Summit Treestands
Montana's public land, under fire
Contributors to this thread:
houndy65 08-Mar-18
WV Mountaineer 08-Mar-18
drycreek 08-Mar-18
Treeline 08-Mar-18
Treeline 08-Mar-18
Inshart 08-Mar-18
DaleHajas 08-Mar-18
Michael 08-Mar-18
Missouribreaks 08-Mar-18
ground hunter 08-Mar-18
Treeline 08-Mar-18
ELKMAN 08-Mar-18
N-idaho 08-Mar-18
TheTone 08-Mar-18
BigOzzie 08-Mar-18
Treeline 08-Mar-18
Bigdan 08-Mar-18
LKH 08-Mar-18
Grasshopper 08-Mar-18
Ollie 08-Mar-18
Treeline 08-Mar-18
From: houndy65
Montana Public lands; Please take a minute and share this with every hunter you know, no matter if you live in Montana or not, you may very well want to come here and hunt. Folks this is not about being a Republican or Democrat these are our public lands that we hunt fish and recreate on, should not to be used for this. Oil & gas exploration and hard rock mining. These public lands are some of the must import elk and deer habitat in Montana. Please take a minute and call Greg R Gianforte and ask him to withdraw his bills which would open up the Big Snowies, the Middle Fork Judith, West Pioneers, Sapphire, and Blue Joint wilderness study areas – a half-million acres in all – to hard-rock mining, oil and gas development, and expanded motorized use. H.R. 5148 and 5149.


Public lands owned by the people are managed by the people. However, BLM land is government owned, public use managed. There is a difference. And, BLM land was designated as lands for such practices. Where do you suppose they mine and drill at in the West if it can’t be done on these lands?

I’m all about and for public lands. Not a bigger advocate in the world then me. But, I’m also common sense enough to realize that responsible resource management is either going to be part of a public managed, government owned land base or, the land will be sold to those private interests. You keep nudgi g up to the line and the government will sell these lands. They are a dead weight that is gonna produce revenue one way or the other. I ain’t being mean but it’s time common sense took hold in this debate.

From: drycreek
WV, I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I tend to agree with you. I remember this same pro-con argument concerning drilling in Alaska and the building of the pipeline. I don't think the energy industry has severely impacted hunting, fishing, or tourism in Alaska. Last time I looked, everybody wants to hunt there. Liberal politicians and anti-hunters are gonna hurt hunting much more than drilling or mining IMO.

I don't know much about the mining, but I've personally seen quite a bit of drilling in Wyoming, and I haven't seen any adverse impact to the deer and antelope. It's ugly and messy while the drilling is going on, but most of the well sites are downsized and made to kind of blend in with the landscape after the fact. Oilfield traffic is not desirable while you're hunting, but I haven't seen that adversely affect the animals either. I'm not an elk hunter, and I realize that the areas in question may be elk habitat, and elk are a different animal as far as intrusion goes. Nevertheless, energy has to come from somewhere, and we not gonna get it in the near future unless it comes out of the ground.

From: Treeline
WV Mountaineer is spot on.

You better step back and take a look at the big picture for western land conservation. Wilderness, wilderness study areas, national monuments and parks stop multi-use revenue generation from these lands.

The more land gets put aside for preservation, the more public lands we will lose in the long run.

From: Treeline
Oilfield and mining have to work within strict environmental regulations and are required to reclaim any lands disturbed after extraction of the resource. Usually the reclamation is far better habitat than the surrounding undisturbed areas and it becomes a magnet for wildlife.

From: Inshart
I also agree with WV.

From: DaleHajas
Treeline's statement is so absolutely true and that is something that is never brought up in these discussions.

From: Michael
Well put WV.

Agree, BLM is for multiple use.

Well maybe someone in Montana, could get and use a really good job.................

From: Treeline
BTW, if you don't know, most of the easy oil, gas, coal, and hard rock resources in the lower 48 have been identified. Any "new" resources out there will require much more effort and technology to get out of the ground economically.

Most new mining permits in the US will take at least 10 years and probably more like 20 before they will ever break ground. They have to go thru the ringer with government and public review of every minute aspect of the planned operation over and over again to ensure that it is economically and environmentally sustainable.

Oil and gas drilling has come a long way. They have developed technologies where they can directionally drill multiple holes in multiple directions into the oil and gas bearing formations from very long distances - reducing the number of drilling areas required. After drilling, they are required to clean up the areas and reclaim the platforms to match the vegetation of the surrounding areas.

Logging and grazing provide lower returns from a tax standpoint, but do provide jobs for people utilizing the land. These industries are also heavily regulated on federal lands to prevent permanent damage.

Taxation on these industries and the employees that work in them are huge and represent one of the largest tax bases for the local rural areas where they are doing this work.

Preservationist policy - wilderness, national monuments, and national parks cut that land out of any potential revenue generation to the local areas and keeps them locals from getting any benefit from new economic growth for schools, roads, jobs, etc.

Hunting and fishing provide very little economic benefit to many of these rural areas in comparison to the above industries. Hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, tree huggers and other lookie loo's provide even less because they do not even purchase any licenses to generate revenue to offset the losses.

If you own something that is regulated so that you can not make any money off of it, and it is costing you significant money to hold how long will you keep it?

Both sides have legitimate points, and concerns. I don't trust the "governments" regulations for reclamation and their enforcement of them, any more than I trust the "government" itself. If you believe the oil and gas industry have a "good" impact on the environment, let's wait a few years and see what you think of fracking then...

From: N-idaho
i dont think mining hurts anything there is a mine close by and, it is no hunting, when you drive up to the mine you see lots of wild life and some of them are big. sure some of the land scape looks tore up but it is reclaimed to natural landscape when done. im sure there are some side effects from it but I believe the benefits out weight the negatives. if we cant use our natural resources what are we going to do, buy it all from china, spend money not make money.

From: TheTone
Mining reclamation? Take a look at the Berkley Pit in Montana or the silver valley/Bunker Hill area of Idaho. Millions of dollars spent on cleanup with no end in site, companies coming and going, filing bankruptcy and leaving someone else to hold the bag.

The oilfield boom in Wyoming and elsewhere has absolutely effected wildlife numbers, it shouldn't take much searching the net to find the data.

These jobs are often very boom and bust, I know many people that chased the quick buck in the oilfields in North Dakota and elsewhere that have moved on or are doing something else mainly because so much of the work has dried up.

I get multiple use, but not at the cost of forever changing an area for the worse. Outdoor recreation is big business, especially in the west and a huge part of that is due to the public land we have

From: BigOzzie
It is a slippery slope, Ask the gov. to "protect lands for us" and they hear "protect the lands from us". Ask them to keep someone out and soon they are keeping us out.

just sayin. oz

From: Treeline
TheTone - Those areas that you point to are some of the older mining districts that were developed, mined and shut down prior to any regulation on mining. They are the reason that current mining requires all the planning for extraction and reclamation. I can show you far more acreage that has been reclaimed across the west on mining operations that are currently extracting resources and reclaiming/treating water concurrently to minimize the impacts.

It is much harder to clean up mines when the companies have mined out the ore body and left like what was occurring from the 1800's up until the mid 1970's.

One of the bigger issues in Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona with respect to impacting wildlife is the huge overpopulation of "wild" horses. This is another area that has been regulated as "Preservationist" with respect to the horses and the populations have far exceeded the carrying capacity of the land. In the wild horse areas, the plant and wildlife diversity has been decimated across many thousands of acres. If you want to know why the sage grouse numbers are falling across the west - here is a prime candidate. Significantly more impact than mining or oil and gas. All to protect a non-native species at all costs.

From: Bigdan
No one is going to take away any public lands They will still be Public just more of the public will be able to use them.. We don't need one more foot of wilderness Most of these lands have been locked up in wilderness study areas for up to 40 years. And some of these lands have gas wells on them all ready and the animals our doing good that live around them

From: LKH
It doesn't take a big sale to private to lock us out of public lands. They're still public, you just can't get to them. I think we still operate under mining laws that are ancient. Can the miners still lay claim to the land permanently after so long with xxx dollars invested?

I've reached the age and condition where hunting deep in wilderness isn't reasonable without a packer. I'm okay with that. I hate to see us able to drive to every ridge.

One thing to remember is that what Zinke is doing is not intended to help the average man. Once land gets opened or sold it's hard to get it back. Actually, virtually impossible. What kind of world to we want to leave our kids? Even though much or our wilderness is ground I'll probably never walk on, I believe we should not reduce it.

Instead we should work on using eminent domain to force access through private land to the public land we own.

From: Grasshopper

Grasshopper's Link
I hunted on the south end of the big snowies years ago. At the time, it didn't seem there was many roads at all in the range.

There is an interesting read at the link about how renewable energy seems to now being bid cheaper than coal fire power plants. Coal may be a thing of the past. This might be really bad news for towns like Craig, CO and Gillette Wy.

From: Ollie
Both viewpoints have their merits. Bottom line is that our economy requires abundant and relatively cheap energy sources. Has to come from somewhere. I don't want to ever be dependent again on foreign countries that hate us.

From: Treeline
I agree that the mining laws that allow claims to be staked and the land transferred to private ownership should be revised. Absolutely. I am not sure when the last new mine was actually permitted to operate in this country on mine claims on public lands since about the 1980's. It is a very difficult and long drawn out process.

Most recent mining operations in the US that are on public lands have been pushed to return lands used for mining to BLM or USFS upon closure and final reclamation as part of their permit. Also, they are typically severely limited on the overall footprint that they are allowed to use for the operations.

One thing to ask is if there are actually any mineral or oil resources in those Wilderness Study Areas. Like I said earlier, all the easy stuff has already been mined or drilled. There may be little or nothing worth going after in those areas.

I also firmly agree that we need to push for access to our public lands across the west. There are far too many places that we have been shut out of by private land owners - even corridors that were public access across private lands for many years. That is a very different issue.

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