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Durfee Hills Land ExchangeNot at the point of a gun
I am disturbed by the Wilks brothers’ coercive tactics to gain ownership of the Durfee Hills.
No state or federal agency, including the BLM, should negotiate with a gun at its head. The Wilks brothers have no apparent reason to block access to 50,000 acres of public land with armed guards on the Bullwacker Road other than to coerce the BLM into giving up public ownership of the Durfee Hills.
This style might work in Texas, but they had better look at their hole card before trying it in Montana. Yes, they are within legal rights to block the road, but there are other considerations such as being a good neighbor.
The Wilkses have greased the skids politically with campaign contributions to the majority party in our Legislature, but that is not the only option Montana Citizens have to protect our public estate. Ask the outfitters about Citizens Initiative 161 or the billionaire on the Ruby River who challenged our stream access law.
How about bringing an initiative that placed all trophy elk and deer in large landholdings under our permit system where the landowner can only negotiate access with permit holders of which only 10 percent can be nonresidents. In addition, any violation of this or bull/cow ratio or total population objectives would result in the issuance of only cow or doe permits in subsequent years. We expect our Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department to manage our wildlife resources under the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. We will not allow the Wilks brothers to change that.
Why not open the Bullwacker Road with no strings attached and then work in good faith with the public agencies involved?.
82 years to catch a redfish