is no longer based on the"best available science”.

• Important new research is available.
Recent grizzly bear studies based upon GPS satellite monitoring (rather than the limitations of older radio-telemetry monitoring) and DNA analysis offer better quality and more accurate data upon which to revise recovery goals.

Recent GPS and DNA studies in Northwest Montana show: grizzly bear movement and genetic connectivity between the North Continental Divide, Yaak/Cabinet, and Selkirk grizzly bear recovery zones. Congress directed the US Fish and Wildlife Service that the authority to designate Distinct Population Segments be exercised"sparingly and only when the biological evidence indicates that such action is warranted,” (Senate Report 151, 96th Congress, 1st Session).

• Proper planning is critical for bears, people, and resource management.
The current recovery plan, based upon outdated science, continues to impact resource management and limit access and use of public lands, land management options, and our economy.

Use of current scientific information is expected to better inform resource managers of bear habits and provide evidence which could lead to improved management and expedited delisting, bringing much needed relief to resource managers and people in affected communities.

Sincerely,

Sen John Brenden, Chairman
Rep Bill McChesney, Vice Chair

Montana Environmental Quality Council

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The citizens were heard! WPIC votes unanimously to refer questions about CSKT Water Compact for third party review.

Thank you Reps Ballance, Regier, Sen Jackson, and all the other legislators and citizens who worked so hard and travelled so far to insist that critical questions about the impacts of the proposed CSKT Compact finally receive independent analysis. Water Policy Chairman Sen Chas Vincent did an especially excellent job of bringing the committee together on this.


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Judge McElyea, Chief Water Judge testifies at WPIC

The CSKT Water Compact is on the agenda today. We will be discussing various perspectives about the agreement and additional information necessary to understand the impacts of the proposal. Hopefully the Governor and my colleagues will endeavor to ensure any problems with the compact are identified and corrected so that it can receive broad support and people can rest assured that they will continue to have enough water to sustain robust livelihoods.


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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Brief Op Ed on Transfer of Public Lands

Transfer of public lands would benefit Montana By Senator Jennifer Fielder, R - Montana State Senate District 7Chair of SJ-15 - Montana's Study of Federal Land Management May 10, 2014
It's a big idea and it's rightfully reaping big debate nationwide. Can andshould states assume control of federally held public lands within ourborders? Many colleagues and experts throughout the west have studied the issueintensively, and we now believe there's no reason why we can't. Thechallenge is to get the facts on the table, put protections in placeconsistent with Montana values, and prepare our state agencies for anorderly transition. We also have to educate decision makers and compelCongress to honor the Constitution and the terms of our statehood enablingacts which require federal title to be extinguished. The Nevada model for transfer of public lands would leave Wilderness, IndianReservations, Military installations, National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, andDept. of Energy facilities under federal jurisdiction. Utah's proposal issimilar. Montana's study of public lands shows Montanans want more multiple useaccess, reduction of wildfire fuels, and more economic production. Butfederal agencies systematically continue to do the opposite of what we want. Shifting to state based public land ownership would mean Montanans - notCongress, the President, or any other state - would decide how much access,use, protection, and production we would want to see. I cannot imagine any collection of people who care about Montana'scommunities, environment, and economy more than Montanans do. There is noquestion that 25 million acres of federally controlled public lands in ourstate directly impact our land, water, air, wildlife, economy, and people ina number of ways. The same cannot be said of states like New York, NewJersey, or Florida. With the national government facing insurmountable debt, the threat of thefederal government selling our public lands to the highest bidder isimminent. In fact H.R. 2657, which authorizes the sale of hundreds ofthousands of acres, passed out of a Congressional committee earlier thisyear. They can sell public lands without our input, and they areundoubtedly under pressure by foreign debt holders to do so. That's a bigconcern. On the bright side, a multitude of studies reveal legal standing andeconomic advantages favoring state based public land management. Nevada'smost recent analysis shows a net gain up to $1.5 billion per year if theytake over management of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties in theirstate, even while maintaining existing uses such as recreational access,grazing, mineral, and other use rights. With states implementing a responsible balance of protection, use, andeconomic production on forest and rangelands, we could keep public accessroutes and recreation facilities open for all visitors, reduce wildfirefuels, and enhance wildlife habitat. Keeping resource revenues in statecould result in millions of new dollars available for local roads, schools,law enforcement, emergency services, utilities, state and local wild landfirefighting departments, and other services. Shifting to state based management would result in priorities consistentwith Montana values. Better access, more jobs, increased funding for publicservices, protection of our environment, and active prevention ofcatastrophic wildfires could become the rule rather than the exception. As Chair of Montana's study of federal land management, I continue to assessavailable information and consider a variety of solutions to correctproblems with federal land management. I welcome your comments and questionsat www.jenniferfielder.us Complete information about transfer of public lands can be found atwww.americanlandscouncil.org
JenniferSenator Jennifer Fielder, (R)Montana State Senate - District 7P.O. Box 2558; Thompson Falls, MT 59873Daily updates, legislative info, insider views: www.jenniferfielder.us<www.jenniferfielder.us> General Political/Constituent email: getitright@montana.com ---This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.http://www.avast.com










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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Update from Senator Fielder - Transfer of Public Lands moves into national spotlight

National debate erupts over transfer of public lands

By Senator Jennifer Fielder, R - Montana State Senate District 7

www.jenniferfielder.us

It’s a big idea and it’s rightfully reaping big debate nationwide. Can and should states assume control of the federally held public lands within their borders? Many colleagues throughout the west have been studying the issue intensively, and we now believe there’s no reason why we can’t.

The primary arguments against transferring federally controlled public lands to the state seem to be coming from those who do not fully understand the issue or from special interests that stand to gain from continuation of failed federal policies. Of course, valid concerns exist and are being carefully assessed.

The challenge is to get the facts on the table, put protections in place that are consistent with Montana values, and prepare our state agencies for an orderly transition. We have to educate decision makers and compel Congress to honor the Constitution and the terms of our statehood enabling acts which require federal title to be extinguished.

*One of the clear advantages of shifting to state based ownership would be placement of decision making authority into the hands of Montanans.*Montanans, not Congress, the President, or any other state, would decide how much access, use, protection, and production we would want to see.

I cannot imagine any collection of people who could possibly care more about Montana’s public land, water, air, citizens, scenery, wildlife, and economy more than Montanans do. There is no question the 27 million acres of federally controlled public lands in Montana have an impact on every aspect of our lives. The same cannot be said of decision makers from states like New York, New Jersey and Florida.

With the national government facing insurmountable debt, the likelihood of Congress selling public lands to the highest bidder is imminent. In fact H.R. 2657, a bill authorizing the sale of hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands, passed out of a Congressional committee earlier this year. They can sell the lands without our input, and they are undoubtedly under pressure by foreign debtors to do so. That is a big concern for me.

*On the flip side, a multitude of economic studies reveal drastic differences between state and federal financial management capabilities.*Nevada’s recent analysis shows a positive net revenue gain up to $1.5 billion per year for their state if they take over management of the public lands within their borders, even while maintaining existing recreational access, grazing, mineral, or other use rights.

The Nevada model for transfer of public lands would leave Wilderness, Indian Reservations, Military installations, National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and Dept. of Energy facilities under federal jurisdiction. Utah’s proposal is similar.

Montana's study of federally managed public lands clearly shows Montanans want more multiple use access to public lands, not less. We want to reduce wildfire fuels, increase economic production, and maintain a healthy environment. These values are consistent across the western U.S. But the fact is federal agencies continue to systematically do the opposite of what we want.

If we shift to state based management we will see jobs and economic vitality return to Montana. *We will see priorities consistent with Montana values.* I support allocating the largest portion of resource production revenues directly to local governments, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars annually for Montana roads, schools, law enforcement, emergency services, utilities, etc. This would more than make up for already dwindling federal PILT and SRS funds.

With a responsible balance of protection, use, and production we could also bolster our state wild land firefighting department, reduce wildfire fuels, keep access roads and trails open, purchase new public access easements, develop recreation sites, enhance wildlife habitat, and probably reduce taxes too.

A thorough review of available data leaves me with no doubt our state would be better able to deliver positive results for our citizens than a distant federal bureaucracy can. Whether it is access, use, protection, economic production, or firefighting capabilities, Montanans are much more apt to set the priorities that are right for our state than Washington DC is.

Next week the Montana legislature’s Environmental Quality Council and our SJ15 Federal Lands Study Group will hear from a number of western states that are actively pursuing corrections in federal land management. This meeting is open to the public and will take place May 14th in the State Capitol at 3:30pm. As Chair of Montana’s study of federal land management, I continue to gather extensive information, assess a variety of solutions, and welcome your comments or questions. You can reach me by email at sen.jfielder@legmt.gov.

To learn more about this and all the issues I am working on or to sign into my communication network visit www.jenniferfielder.us . Complete information about transfer of public lands can be found at www.AmericanLandsCouncil.org

Jennifer
Senator Jennifer Fielder
Montana State Senate - District 7
www.jenniferfielder.us

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Knowledge & Courage - Transfer Public Lands was the keynote topic at FRW Helana Candidate Forum yesterday.

I attempted to cover the comprehensive legal, economic, environmental, and historical case for TPL plus current happenings in about 30 minutes. The good news is all four candidates for U.S. Congress are now on the record in favor of transferring federally controlled public lands to the states, although some more so than others. U.S. Congressional candidate Matt Rosendale (pictured on left) was first to really study the issue and has been rock solid since he took a hard look at it last fall. Nice to see the others coming on board lately too.

Thank you MT Federation of Republican Women for hosting an outstanding event!

l Sent from my iPhone

Beautiful evening for a walk...

Holly was so happy I took time out for a nice long walk with her. Seems like she knew we were going even before I did.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

MT Senator Jennifer Fielder’s Op-Ed on the Transfer of Public Lands

MT Senator Jennifer Fielder’s Op-Ed on the Transfer of Public Lands | American Lands Council |:: americanlandscouncil.org/mt-senator-jennifer-field...lands

"Montana Senator Jennifer Fielder is fantastic at what she does. She is extremely passionate about lands issues and is a true environmentalist. She recently attended the Western States Legislative Summit which was held on April 17-18, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The purpose of the Summit was to begin collaborations between western states to compel Congress to transfer title of public lands to the states. After the summit she released a press release on the summit and the importance of the transfer of public lands. You can view the original Op-Ed that was published in the Clark Fork Valley Press here or read it below."