Big Rally in Helena Today to Derail ALEC Land Grab Nonsense

MTRALLYPOSTERMontanans from across the state are gathering in  Helena to oppose TEA Party Sen. Jennifer Fielder’s plans to takeover our public lands with SB 215 and a “package” of other such bills.

It’s ridiculous that the Lee Newspaper story on the land grab doesn’t even mention where Fielder got the idea, which is copied from a Utah state legislator named Ken Ivory and his “group” the American Lands Council.

Ivory has been touring around pushing the idea that states should condemn and sell of public land.  He says this will help pay off the national debt.   This is an ALEC boilerplate bill, of which there are several this session, and Ken Ivory, basically Utah’s Derek Skees, has been pushing it at  ALEC conferences.  Montanans rejected the idea, which was among the infamous nutjob bills of the 2011 legislature ridiculed across the U.S.  The Utah legislature’s own legal staff has said the idea is unconstitutional.

But that doesn’t stop those looking for ways to become the next Cliven Bundy or Robert. E. Lee–and since Fielder can’t figure out how to secede, she is hoping to spark a new sagebrush rebellion in the Montana legislature.

It’s also troubling that the Lee Newspapers article on this nonsense didn’t mention how the republican party distanced itself from the land grab during the 2014 elections, since the scheme is obviously extremely unpopular with Montanans.

The rally is expected to be one of the largest in recent memory.  Fielder isn’t pushing this because it’s the right thing for Montana.  She’s creating more TEA Party circus theatrics like the Bozeman Chronicle has already pointed out Rep. Art Wittich and Rep. Tom Burnett are guilty of:

Somewhere along the line, our state Legislature — or at least certain members of it — stopped deliberating on what is best for the state and turned the whole process into a stage for politicians to preen and prance in front of their base with absurd proposals that consume valuable time and money…..

We get it, Reps. Wittich and Burnett: Some of your constituents dislike and distrust the federal government. But is it really necessary to turn the Legislature into a circus sideshow to keep them happy? These measures aren’t going to be enacted, and even if they were, they are utterly unenforceable.

Let’s drop the theatrics and get to the state’s real business.

Bullock meme

Another glaringly ludicrous ALEC bill this session is Cary Smith’s SB 148, which is an almost verbatim version of the ALEC bill found here. The Florida ALEC “State Policy Network” affiliate Floridians for Government Accountability is also pushing a slew of boilerplate legislation designed to defeat medicaid expansion and crack down on the poor.



17 Comments on "Big Rally in Helena Today to Derail ALEC Land Grab Nonsense"

  1. Read what Bullock actually committed to. “….fight to preserve access to public lands…public lands will not be sold off to the highest bidder — not on my watch.”

    I recommend getting out and accessing your public lands before the bulldozers and feller-bunchers lay waste to some portion of the 5.1 million acres Bullock recommended for “fast-track” logging. We get to keep the land, perhaps, but the trees will be given away at a huge taxpayer loss to produce lumber, sawdust and chips.

    “…better hurry cause it’s going fast.”
    “There’s something in the Air.”

  2. Is this the same Jennifer Olsen Fielder that is from Wenatchee Washington…whose husband is Paul Fielder a pensioner of the publicly owned PUD? If so, watch out! I grew up in Wenatchee. I hope she didn’t move here to turn Montana into Washington. I grew up hunting, fishing, riding horses and hiking around the forests, hills and mountains near Wenatchee, the public lands were open and free to use. When I visit Wenatchee now I can’t go in the woods like before, I have to have permits to park, hike, mountain bike and most of my old hunting grounds are gated shut and closed off to the public. I moved to Montana because I missed and longed for open public lands like I grew up with. I am afraid that Sen. Fielder moved to Montana and wants to shut down public access just like they did in the Wenatchee area. If Sen. Fielder wants to end the free open use of our public lands in Montana she should take her carpetbag, ALEC bill, and Koch money to another state or go back from where she came.

  3. Lands owned by the State of Montana.
    Here is what is for sale

    The hysteria over Montana owning additional lands and making reckless decisons is misplaced.

  4. Not even the Montana Wood Products Association thinks this bill is a good idea.

    As for Sen. Fielder, she’s calling people who oppose the bill “anti-access.” I’d call these people “anti-stupid.”

    • Their reasons are their own. The MWPA does not feat a sell off as this post hypes. In fact no one should fear a sell off based on the history of state land ownership.

      • From that Missoulian article there is a comment that points to MWPA’s motivations.

        Matthew Koehler – February 14, 2015 11:48 am
        Wow, that’s some ‘bold’ public lands ‘leadership’ from the Montana Wood Products Association. And how great to see the Montana Wilderness Association promoting this letter from the public lands logging lobbyists on social media.

        Wait, is this the same Montana Wood Product’s Association that strongly opposed the Roadless Area Conservation Rule? And fought tooth-n-nail to try and prevent even some marginal protections for public lands roadless areas in Montana, and throughout the west?

        Wait, is that the same logging lobbyists Julia Altemus who previously was exposed through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests as totally sabotaging the bona-fide and science-based public lands restoration efforts of local conservation groups?

        Wow, it must just be a crazy coincidence, but in a few days time we get a new public lands poll (paid for by whom?), this statement from the Montana Wood Products Association and then a Keep It Public rally in Helena. It’s almost like it’s a coordinated, well-funded PR campaign? Good to know what the Montana Wilderness Association spends some of that $2 million annual budget on. I mean, if they just used that money to purchase a castle in Helena, people might be concerned.

        Oh, and how ironic is it that the ‘Keep It Public’ in Helena is being organized by groups like the Montana Wilderness Association that actually support Senator Tester releasing the following Wilderness Study Areas for logging, development and motorized recreation as part of his mandated public lands logging bill, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (FJRA).

        Make no mistake folks. America’s public lands legacy is under siege, and it’s coming from both the Republicans and the Democrats. And it’s being aided and abetted by multi-million dollar groups like Montana Wilderness Association who cheerlead over crumbs, or insignificant ‘victories,’ while remaining 100% silent over the tremendous public lands giveaways and threats quietly taking place right before our very eyes.

        FJRA fully releases the following Wilderness Study Areas:

        Axolotl Lakes Wilderness Study Area
        Bell and Limekiln Canyons Wilderness Study Area
        Henneberry Ridge Wilderness Study Area
        Hidden Pasture Wilderness Study Area

        FJRA releases a portion of the follow Wilderness Study Areas:

        Blacktail Mountains Wilderness Study Area
        Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area
        Farlin Creek Wilderness Study Area
        Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area
        Ruby Mountains Wilderness Study Area
        Sapphire Wilderness Study Area
        West Pioneer Wilderness Study Area

  5. How much does the Montana Republican party pay Craig to be their straw man PR guy, anyway? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • No a single dime. You personal attack shows your intellectual pockets are tuned out.

      • Your grammatical skills shows that you are checked out, as well.

        • The topic was not about me. Apparently you don’t possess even minimal focus skills. It’s always such a laugh when an anonymous sock puppet such as yourself cowardly attack others who use their real names. Are you ashamed of yours? Are you ashamed of others knowing who you are? Or are you just a coward? Doesn’t matter really. Your courage is quite revealing enough.

  6. Thanks Cowgirl! We the People had a great turnout–about 1,500 crammed into the rotunda to demonstrate solidarity on keeping public lands public. Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Montana Wildlife Federation, Wilderness Association, and lots of what some hook’n’bullet folks consider “fringe” environmental groups all came together on this issue. Lots of folks from Butte America too, I’m happy to say. After the rally we spent some time hobnobbing around the Senate and House chambers. Most legislators — even the conservative GOP ones — received us pretty well. Some, like Fielder and her paid thugs, were downright hostile. Once accosted me and a friend, rudely buttonholed us with “If you stupid close minded public land users would just listen to reason, you would agree with us and we could get rid of federal land in Montana…”
    As you point out, Fielder and her gang are funded by the American Lands Council from Utah. ALC is a tea bagger group funded by the Koch Brothers and other corporate, anti-public land interests.

    • Thanks for that report, Pat. We moderate Republicans can at least cling to some hope that there is some normalcy still in Helena. If we just focused on what is being proposed, and what straw men like Craig Moore post here on this blog, we would certainly be discouraged.

  7. Those who are yelling that they must take federal lands away from the United States and sell it off to their private interest groups have another thing in common. These are the same people who keep yelling crap like “smaller government” and” take up arms to overthrow our government”. These are the same people who want to secede from the United States and put in place their own dictatorship theocracy. Look at all of the bread crumbs they’ve been leaving behind and you’ll see what their end game is.

    As soon as they have control of our public lands they will have the power to take the next step in their treasonous plan. So, what do we do about it? Do we just bitch and moan about it on blogs? A rally does nothing since they care nothing about We the People or our federal laws.

    If there are Republicans who disagree with what their party members are doing then they had better stand up now to put a stop to it or remove themselves from the GOP. I’m beginning to look at every single Republican as an enemy of the United States and I know there are millions of others who are tired of their obstructions and treason as well.

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