In four out or five past years, Lolo Creek has run dry. Historically, Lolo Creek has been a robust little stream filled with cutthroat trout and rushing water, but something lately has changed, and it isn’t an obvious answer. Are upstream irrigators using more than their share? Has development drained water from the area in drought years? Peter Friesen has a great article on the concern of locals and state officials alike about Lolo Creek, read it in The Missoulian.
HR 621, which would have allowed for the sale of 3.3 million acres of public land, will be rescinded today by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who introduced the bill to huge public outcry. Thanks to the people who protested, wrote letters, emails, and even instagram comments that helped change his mind for the better. The fight continues to protect public lands, but we’ve succeeded in putting the officials on notice: we won’t be silent when our right to public lands are threatened. Keep up the pressure on HR 622, and let your voice be heard.
By now, we hope you’ve heard of the “Public Lands Are Worthless” designation that the U.S. Congress has enacted. Building on that pile of dogshit comes H.R. 621 put forth by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz (of Hillary Clinton E-mail investigation fame.) H.R. 621 seeks to sell off 3.3 million acres across 10 states in the West. Read more about it at Wilderness.Org, and see what the Trump Administration has emboldened in congress, despite the interests of 72 percent of voters in the west that oppose just such a scheme.
The guardian has an excellent article on new research regarding last season’s Yellowstone fish kill, and the implications it has on the toll of human activity on rivers. From the article:
“In effect, these myriad human activities contribute to the weakening of the “immune systems” of rivers like the Yellowstone, making aquatic organisms more vulnerable to stresses like fish-killing parasites. The paper said these pernicious changes are being experienced in waterways across western North America and in other mountain river systems, including some found in Europe, the Andes, the Himalayas, and the high country of New Zealand.”
George Ochenski writes a beautiful elegy to fly fishing and conservation legend Bud Lilly, Read it in the Missoulian.
My old friend Tristan Scott has an excellent article on the background of Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT) and his rise to the position of Interior Secretary as part of the coming Trump administration. While some groups in Montana are applauding the pick, other conservation groups have grave concerns regarding the choice, and as Zinke becomes a player on the national scene, his conservation views will soon guide the nation. “Today, his commitment to those conservation values is coming under deeper scrutiny than ever before as environmental groups respond to his selection with mixed reviews. Zinke’s appointment to hold sway over the nation’s federal lands and natural resources is hailed by many as a boon for conservation and public lands in Montana and nationwide, while others are unpacking the Congressman’s checkered voting history and support for aggressive energy-exploration policies as a portent for a polluter-friendly administration led by Trump, who has pledged to roll back regulations and unleash a torrent of fossil-fuel energy production,“ Scott writes. Mandatory reading for those concerned with conservation from a great journalist right here in western Montana. Photo and story via The Flathead Beacon.
Aw, shucks. Looks like the 90’s movie bullies all growed up got caught with their hands in the cookie jar again. As of this morning, the Dallas News is reporting that Donnie and Eric Trump are now distancing themselves from the obvious pay-for-access ploy of the conservation organization, Opening Day Foundation, which listed them as initial registrants. Now these grown up millionaire versions of the O’Doyles from Billy Madison say those plans “were merely initial concepts”and that they aren’t to blame now that the organization’s selling of access to the president on inauguration day has seen the light of day. “An unnamed official with the Trump transition team reportedly told the Associated Press that Eric and Donald Trump Jr. were unaware they had been named in the nonprofit,” the Dallas News reports. Which is the political equivalent of, “Mom, it was their idea!” Conservation deserves better than these two brothers and their billionaire honchos. Photo and quotes via Dallas News.