Juneau Hits The Mark

by Justin Robbins

Recently, the ironically named Helena Independent Record (IR) ran an article claiming Congressional candidate Denise Juneau had unfairly attacked Ryan Zinke about what she phrased as his vote to “allow the transfer of Montana’s public land.” The paper concluded her charge is off the mark, because the bill in question, Idaho Representative Raúl Labrador’s Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act, only calls for appointed committees to evaluate uses for public lands, with an eye toward production.

Rather than imply that a paragon of journalistic integrity such as the IR might be biased, or lazy, allow me to instead explain why they are flat wrong. Their article notes Montana Conservation Voters Program Director Neal Ullman suspects a connection between recent land bills like Labrador’s and others from the likes of House Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Utah’s Rob Bishop, or Montana State Senator and bizarrely simultaneous American Land’s Council CEO, Jennifer Fielder. There is, Neal: The Mormon Church.

As I too softly implied here, then later illuminated here, the corporate machine that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has long been applying the tithings of its adherents to the accumulation of land. From a link included in my previous cowgirl post (again here):

“Herring also details how the Mormon church already owns 235,000 acres of Utah, and 678,000 acres (2% of the land) in Florida; they also have about 250,000 acres of Nebraska.”

They have so much land, in fact, that they are building a city in Florida. If you haven’t yet, now would be a great time to follow the links to the Wikipedia biographies of Mr. Labrador and Mr. Bishop; both belong to the Mormon Church. Utah Representative Ken Ivory, who handed the reins of the American Lands Council to Montana’s Fielder, is also a Mormon. Fielder’s biography claims Christian; but with over 4,400 active denominations, perhaps a tactless wager is in order.

Then again, tactless may be too harsh a word. After all, the country’s top Republican, the leader of the party of Labrador, Bishop, Ivory, Fielder and Zinke, is openly advocating religious tests, and disqualifying federal judges because they resemble an ethnicity he hopes to oppress. Dare they claim privilege from the same treatment?

In summary, it must be admitted that Labrador’s bill does not directly call for the privatization of public lands. It instead calls for an appointed committee to look at transfer of land management with an emphasis on production. Not conservation. Not recreation.

It calls for a deck stacked with like minded folks deciding who gets to fence off which formerly public lands and cut timber, dig mines, farm, ranch and maybe develop a city. Does anyone get the impression the American Lands Council is out to maintain and preserve hiking, fishing, hunting and other recreational capacities of our lands?

Denise Juneau correctly observed that Ryan Zinke’s actions have endangered our public lands. From backing Labrador’s obvious agenda, to abdicating the delegate status which would allow him to fight for public lands, he has effective cleared the way for the well-placed tentacles of the Mormon church to continue unfettered acquisition of our public lands.

It’s a pretty simple formula, really. Create a bogey man like the Federal Government. Gin up fears about overreach (they’re using your tax dollars to kill babies and melt down your guns), while you get the right people holding the right strings and pass dog whistle legislation to start greasing the slope.

Yes, Mr. Ullman, there’s a connection; and no, Ms. Juneau did not miss the mark.


29 Comments on "Juneau Hits The Mark"

  1. Fielder was baptized into the LDS Church a year or two ago by Ken Ivory himself, who came up to Plains, Montana for the event, local scuttlebutt over there in Sanders County has it.

  2. Matthew Koehler | July 26, 2016 9:50 AM at 9:50 AM |

    Who knows, maybe Verbatim, Ballotpedia’s “fact-checking desk” is also run by the Morman Church. Or perhaps Ballotpeida lacks “journalistic integrity” or might just be “biased, or lazy,” right Justin?

    “Juneau’s claim is false. The bill that Zinke voted for does not authorize the sale of any federal lands.” Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Verbatim_fact_check:_Did_Montana_Rep._Ryan_Zinke_equivocate_on_selling_or_transferring_public_lands%3F

    Also, I notice that Rep Rob Bishop (R-Utah) is mentioned in this blog post 3 times. We all know that Rep Bishop is as anti-public lands and anti-Wilderness as any modern day politician can possibly get, right?

    But did you folks also realize that the Pew Foundation’s Mike Matz (who has help funnel millions of dollars to the Montana Wilderness Association to support Senator Tester’s mandated public lands logging bill) has recently come out in support of Rep Bishop’s (anti-) Public Lands Initiative, saying the proposal to give away federal public lands to the state of Utah (and oil and gas industry and mining corporations) is ‘sound’ and that Matz and Pew will “continue working with [Rep Bishop] to try to get it through the legislative process in a way that the president would sign it…?”

    Talk about a public lands deal with the devil.

    Also, I have to chuckle when Justin claims the Labrador bill “calls for a deck stacked with like minded folks” deciding where to cut trees, dig mines and graze cattle on public lands.

    That sounds a lot like the ‘collaboration’ between the Montana Wilderness Association (John Gatchell), Montana Trout Unlimited (Bruce Farling), National Wildlife Federation (Tom France) and 5 timber mill managers that lead directly to Senator Tester’s mandated public lands logging bill, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.

    A “deck stacked with like minded folks” also sounds nearly identical to Gov Bullock’s hand-picked group of 7 people who met on the phone a few times to nominate 5 million acres of federal public lands in Montana for ‘fast-track’ logging that’s “categorically excluded from the requirements of NEPA,” our nation’s bedrock environmental law. Ironically, the person who Bullock had hand-pick the 7 folks was Tim Baker (who used to be the head of the Montana Wilderness Association). Let’s not forget that we had to file an open records request to get to the bottom of all of this after we first learned about Gov Steve Bullock’s secret, no public notice, no public input process. In those notes, it clearly said the group of 7 would seek public input. But nope, that never happened. But hey, #KeepItPublic, right people?

    And everyone knows that the deputy director of the Montana Wilderness Association is married to the campaign manger of Denise Juneau, right? And that the new head of Montana Conservation Voters was the former lobbyist for the Montana Wilderness Association? And that the current head of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers ran a ‘dark money’ outfit that dishonestly and unethically ran TV ads for a libertarian candidate to help Tester defeat Rehberg? (See: http://bit.ly/1atheOQ)

    Finally, I agree with Justin when he says “It’s a pretty simple formula, really. Create a bogey man….gin up fears about overreach, while you get the right people holding the right strings to pass dog whistle legislation to start greasing the slope.”

    However, seems like Justin is doing that here with the Morman Church. Maybe Senator Tester and Gov Bullock didn’t get that memo when they clearly used the decision by $25 BILLION mega corporation Weyerhauser to close two mills and an admin office in Columbia Falls to blame the situation on the “federal government.”

    Why you folks give the Montana Dems a pass for their own ‘dog whistle legislation” that has started ‘greasing the slopes” for more logging, mining, grazing, wildlife killing that undermines bedrock environmental laws like NEPA or the ESA proves to me that some of you are nothing more than political operatives who could either care less about public lands management or are so wrapped around the axel of party politics that you fail to understand the profound policy implications happening right before your very eyes at the hands of your supposed public lands champions.

    • Quick question, Matt. Which member of Congress would better represent the environmental issues that are important to you, Juneau or Zinke? (Hint: Juneau was the only member of the state’s Land Board to vote against leasing the Otter Creek Coal Tracts to the now bankrupt Arch Coal.)

    • Art Wittich's Hot Tub Time Machine | July 26, 2016 1:56 PM at 1:56 PM |

      You’re fighting a losing battle.

  3. Quick question, Pete. Do you have any reaction at all to all the public lands policy substance in my post, and specifically how Montana Dem party leaders have pushed various public lands proposals that are similar to the one Zinke voted for in Committee? What do we do when that happens? Bury our heads in the sand? Run off to the Land of Make Believe? Speak out publicly?

    For the record, I believe that Juneau would be less worse than Zinke on public lands policy issues. But that’s different than being very good or great. And this also depends on the make up of the entire Congress and also who is president. Sometimes, in the 25 years I’ve paid close attention to public lands policy coming out of Washington DC at least, I’ve noticed that the Dem Party plays better defense than offense because some of the bills coming from Dems like Tester (on political logging mandates, politicians undermining ESA) are downright offensive. Thanks, buddy.

    • Well, of course, it “depends on the make up of the entire Congress and also who is President.” That’s probably why the Democrats have had to play “defense.” They’ve been in the minority for six years at the national level and 11 years at the state level. Most of their time is spent trying to stop really bad bills.

      I believe Juneau will be more than “less worse.” And I’m sure she wouldn’t have voted for Rep. Labrador’s Self Sufficient Community Lands Act.

      • Matthew Koehler | July 28, 2016 8:41 AM at 8:41 AM |

        Hi Pete: Did you see that Denise Juneau unveiled her “Public Lands Priorities” yesterday?

        I went to Juneau’s website and read her actual press release and couldn’t help but notice a few things.

        For starters, apparently Wilderness doesn’t fit into Denise Juneau’s public lands priorities, as the word Wilderness – or even vague reference to the concept of protecting wildlands – is nowhere to be found.

        What you do see on her webpage is Republican-sounding rhetoric about ‘cutting red tape’ as a top public lands priority. Does Juneau realize that so-called ‘red tape’ is actually one thing that helps protect our public lands, wildlife and ecosystems from unwise development and the desires of the anti-public lands, anti-wilderness, anti-environmental crowd?

        It’s also worth noting that Denise Juneau lists one of her public lands priorities as “streamlining environmental review” for National Forest timber sales using President George W Bush’s so-called “Healthy Forests ‘Restoration’ Act” as a model.

        Once again, “streamlined environmental review” is code for supporting much less analysis of how a timber sale on National Forests will impact wildlife, clean water, soils, native forests, etc.

        Also, the “streamlined environmental review” that Juneau wants to champion for National Forest timber sales also results in much less meaningful public participation, as it completely cuts out and bans the citizen objection process for logging projects.

        One of the main architects of Bush’s HFRA was a Conrad Burns staffer who worked for the timber industry and is now the top timber industry lobbyist in Montana. The main Congressional co-sponsor of Bush’s HFRA was Republican Rep Scott McInnis from Colorado, who ended up his congressional career with an abysmal 15% environmental voting record from the League of Conservation Voters.

        I know a thing or two about President Bush’s “Healthy Forests ‘Restoration’ Act” because ten years ago I was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests regarding implementation of the HFRA. It’s hard to understand why Denise Juneau would be championing “streamlined environmental review” and George Bush’s “Heathy Forests” bill – since Bush was easily one of the most anti-environmental presidents in modern times – but there you have it.

        If you are a Montanan who cares deeply about America’s public lands and our Wilderness legacy Denise Juneau’s ‘Public Lands Priorities” are a real disappointment and leave a lot to be desired.

        • “streamlining environmental review” and ‘cutting red tape’, while omitting “wilderness”, sounds less like Denise Juneau; more like the manager of the Partisan Campaign for Denise Juneau to win votes to represent Montana in the ‘public house’, the US House of Representatives.

  4. Well, Justin, Denise and Cowgirl — I take it you haven’t gotten a “Cease and Desist” order. I keep checking my mailbox but none has materialized for me either. I guess I’m going to have to try a lot harder. A framed C&D order signed by Bopp could be the envy of all my friends.
    Tea-party lawyers and their lawsuits are a joke. Frivolous lawsuits brought to harrass, intimidate and get legal fees reinbursed deserve the attention of the Bar Association.

  5. Zinke, in a public statement, gave up his delegate status at the RNC Convention due to the RNC’s platform endorsing and promoting the transfer of federal lands out of federal land ownership.
    Kind of giving up the sleeves out of your vest. Zinke is a republican and part of the party who wants to rid the country of federal public lands.

  6. Why is Mormon-baiting okay when other kinds of baiting by other kinds of people than progressives is not?
    Mormons the new Jews? Is this a special kind of dog-whistling for “post-racial” Democrats? Please explain, Justin.

    • Never understood the term “baiting” in this context, Dave; but I’m claiming accuracy, not righteousness. I was trying to avoid “dog-whistling” as well, to eliminate confusion as to what dots I was connecting for the interested reader. I’m pointing a finger at the corporate machine that is the LDS church…clear enough?

      You’re welcome to dismiss me as a bigot, but quietly allowing nefarious conduct to go unchallenged because it happens behind the doors of a church does not qualify as virtue. However, if declaring strongly held beliefs is all I need do to provide immunity from inquiry, then you may consider me a religion of one, and I’d thank you to stop persecuting me.

      That even felt ridiculous to type…

      There’s a pretty clear agenda here, Dave. Get public land from federal to state control, control state legislatures to control state land boards, offer contracts to the right bidder. I’m sorry if couching it all in a crack pot “religion” makes you want to look the other way…but, they’re not.

      • The problem with Churches is they do have backroom deals. Especially the Mormon Church. Justin is right they have been quietly buying up land in Florida.

        Incase you never noticed the Mormons are pretty savvy Business folk. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deseret_Management_Corporation

        The church owns Deseret Management Corporation which is a holding company which owns the tax-paying companies that fall under the umbrella of the LDS Church. DMC’s Board of Directors is made up of the church’s First Presidency.

        It has been Pretty scary for environmentalists down there in Florida worrying about 1/2 a million new people by 2080, but once they seem to get a compromise from church officials not to kill every species of critter and flora in their plans to build this city on private property, Environmentalists have been signing off on the deals to allow the possible tenth largest city in florida to become reality.

        Why? Jobs, and income in a state where nothing else is there to help the GOP with its trickle down Government. that state is and has been in the red for a long time. because it does not have a personal income tax in Florida. Florida however does have a Sales Tax rate of 6%. Florida State Tax: Florida does not have a state income tax. Florida Corporate Income Tax: Corporations that do business and earn income in Florida must file a corporate income tax return (unless they are exempt). http://www.stateofflorida.com/taxes.aspx

        Again, our state is quite different as it has been run long enough in liberal hands for our folks to be comfortable with a fairly decent environmental protection, Taxes and social needs…. That Florida I assure you has never had, or is just dismal in http://www.alternet.org/economy/10-reasons-you-should-not-move-florida-floridians-who-know not to mention you could fit that state within our borders 3 times over with 20 times more people then our state.

        The problem here is not environmental groups, Mathew it is state and federal laws regarding Private land. Longstanding law that is really not a problem for anyone but you. Florida is a dismal place to look for work. It has the nation’s “third highest proportion on unemployed persons who have been jobless for six months or more.” according to the Alernet Link above.

        So you’re comparing apples to Oranges in Environmental Law on top of not explaining the myriad of protections Florida, and the U.S. offers landowners.

        I like how you mix bull shit into analogy without explaining the great differences of Public vrs Private land environmentalism in a court of law. Or what environmental laws have been standardized to protect our environment. which is only after a crime against nature has been committed. And a great reason why environmental groups come in handy as the civilian beat cop for our wilderness. but even they have limits.

        So, If a compromise is reached between the environmentalists and landowners before building, there isn’t a crime Mathew. No matter what you say!

        Apparently a lot of the Area owned by the Mormon church doesn’t harm endangered flora or animals. Sure there are concerns, about following water, sewage air laws for this property as well and not all of the environmental groups concerns have been addressed yet, because that comes with construction, However they have waded into the mire and fought a good fight of this proposed mormon city, and I am sure they will continue their vigilance.

        Rest assured the environmentalists are doing whatever they can to protect the wilds of Florida. The Feds are gonna make sure there is adequate water and treatment plans in place and implemented…. the county and state will tax accordingly.

        Mathew, this is not the only time I have seen you fly solo by the seat of your pants about environmentalism without the facts, to back your ass up. So blaming Justin who got his facts mostly right to your mostly wrong…. Well, it just isn’t a good rant here for you and makes all of us environmentally minded folk look like asses…. I know you are smarter than this and I agree with you on quite a few things… but you’re just whining without the proof to back your ass up?

        Your name alone isn’t good enough to spark a real debate of the issues of environment on the other side of the country.

        And reaching across the Isle to protect environment is never a loss.

        I am sure Florida environmental groups are doing everything they can to defend wildlife, but this ranch is on hundred year old Cattle ranch not everglades. the land owners are working with them in good faith…. The rest of it is out of your hands because it is private, Not public land.

      • Geeze, “persecuting” you? What was the trigger word that has so upset you? I just want to be clear on why the identity of these folks as Mormons is so important, more so than if they were Baptists, or Jews, or Anasazi, or even Republicans — which most Mormons happen to be. What, do we have some Elders of Zion issuing secret protocols?
        And what is “nefarious” about seeking self-enrichment for your cronies? The Clinton Foundation has that down to a tee, for starters.
        Thanks for making me laugh, Justin.

        • My pleasure, Dave. You seem to have gotten that I am/was not upset, but rather illustrating the silliness of granting some type of taboo status to the topic of religion. Its the only domain of discourse where everyone seems loathe to tread.

          I think the “nefarious” language is justified by their methods; also, their apparent goals. I mean, its pretty easy to figure out who is pulling the strings at The Clinton Foundation. Do you see any difference between that and, say, The American Lands Council?

          Did you learn anything from my essay of which you were previously unaware?

    • And Public Land policy is only one issue. The LDS Church has also poured millions of dollars into anti-Rx Cannabis laws and and trying to deny women the right to make their own reproductive decisions. Theocratic Law is forbidden by our Constitution but making the Bible the foundation of American law is in the GOP platform, driven in large part by, you guessed it, members of the LDS Church. Tyranny will come to America carrying a Bible and waving the flag. Truman I think? Whomever, it’s looking more likely every day…

      • On this I agree they are fairly Monstrous on.

      • and don’t even get me started on the obvious constitutional violations of separation of church and state perpetuated by the rightwing nut jobs. (please see my comment below) The Montana House and Senate (and the likes of the Dave Skinners of this state!) is full of office holders who didn’t make it past the 7th grade! How is this possible? Isn’t this a requirement? I mean if you can compel office holders not to wear yoga pants you would think they could be compelled to graduate from junior high!

  7. Onward Kristshun soljers…..Zinke trying to play every angle at once..

  8. Matthew Koehler implies an hypocrisy is at work – when Democrats participate in ‘multiple-use’ schemes for public lands… which in fairness, by definition: should also include economic uses. I don’t see the hypocrisy – if there is a sound and un-corrupted democratic process in place, coupled with sound science and responsible management.

    From my perspective, Zinke’s contemporary GOP is not on that track. Their long-term strategy appears to be ‘transfer authority to the States’, where partisan acolytes and their patrons can ‘turn the screws’ to manipulate malleable politicians (Governors, State Attorneys, Lawmakers, Commissioners) and other key individuals – with clear goals in mind: ‘resource extraction’ and ‘economic development’ – maybe throw in a little ‘deregulation’. After all… Who needs to sell a single acre of public land to accomplish the ‘economic development’ priority – when it can be done through special permits, easements, right-of-way, leases, waivers, eminent domain … Who knows what other ‘legal instruments’? The strategy also hints at the idea: After all the valuables have been carted away, fewer potential liabilities may be realized if the land is then handed back to the federal government to be managed at taxpayer expense. The GOP process appears to me to be ‘dishonest’, and ‘manipulative’.

    I worked in a welfare office: Identifying and pursuing ‘Financial responsibility’ of absent parents was, believe it or not, a high priority. When a woman applied for public assistance (financial and medical assistance for her and her children), we asked her to identify the absent father. One woman replied to my question: ‘Please identify on this form, the father of your child’: “I don’t know his name’ she told me… “but his friends call him ‘Slick’. She could have been describing Zinke’s GOP.

  9. Transferring Public Lands to management for production,
    makes for a lot of sensate expectations/gratifications
    within hearts and minds of mega-buck GOP base of Bozeman & Whitefish,
    ALSO the ? dozen billionaire owned cattle operations in Montana,
    and the seven billionairs well established in Ravalli County!

    ( In many Counties, the largest number of people gather as “congregants” at Roman Catholic Churches. Second largest number of “congregants” gather at Protestant Churches. Largest number of “congregants” in Ravalli gather at LDS Churches.)

    Justin, thankyou for a very helpful, informative plus enjoyable Column !!!

    Would you join me in asking Matthew to eschew appropriating your metaphors for the greater purpose of illustrating his sense of humor?

    Matthew, when the time is right, please consider composing a Guest Column appropriating your own metaphors and storyline about harsh current realities of the gang of four or more, MWA, MCV, TU, BCHA.

    Please, Matthew! No need for malaprop segue when substance is your subject. There’s a very large need for public information about such as your view of the current collaboration cartel in Montana.

    • Bob, speaking of need for public information…sometimes I wish I had never accidentally came upon the Cowgirl blog! As a novice to political discussion, I happened upon this blog when directed to it while reading a news article that described the ridiculous notion that Yellowstone and Glacier were in jeopardy of being absconded by the nutjob white supremacists in the Flathead Of course the article was not worded that way, but that is how I read it. I am biased I must admit due to the fact that I grew up in Great Falls hearing bogeyman stories about religious nuts to the west of us who would maim, enslave, and lynch non whites and especially half breed little girls who misbehave if one stepped across their boundaries. Now I find that my nightmares are reality and the bogeywomen have been elected to public office!
      You don’t have to be a disciple of Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell to realize that myths have roots in reality and Justin’s article reminded me of a one of the greatest myths in US history -that our federal and state governments were created to form a for-profit business. We know where the roots of that myth sprouted from and it certainly wasn’t from the Constitutions of the United States or Montana. I refer you to Article X, section 11 of the Montana Constitution which has no provision compelling profit to be made in the use of public lands. I may be politically naive, but isn’t it obvious that the existence of Montana, LLC and USA, inc creates HUGE conflicts of interest in a democracy. State and Federal governments should not be in the business of business! Hell, I recall, after being armed with the knowledge of the basics of Democratic principles in a junior high civics class, being astounded that state and federal governments were allowed to lease federal and state land in the interest of the profit for individuals and corporations. I was especially dumbfounded that these mineral, fossil fuels, and rangeland leases were provided without a public vote. Blame it on the naivete of a 12 year old, but it seemed at the time a dangerous precedent especially after I learned at the same time that the federal government had already given away millions of acres to the railroads and miners and they still wanted more free land? Wouldn’t that create monopolies and subsequent cronyism and corruption? I am not so naive now, I know that citizens do benefit from exploitation of public land in the form of timber for houses, fuel for cars and electricity, but I also now know that technology and human greed has outpaced nature and we can no longer afford to ignore these violations of the democratic process in the interest of the common good because the violations are no longer for the common good but for the interests of a minority of those who would profit from public land without equitable recompense to the government, the people. Government is not in the business of making a profit it is the business of making and enforcing laws which benefit and represent the will of the people, people of all colors and all religions and all sexes and of all incomes. Montana is not in the business of making profits from selling public lands in order to benefit one race and one religion. I know this is true because it says it in the Constitutions of Montana and the United States and I learned this in 7th grade and I see no evidence that it has been rewritten or revised since then.

  10. People keep saying that our public land is leased too cheap, but it was never the Governments choice to make it too hard for new extraction companies or cattle ranches to exist. By owning Public land the government is not trying to make a buck out of it but rather work to use it for the benefit of all concerned. It is the Corporations who are abusing leases, by buying up as many as possible and not allowing Hunters to hunt and ranchers to use the land while it sits idle for the corporations to use as assets for loans in other projects that have nothing to do with that particular parcel of land.

    They are the ones shutting down recreational Multiple usage

    Our government needs to get tougher on these abusers of land leases by corporations. But there is a whole shell game in Leased government land alone, where corporations have also been known to set up dummy subsidiaries to lease Government land and close it to the public without getting their branded name muddied in Mired Kerfuffles with locals wanting to Hunt fish on Public land they have done recreation on all their life. The Department of Interior is already having to spend more money hiring lawyers to mitigate and find the Corporate abusers, when their Budget is already cut to ribbons by Corporate owned republicans in Congress and wildfires caused by Climate change.

    You see the problem here? Granted the government agencies dont do enough, but how can they when they have their budgets hamstringed by corporations pressuring them from both sides. It is time to get corporate money out of politics now.

    Youre right Robin, our constitutions make no mention of protecting businesses, only fostering a fair chance for little guys and big guys. The problem is corporations are greedy, and not only do they shut out Americans from their use and protection of public lands…. but also have the Money to write up all the propaganda that dissuades Americans from the truth about how they want to close down use of these public lands, and lie that is the governments fault.

    • Right on as per usual Norma. Thank you for helping me to understand concisely. I hope Hillary will fulfil her promise to try to reverse Citizens united as she stated in her speech last night. I also hope she will appoint Obama to SCOTUS. I can’t think of greater appointment! He is a constitution al lawyer from Harvard after all. Now democrats need to take back house and senate in Montana and US. I am not slightly ashamed to say that I would enjoy to see the right wing nuts squirm if Obama is supreme court justice. I can’t help !yself to resist after what they put Obama and this nation through while trying to pull us backwards in time.

  11. How about other newspapers?
    Zinke gets 15 friendly column inches framed yesterday in The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, to state that he voted 17 times “against the sale and transfer of publc lands.”
    That’s from B1 and B2 of todays Missoulian.
    Then, on B3, two days after the event, under the banner JUNEAU LAUNCHES PUBLIC LAND PLAN,TRADES BARBS WITH REP. ZINKE, Zinke gets 8 column inches, with 3 column inches of pro Zinke framing.
    Denise Juneau gets 8 column inches. No framing of her position.
    Denise characterizs herself “as a champion of PUBLIC LANDS AND ACCESS”, and the story comes out two days later.
    Myself, i thought the “trading barbs” phrase was grossly inaccurate.
    The article might more truthfully be bannered as:

    • Hi Bob,

      The irony of Rep Zinke getting to score campaign points by using the Lolo National Forest’s Marshall Woods project, which includes portions of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

      Unfortunately, the irony apparently was lost on the reporter, Kasey Bubnash, a name that’s new to me, and perhaps new to the Missoulian as well….so Kasey may be completely unaware of the long history of this timber sale and how the U.S. Forest Service tried to push through a commercial timber sale – and logging trucks – 3+ miles up into the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

      Does Rep Zinke even know that he toured a public lands logging project that was made better by the citizen objection process and the threat of a lawsuit?

      See this for some background: http://missoulian.com/news/local/marshall-woods-decision-cuts-commercial-logging-roads-in-rattlesnake-rec/article_20a26641-e491-58a9-a37c-d82d98db74d7.html

      Remember, Rep Zinke supports a public lands logging bill that, among other terrible provisions, would require citizens to post a bond in order to hold the U.S. Government accountable in the court of law.

      So I have to believe that Rep Zinke and his staffers actually don’t know anything about the opposition to the U.S. Forest Service’s original plans to log deep within the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

      The fact of the matter is that if Rep Zinke thinks the project her toured yesterday was decent, the only reason it was was because of official objections filed – and threats of a lawsuit – by citizens and non-profit forest and wilderness protection groups such as Friends of the Rattlesnake, WildWest Institute and Wilderness Watch.

      You can learn more about the truth history of this project here: http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/will-forest-service-protect-nature-of-rattlesnake-rec-area/article_6cc9071f-0d74-567c-b056-b40873bdd526.html

  12. Matthew Koehler | August 9, 2016 7:25 AM at 7:25 AM |

    Anyone else notice Montana Public Radio’s fairly in-depth coverage and analysis of Zinke and Juneau’s public lands policy positions?

    Listen here: http://mtpr.org/post/analyzing-zinke-juneaus-public-lands-positions

    Check out the opening snippet:

    At times, the maneuvering in this political joust has missed striking a mark of complete truth as Democrat Denise Juneau and Republican Ryan Zinke attempt to gain an edge before the November election.

    While there are differences between the two candidates’ priorities on public lands policy, University of Montana Political Science professor Robert Saldin says those disagreements are more nuanced than the narratives being spun by their campaigns.

    “I think probably at the end of the day, there is a lot more similarity between them than would be indicated by all the recent back and forth allegations.”

    • Mathew instead of complaining, and with your vast understanding…..Why not try and explain what could be better for all parties.

      There is a lot of people who do not have the time or inclination to read the largess of studies you and I have.

      Point out the damn differences sir!

      • Huh Norma? I have pointed out the similarities and some differences between the pubic lands, wildlife and Wilderness policy positions of various politicians, both in the comments on this blog post and through other avenues over the past twenty years. Thanks.

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