Tag Archives: montana

Updates from the Buffalo Field Campaign

31 Aug

Public comments needed for year-round wild bison habitat in Montana, and BFC Roadshow announced!

from Buffalo Field Campaign

BullsRoam_BFCseay2011-1The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter and harassment of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo. Volunteers from around the world defend buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection. Our daily patrols stand with the buffalo on the ground they choose to be on, and document every move made against them. Volunteers spend all day, from sunrise until sunset, watching and documenting actions taken against the buffalo. We run patrols from cars, skis and snowshoes to protect buffalo outside the park. Tactics range from video documentation to nonviolent civil disobedience.

TAKE ACTION: Comments Due September 13 on Year-Round Habitat

The public comment period is currently open on Montana’s proposal for some year-round bison habitat in both the Hebgen and Gardiner Basins, west and north of Yellowstone National Park. Comments are being accepted until 5pm on September 13, 2013.

Click here to send your comments now, and to review Montana’s Environmental Assessment.

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Manual for Sabotaging Wolf Hunts Released

12 Aug

“And in that case, we choose to be saboteurs for the wild.”

The following text is from a press release of the Earth First! Media office, which provides correspondence to news outlets around the world.

Download the Earth First! Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual Here

Download the Earth First! Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual Here

by Earth First! News

Earth First! Media has released a manual which provides detailed information for disrupting wolf hunting in those states that allow it. Titled The Earth First! Wolf Hunting Sabotage Manual, the text, complete with step-by-step graphics, explains how to find and destroy wolf traps, handle live trapped wolves in order to release them, and various methods, including the use of air-compressed horns and smoke-bombs, for stopping wolf hunts.

The authors of the manual describe themselves as,  “hunters and proud of it,” adding, “But we aren’t proud of what passes for hunting these days and especially for what passes as ‘sportsman’ hunting. Somehow, the National Rifle Association, yuppie trophy hunters, cattle barons, and the Obama Administration are in cahoots in an effort that promises to wipe wolves clean off the planet. And in that case, we choose to be saboteurs for the wild.”    Continue reading

Montana’s Highest Court Clears Way for Return of Wild Bison

20 Jun

American_bison1from EarthJustice

Helena, MT — The Montana Supreme Court today cleared the way for the return of wild bison to their historic prairie habitat on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, reversing a lower court ruling that had blocked state plans to transfer bison to the Fort Belknap tribes for more than a year.

Today’s ruling from Montana’s highest court came in response to an appeal by two conservation groups, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation, represented by the public-interest environmental law firm Earthjustice.

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Montana Considering Extending Wolf Hunt, Upping Kill Limit

3 May

Cross Posted from Great Falls Tribune

angry_wolf_wallpaper-1600x1200

HELENA — Montana wildlife commissioners may extend the hunting season for wolves and the number of predators that can be killed by a hunter or trapper.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing a rifle season from Sept. 15 to March 31. Last year, the season began Oct. 15 and ended Feb. 15, resulting in 128 wolves killed by rifle and bow hunters.

Trappers took an additional 97 wolves, for a total of 225 predators killed.

That is the highest number killed in Montana since federal protections for wolves were lifted for Idaho and Montana in 2011.

The agency also is proposing allowing hunters and trappers to take up to five wolves each, the Independent Record reported Wednesday.

Last year, hunters and trappers could take only one wolf. The state Legislature this year passed a bill that allows the agency to increase that limit.

The changes would allow hunters more opportunities and reduce the wolf population, FWP Wildlife Management Chief George Pauley said.

“We’ve always had a philosophy of incrementally increasing harvest rates and opportunities,” he said.

There were at least 625 wolves in 147 packs in Montana at the end of 2012, a 4 percent decrease from the year before.

Biologists tallied a minimum of 1,674 wolves in 321 packs across the six-state Northern Rockies region, a 7 percent decline.

The commission takes up the proposal at its May 9 meeting in Helena.

Stop Yellowstone’s Plans to Slaughter Buffalo!

20 Dec

Tell Yellowstone National Park: We Refuse to Allow You to Capture and Slaughter Wild Bison!

Yellowstone Bison Update from the Field
December 20, 2012

Young buffalo bed down on a frosty winter's day.

Young buffalo bed down on a frosty winter’s day.

Before wild bison have even begun their annual migration to their winter habitat in Montana, State, federal, and tribal governments — including Yellowstone National Park –are aiming to kill hundreds of wild buffalo this winter through hunting, slaughter, or both. The agencies state that they want to “even the sex ratio” and have placed a heavy target on female buffalo, wanting to kill at least 400 female buffalo that migrate north of the Park into the Gardiner Basin. The herds that migrate north include buffalo from both the Northern and Central herds, which also means that the Central herds (which also migrate west) will be doubly impacted by hunting and slaughter.

Yellowstone National Park states that a “skewed sex ratio” has resulted from years of capture and slaughter operations, which have removed more bulls than cows from the population. In other words the government is saying they will slaughter more buffalo to mitigate the impact of slaughtering so many buffalo. Talk about playing God in Yellowstone. Continue reading

Occupying the Montana Capitol… Again!

14 Aug

The Beehive Collective presents their “True Cost of Coal” poster in the occupied Montana capitol yesterday

“Greetings. I have been here since Friday working in Montana’s capital city, Helena, with the Coal Export Action team comprised of folks from Montana as well as from around the country and our movements.

We’ve been rocking it. To say the least. But it’s been busy days. Very busy days.

The Coal Export Action is an eight day series of rolling civil disobedience pressuring the Montana Land Board to prevent the mining of Otter Creek in southeast Montana and raise awareness about coal exports at large. We’ve been building buzz for it globally through social media and outreach to corporate media for months. Buzz has been building locally and regionally through organizational and one on one outreach.

Yesterday was the first day and 100 activists stormed into the Montana state capital Continue reading

Montanans Prepare to Harness Direct Action in Coal Fight

11 Aug

Cross-posted from Waging Nonviolence by Nick Engelfried

Compiled by Bee

A coal train passes through Missoula on its way to other densely populated areas. Photo by Katie Brady.

On Sunday, people from across Montana, and the larger area affected by coal export projects, will start converging in the state capitol of Helena. They’re coming for what will likely be the largest act of nonviolent direct action related to energy policy the Northern Rockies region has ever seen.

We’re calling it the Coal Export Action. By tapping into the type of nonviolent protests in other parts of the country this summer — such as the fights against mountaintop removal and fracking — our coalition of groups plans to challenge an energy project that threatens the health of communities across the Northwest: coal mine-for-export projects.

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Support the Buffalo Field Campaign

15 Sep

A member of BFC arrested monitoring buffalo hazing in West Yellowstone, Montana, 2007, by Highway Patrol (MHP) and US Forest Service law enforcement, later taken to the hospital due to injuries caused during arrest.

Arcata, CA—Next week, Sept 20, co-founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), Mike Mease and co-author of Deep Green Resistance, Derrick Jensen, will speak at “Bring Back the Buffalo,” an event which also include music by native artists and an open discussion lead by Jensen and Mease. This evening is a benefit for the BFC, a direct action organization in the Northern Rockies dedicated to defending the last wild Buffalo heards’ right to roam.

The event is free, but donations taken at door if you’d like to contribute to the work of BFC.  The event starts at 7PM in the BSS Native Forum Room (16th and Union St.) at Humboldt State University.

For other upcoming appearances of Derrick Jensen, check here.

NEW VIDEO… Earth First! Dances on Governor’s Table in Tar Sands Protest

15 Jul

HELENA, Montana—Check out this new short film from the Earth First! occupation of the Montana capitol against the Tar Sands and other industrial energy infrastructure in the Northern Rockies, following the 2011 Round River Rendezvous.

Five people locked down, 20 danced on the governor’s table, 70 people occupied the office, business as usual was disrupted! If you can, please consider donating a bit of money to the arrestee’s legal fund HERE

Note from the filmmaker: “Please pass this along to your friends, groups you work with, and listserves you’re a part of. Let’s build the movement and help put some money in the legal fund for people who put their bodies and freedom on the line!”

Canadian Tar Sands Pipeline Still Opposed by EPA

23 Jun

Landowners, agriculture group keeping up the fight against eminent domain and the Keystone XL pipeline. Is the State Department listening?
By Kate Schwab, 6-23-11

As the third phase of work on the international Keystone XL pipeline looms, the foreign corporation behind the tar sands project is posturing as a handful of landowners in eastern Montana gear themselves up for a fight over land rights.

The $13 billion project comes courtesy of TransCanada, a Canadian firm. It runs approximately 1,711 miles from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the proposed route—1,384 miles of it— is in the United States. The first two phases of the pipeline have already been completed and are fully operational, the company’s website reports. It is supposed to be completed by 2013 and has been in the works for more than three years.

The company says it has already held dozens of meetings for public involvement and points to a Department of Energy study that concluded the pipeline could reduce American dependency on foreign oil from nations outside North America by up to 40 percent. The American Petroleum Institute, which supports the pipeline, also suggested recently that the U.S. could lose the tar sands crude to more cooperative overseas markets if the process continues to be stalled. But the proposed route cuts through a small triangle of northeastern Montana, and locals are not happy about it.

“I’m especially concerned about the safety and emergency preparedness along the route should there be a spill,” landowner Rick Kniepkamp, a resident of Lindsay, Mont., said. Kniepkamp is a member of the Northern Plains Pipeline Landowners Group, an association of affected property owners who have banded together to negotiate environmental and financial issues with TransCanada. Neither he nor any of the other stakeholders contacted by New West responded to requests for further comment.

Kniepkamp has legitimate reason for concern. The finished portion of the pipeline has already experienced several questionable incidents, including leaks in North Dakota and Kansas in May. And in comments released earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency said it is far from satisfied with the U.S. State Department’s current draft analysis of the project’s potential impact. In particular, the EPA objects to the report’s claim that the precise nature of the chemicals used to help bitumen flow through the pipeline should remain “proprietary information.”

The EPA also says that the pipeline could pose a hazard to the Ogallala aquifer, and concluded that the State Department had not pushed hard enough for thorough examination of alternate routes. Also called the High Plains aquifer, it lies below eight states, including Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

Montana landowners are none-too-thrilled with a recent change in state law that directly pertains to the pipeline. Governments, schools and some corporations serving public needs have long possessed the power of eminent domain – essentially, the right to purchase and use any piece of private property, regardless of an owner’s approval. Traditionally, eminent domain was reserved as a last resort for public works purposes, such as getting a road, power line or school built. House Bill 198, which passed in Montana’s 2011 legislative session, redefined eminent domain as the privilege of any company holding a Major Facilities Siting Act (MFSA) certificate. The bill has been heavily criticized as drastically expanding the power of private corporations to take land for nonpublic purposes, despite counter-claims from defenders that it merely reaffirms existing legal precedent.

Count Ed Gulick as one who disputes that defense. The chair of the Northern Plains Resource Council, a nonprofit agricultural advocacy group, Gulick attacked the change in a recent column distributed to Montana newspapers. He said the law was changed because proponents lost a court battle.

Another Canadian company tried to claim eminent domain for a private power line in Montana. Landowners fought back in court; the company lost when a judge found the company did not possess the eminent domain right. Previously, Gulick wrote, state law required companies “to prove that the project is for a public use, is necessary and is compatible with the greatest public good and least private injury. This test helped prevent eminent domain from being abused.” In contrast, he said, holding an MFSA certificat doesn’t offer adequate protection. “MFSA wasn’t written to protect the rights of landowners facing condemnation by a private corporation,” he wrote.

His organization, however, has been busy, hosting meetings with affected landholders. According to a statement from Northern Plains Research Council, the group has been working with Bozeman attorney Hertha Lund, who specializes in agricultural and land rights issues. She could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the Northern Plains Resource Council also declined comment, saying staff were not permitted to speak to the media. A message left for a second staff member was not returned.

In February, a U.S. Department of Energy study concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline was not presently needed. In March, the State Department announced its intent to subject the project to new study. Notice was published in the Federal Register in April, with a new 45-day public comment window.

That window is now closed. The State Department is expected to release a completed environmental impact statement and make a final decision on the fate of the pipeline by the end of the year.

Kate Schwab is an intern for New West.

News source here

Editors note: EF!ers and allies in the struggle against the tar sands are invited to this years Summer Rendezvous which will take place in the Lolo National Forest along Hyw. 12 and will focus on building opposition to Exxon’s proposed tar sands corridor. From July 5th through the 12th we will gather in the Northern Rockies (Idaho, Montana) to unite minds, spirits and forces in order to prevent the Rockies from becoming a devastated landscape… For more information you should contact nref@rocketmail.com and/or visit northernrockiesrisingtide.wordpress.com