Gallatin Wildlife Association
As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same! We are quickly filling up the old threats against our wildlands and our wildlife with a bunch of new ones! GWA has not officially taken a position on these actions yet, but present them here for your information.
The U.S. Forest Service is on the attack of making significant changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a basic foundation of environmental regulations and public participation. According the Center of Biological Diversity website and email alerts, there is this.
This from the Forest Forever website:
To Comment: Use this link.
Thanks to Center for Biological Diversity.org and Forests Forever.org!
2. Oppose Senate Bill 1695!
This bill simply weakens The Wilderness Act of 1964 by opening up wilderness areas to mountain biking and other mechanical use. Senator Mike Lee of Utah was signature to introducing this bad piece of legislation in the U.S. Congress and we need to defeat this bad piece of legislation. Needless to say, wilderness and wildlife are being pressured like never before by human interference on our wildlands.
Please write our Senators and urge them to vote against S. 1695.
For Senator Steve Daines: https://www.daines.senate.gov/connect/email-steve
For Senator Jon Tester: https://www.tester.senate.gov/contact/
For further information, you use this link by Wilderness Watch. Look at the first action alert.
3. Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act: H.R. 2532
Note: GWA has not taken a position on this bill, but present it here for your information.
As you know, the Trump Administration has recently tried again to remove Grizzly Bears from ESA protections, protections which were first put in place for these bears since 1975. Yet, there are still efforts in motion to remove these protections of bears from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.
According to Wilderness Watch, this bill has these devastating effects.
If you would like to help in the further protections of Grizzly Bears, be sure and write our House Representative, Greg Gianforte.
The link to his contact is found here.
4. In Case You Didn't Know - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is determined to delist the Gray Wolf!
As with the grizzly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is once again trying to delist the gray wolf. To read the documentation on the Federal Register you can click here at this link.
To leave a comment, you can do so here at this link.
Comment period ends July 15, 2019
This iconic species of the wild is once again under threat by USFWS and others who want to remove federal protections. If this happens, the wolf will be suseptible for trophy hunting and predator control agents. To learn more on this legislation, we urge you to contact the National Wolfwatcher Coalition or the Humane Society of the United States. If this issue is of interest to you, please take action now.
Follow Up - The Death of Some Bad Bills:
To follow up on bills in U.S. Congress - you can use this link. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/
H.R. 6784, "Manage our Wolves Act" was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on November 16, 2018, but was never passed by the Senate.
The Share Act, HR 3668, ( "The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act") was introduced in September 13, 2017 in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. It died in a previous session of Congress!
Senate Bill 2206 ( "The Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act") introduced by Steve Daines on December 7, 2017 in a previous session of Congress was also not enacted. It also died in a previous session of Congress!
One of Rep. Gianforte’s bills (H.R. 5148), a companion bill to Steve Daines S. 2206, 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 was also never enacted.
Gianforte’s other bad bill (H.R. 5149) “Unlocking Public Lands Act” introduced on Mar. 1, 2018 in a previous session of Congress was also not enacted and died in that session of Congress.
The “Wheels in Wilderness Bill” (H.R. 1349), which would amend and weaken the Wilderness Act to allow mountain bikes, strollers, wheelbarrows, game carts, survey wheels and measuring wheels in Wilderness Areas was introduced on December 13, 2017 in a previous session of Congress, but not enacted. It died in a previous session of Congress!
“The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017”, H.R. 2936, would have expedited forest health projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and improve forest management activities on public lands and Tribal lands to return resilience to overgrown, fire-prone forested lands (so it says). This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on November 1, 2017, but was never passed by the Senate. Died in a previous sessison of Congress.
Superior National Forest ,Land Exchange Act, H.R. 3115, and H.R. 3905, "Minnesota Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act" had passed the House on Nov. 28, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2017 respectively, but was never passed by the Senate!
As you may know there have been countless attacks and threats to the Endangered Species Act over the years. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, there have been 75 since January 3, 2017. For that link for more information on the subject, it is below.
And as you may know, one of the more immediate threats which does not seem to be going away is that work done by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming. His proposed legislation which still does not seem to have a Senate Bill number is a work in progress, but it is called the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018. What this bill is supposed to do is give more power to the states to decide what species would be considered meeting the requirements of the ESA. States would have more control and likely that would be based upon less science.
Be on the lookout for details and information on this bill and we will present them here as we know them. In the meantime we can write and call our Senators and Congressman that we will not stand for weakening of the Endangered Species Act.