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All Montanans hurt by privatizing public land

Unwise suggestion

To recent news articles advocating state takeover of public land, the only phrase that applies is “horse pucky.” Many groups have been involved in this issue since former secretaries of the Interior James Watt and Gayle Norton inspired the “Sagebrush Rebellion” more than two decades ago. Turning over our public land didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now.

The corporate mouthpieces pushing this new “Sagebrush Rebellion” garbage aren’t telling the rest of the story. Privatizer Terry Anderson touched on it somewhat when he mentioned state land leases going for $80 for a cow-calf unit per month. State leases must be renewed every 10 years.

These high “spite bids” would be a fraction of the bidding war that would occur on prime real estate involving Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and state school trust land. There may be some millionaires in Montana, but not many billionaires. The latter would outbid even the wealthiest livestock and farm producers in Montana. Billionaires James Cox Kennedy along the Ruby River, Anton Letica on Modesty Creek, Dan and Farris Wilks, Ted Turner and the Cabellas franchise have the billions to outbid any locals.

A lot of farms and ranches would be outbid and go under because these state and federal leases make an important difference in any operation’s profit margin. Federal leases are sold with the ranch or farm operation and are unlike state leases. These corporate privatizers should “stop shoveling this crap.”

We’re not going to buy it.

— Tony Schoonen, Butte

related articles

Ruby River Stream Access Victory
( 07/01/2016 )   7/1/2016PLWA, once again, has been victorious in the battle for the public's stream access on the Ruby River, from the Seyler Lane Bridge, likely the original stagecoach route from Salt Lake City, north to Virginia City and Helena.It has been over a decade that PLWA (formerly known as PLAAI) has been involved in a lawsuit over public access to the Ruby River from Seyler Lane and the Seyler Bridge, a public prescriptive easement right-of-way in Madison County.

"Dark Money" Brought to Light
( 07/01/2016 )   The June-July, Newscasts section of Fly Fisherman reported on the recent investigation by Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl, into a dark money campaign that could overturn Montana's Stream Access.Fly Fisherman recounted the Montana Growth Network's campaign contributions to District Judge Laurie McKinnon's run for our Montana Supreme Court.

public land issues

Seyler Lane Update
9/24/2015Seyler Bridge Easement - More Than Just RecreationUpdate - Kennedys attorney requested a postponement of the September 21 hearing.

Tenderfoot - Four Years and Counting
9/24/2015Tenderfoot Creek is a tributary of the Smith River, joining the Smith a mile or so north of Camp Baker.

    18 more public land issues

Opening Modesty Road

Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA, is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.

Articles and Information on this site represent the opinion of the writer and are not intended as legal advice. Legal counsel may be needed in dealing with specific access situations and issues.
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