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  1. #1
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    Default Crazy Mountain Public Access

    I am creating a new thread, because this isn't just about Rob's trespass case, this is bigger and broader, began before Rob went into the Crazies. This is like the Durfee Hills situation, where that thread is a one stop shopping place for those issues in chronology and information.

    1. Rob Gregoires Crazy Mountain Trespass Case
    2. Second thread on Gregoire's settlement and the removal of Alex Sienkiewicz as the Yellowstone District Ranger, which administrates the Crazy Mountains.

    And my web page on the Crazy Mountains Public Access (bear with me, this is all under construction)

    I have some documents to post to this thread later today, but for now, here is PLWA's oped, Crazy Mountain Ranger's transfer bodes ill for public access. And remember that PLWA began in 1985 with retired Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Lewis (Gene) Hawkes and a number of other public agency retirees. The current President and Vice-President of PLWA are both retired Forest Service. They intimately know what is at stake here.

    ...These public access issues are increasingly common across Montana. They block the public from vast areas of public lands that belong to all of us. The issue cuts across multiple federal departments and agencies including Agriculture, Interior lead by Montana’s own Ryan Zinke, and Justice since Justice is ultimately tasked with defending the federal (public interest). PLWA is concerned that much too often the reassuring statements of support for public access by our elected officials and their political appointees are at odds with their actions. Actions like the recent removal of the Yellowstone District Ranger show the public loses and our public employees are professionally bludgeoned.
    Last edited by katqanna; 06-28-2017 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Here is the Blog copy of the Newsletter I just sent the first batch out on (my server only allows 250 emails an hour, so I have to break the nearly 1000 into 4 mailings).


    I have an ask:

    If you have been in the Crazy Mountains...

    • perhaps you received a citation when you were on a FS Trail on their map;
    • perhaps you have been on one of these contested trail and you thankfully did not ask landowner permission or sign in and would like to add your account to the prescriptive easement history;
    • perhaps you would just like to share your story and/or some pictures of what these particular public lands and access mean to you?


    If so, please contact Kathryn : kathryn@emwh.org or 406-579-7748

    I have been busy digging through my FOIA documents, gleaning proof to refute the false allegations against former District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz. I composed and provided this refutation letter, with supporting Refutation Documents to Public Land/Water Access Association. They are sending out their official letter and Refutation Documents to the officials below. Please consider gleaning information from both, to send in your own comments, including to the other officials, agencies connected and the organizations involved, such as the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, the Stock Growers Association, the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association.

    PLWA's Letter Defending Alex Sienkiewicz as Yellowstone District Ranger (this involves the proofs against the allegations made by the landowners and organizations)

    Refutation Documents Defending Alex Sienkiewicz as Yellowstone District Ranger (PDF copies of Daines, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, 9 Crazy Mountain landowners letter and other FOIA documents involved)

    If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.





    Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250 (202) 720-2791

    Forest Service Chief, Thomas Tidwell, ttidwell@fs.fed.us (202) 205-8439

    Region 1, Regional Forester Leann Marten, lmarten@fs.fed.us (406) 329-3315

    Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, mcerickson@fs.fed.us (406) 587-6949

    Senator Steve Daines, steve@daines.senate.gov (202) 224-2651

    Even though Sen. Tester was not evident in the letters, please contact him as well.
    Sen. Jon Tester, senator@tester.senate.gov (202) 224-2644

    Representative Greg Gianforte, 1419 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
    (Gianforte's D.C office doesn't have an email address assigned yet, per his office today and btw, he was just assigned to the Natural Resources subcommittee on Federal Lands, which may involve public access.
    Last edited by katqanna; 06-28-2017 at 04:24 PM.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for putting all this information together in one place. Hopefully some of us can use it to express our opinions to the powers-that-be. I met and spoke with Alex a couple of times and was impressed that he actually stood for public access. I'll share this with Friends of the Crazy Mountains on Facebook.
    "The most terrifying sound in nature is not the roar of a charging lion nor the whistle of a descending bomb; rather it is a click when you expected a bang"- Peter Hathaway Capstick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cav1 View Post
    I'll share this with Friends of the Crazy Mountains on Facebook.
    Brad is on my newsletter list. He is another hunter that shared his letter to the 2 senators about access issues in the Crazies and got no response from Daines. I haven't had time to begin the work on the West side of the Crazies yet, so some of the information he and others have provided will have to wait a bit. One of the 9 landowners that sent the open letter to Daines and Purdue is from the west side, Zimmerman.

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    Texans Trying to "Mess" With Montana and the Nation Again, this isn't just about the Crazy Mountains anymore (I know not you Ken)

    When I grew up in Texas, the State had a problem with littering, so they began the "Don't Mess With Texas" anti littering road sign campaign, which of course, Texas has appropriated to everything else. In light of a number of Texans trying to make Montana in their image, I think we need some Montana road signs they will get the point of!

    Not sure how receptive he will be, Sessions seems to be having issues with his townhall meetings, even accused his angry constituents of not listening, but maybe we need to send a message to Texas Rep. Pete Sessions in Dallas (PeteS@mail.house.gov 202.225.2231) - Don't Mess With Our Public Lands and Access!


    PDF link of article with Rep. Pete Sessions' letter

    Texas Representative Pete Sessions' Letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue

    On June 7, 2017, US Representative Pete Sessions from Dallas (R-TX) wrote to the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, carbon copying the Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (Montana) – letter attached below.

    In Sessions' letter he states that Chris Hudson (Dallas), owner of the Wonder Ranch in Montana is one of his Texas constituents. There is more to this though, than a federal legislator from another state, weighing in on behalf of a voting constituent.

    Sessions requests Sec. Purdue issue a directive precluding the Forest Service from acquiring prescriptive easements and disavowing the Federal agency that manages our public trust lands and resources, from filing Statements of Interest for public access to our federally managed public lands. We have a growing problem, here in Montana and in the West, of public access to our public lands increasingly being cut off. Sessions did not request Sec. Purdue look into the one issue at the Wonder Ranch, nor the current issue in the Crazy Mountains (MT). He does not directly the Crazy Mountain, but references it by the “District Ranger” issue and his forwarding of a Facebook post in question. The post is by the Public Land/Water Access Association, a Montana organization, founded by retired Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Lewis (Gene) Hawkes, whose mission is to maintain, restore, and perpetuate public access to the boundaries of all Montana public land and waters.

    Under Montana law, the elements of a prescriptive easement claim are open, notorious, exclusive, adverse, continuous, and uninterrupted use for the statutory period. The public, in a variety of ways, has been utilizing trails and roads throughout the Crazy Mountains for over a 100 years. The USFS Statement of Interest asserts that it has and claims easements for the National Forest Trails over and across real property.

    Rep. Sessions did not investigate the false allegation against Alex Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz is a dedicated public trust Forest Service employee, who until recently held the position of the Yellowstone District Ranger. The YDR administrates our public lands in the Crazy Mountains, in the northern part of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. If Sessions had investigated the false allegation that Sienkiewicz posted, “in an official capacity” to PLWA's Facebook page, before he passed it on in his official capacity, he might have easily found out that former FS District Ranger Sienkiewicz did not make the post. It appears, the individuals and groups utilizing this Facebook post, are simply using what they thought, was a “gottcha” moment to springboard to their real objectives involving our public lands.

    Sessions also alleges that USFS Region 1 went rogue during the Obama administration, calling it a “war on private property owners conducted by the Obama administration”. This is simply a dog whistle, having nothing to do with Obama or his administration.

    Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat Forest Service FOIA documents (1, 2, 3) show that prescriptive easements and Statements of Interest have been used by our Federal land agencies for decades, well before Obama became President in 2008.

    So why is Rep. Pete Sessions getting involved with some public land access issues here in Montana? And why is Sessions requesting newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue take such drastic nationwide actions as precluding the Forest Service from acquiring prescriptive easements and disavowing the Federal agency from filing Statements of Interest for public access?

    Could it be because another land owner, with private land adjacent to our FS Crazy Mountains public lands, Monzer Hourani from Houston, TX, is a major contributor of his? Hourani, a real estate developer who specializes in medical, biotech and pharmaceutical design and construction, owns the Montana Eagle Ranch (Montana Ranch Corp., I did a search with Montana Cadastral), on the northwest side of the Crazy Mountains. Hourani is not just a contributor to Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), but a major contributor, supporter and friend of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In fact, Hourani (CEO Medistar Corporation) broke Federal election laws contributing to Hatch. Hourani was fined $10,000, “Hourani next caused Hatch headaches when he broke federal election law to benefit his friend. After Hourani had given the maximum personal donations to Hatch allowed by law, he gave more money to employees and asked them to donate it to Hatch in their own names.”

    Hatch is listed as #3 in a Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress report: Fifteen Federal Lawmakers From Eight Western States Plotting to Seize, Dismantle, Destroy and Privatize America's Public Lands. “Between 2011 and 2016, Senator Orrin Hatch sponsored or cosponsored 19 of the 48 anti-public lands bills we identified, making him Public Lands Enemy #3.” Sen. Hatch's website states, “The Federal Government owns most of the land in Utah – making decisions without even consulting state and local officials. This is an outrage...” Hatch is part of the movement to transfer or sell our pubic lands to the States, boasting, “As a leader in the Sagebrush Rebellion, I've been fighting to turn federal lands in our state over to Utahns to own and control.” What Sen. Hatch does not understand is that the American public owns those lands, our public trust, which the Federal government manages on our behalf.

    Senator Orrin Hatch knows our Crazy Mountains up close and personal, having been a guest at Monzer Hourani's property there. To experience all that the Crazy Mountains has to offer, has become limited by certain landowner efforts to close public access to the FS public lands. No one should have to rely on a landowner's hospitality or have to pay as a client, just to access these public lands. Perhaps Texas Rep. Pete Sessions received more than just campaign contributions from Hourani, but also enjoyed his Montana Eagle Ranch hospitality, adjacent our public lands?

    Texas has less than 2% Federal lands, and not all of that 2% is publicly accessible, part belonging to the Department of Defense and Native American Reservations.



    Montana, however, enjoys and benefits from about 30% Federally managed public lands, which contribute greatly to our way of life and abundant and growing outdoor recreation economy.

    Texas Representative Pete Sessions might want to consider that not everyone wants be like “No Trespassing” Texas.

    What the Texas Representative is requesting from the Secretary of Agriculture, is a “taking” from the US Public – historic public prescriptive rights and access, especially in the West. Sessions' suggestion of legislation to achieve this theft from the public and would hinder the Federal agencies who manage our various public lands. It is also, yet another attempt to chip away at the public trust and legislative special interests over our public lands. This just might earn Sessions a notorious spot on the “Public Lands Enemies” list.

    ________________________

    Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250 (202) 720-2791

    Forest Service Chief, Thomas Tidwell, ttidwell@fs.fed.us (202) 205-8439

    Region 1, Regional Forester Leann Marten, lmarten@fs.fed.us (406) 329-3315

    Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, mcerickson@fs.fed.us (406) 587-6949

    Senator Steve Daines, steve@daines.senate.gov (202) 224-2651

    Even though Sen. Tester was not evident in the letters, please contact him as well.
    Sen. Jon Tester, senator@tester.senate.gov (202) 224-2644

    Representative Greg Gianforte, 1419 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515

  6. #6
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    This request from Pete Session is a really big deal and we need to make sure the leaders claiming they support public lands tell him to shove it. The Wonder Ranch plain and simple tried to steal access from the public by claiming they only allowed access by permission. (This was up Indian Creek in the Madison valley.) It was ludicrous; the trail had been there 100 years before these clowns bought the land and tried to block access. Nobody asked permission to go up there before or after they bought the place. They just thought they could start saying permission is required and steal the access.

    The trail was heavily used and deemed important enough that the FS took action before it was too late: they filed a statement of interest on the trail on behalf of the public. If the landowner thinks the public has no claim to the trail he can ignore it or they can settle it in court. If the Forest Service is prohibited from doing that on the trails they have managed in the past they are essentially prohibited from stopping landowners from stealing access. They are extremely selective on when they issue SOI, and much to the public's loss they probably won't put one on this Crazy Mountain trail I was cited on.

    This blocking of access is just theft by the landowner. The Wonder Ranch is a perfect example of how a landowner can block access on a heavily used trail and force us to clean up their mess. I'll be calling Daines, Zinke, Gianforte and Purdue tomorrow and telling them that public lands need public access, and if they hamstring the USFS with this they are hypocrites.

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    Just a heads up, when I was doing all that research on Sessions yesterday that turned up all those connections, I saw an article by Zinke stating when he was running for House he picked out certain members to get in touch with, to network, Sessions was one of those. Then another article where Zinke was avoiding his constituents here in MT and "ran away to Texas" to fund raise for Sessions.

    At first I thought Zinke was carboned on the Purdue letter to suggest the DOI adopt the same policy for their lands, which may just be part of the why, but it could also be they are tight and certain things are being orchestrated right now.

    This whole thing with the Facebook page was a trojan horse, why none of them bothered to check it out first, use it as a gotcha moment to get the camels nose in the tent for what they really want.

    BTW, I emailed Sessions at his address, he has that account set up for send only, no receive. He receives mail on the form at his website, only with a proper zip code from a constituent that needs to correlate with the sending IP or it won't go through. Daines has the same set up.

    So I emailed Sessions at the address he provided to Purdue on the letter Jennifer.Lackey@mail.house.gov

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by katqanna View Post
    This whole thing with the Facebook page was a trojan horse, why none of them bothered to check it out first, use it as a gotcha moment to get the camels nose in the tent for what they really want.
    We should clarify the landowners accused Alex of posting on PLWA's Facebook page a message telling the public not to ask for permission on these trails. This was dishonest for several reasons, namely that
    1) Alex didn't post it, a PLWA director (stupidly) did.
    2) It was an internal memo to FS employees under his direction about policy when servicing these trails, which Alex foolishly allowed to go public.
    3) The landowners dishonestly portrayed it as a message from Alex to the public, when it was to his employees.
    4) The policy of FS employees not asking permission was consistent with the policy used by the Forest Service decades before Alex became the district ranger.
    5) In fact, a 2002 Forest Service memo suggests they have never asked permission to access these trails, and have for decades, refused to put up signs telling the public to ask permission on the landowner's trails.

    I'm not saying the FS has never told the public not to ask permission. Indeed, that is what they did on the Indian Creek (Wonder Ranch) trail to prevent the loss of the public's right to use it. However, that wasn't a rouge Alex putting stuff up on "Litigious" PLWA Facebook sites; it wasn't even in the Gallatin National Forest.

    I wonder if Alex couldn't sue for defamation.

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    I disagree that Lee's posting was stupid, and he wasn't a Director at the time. It was publicly available information after it was sent out, just like the previous years emails to seasonal employees, which more specifically state for the public not to as well.

    July 11, 2013, “Gang – I am again emphasizing to the District that no one should be signing in to access Sweet Grass Creek or other sites on the District. With the one exception of Cherry Creek – which is close to being 'resolved' (i.e. clarified as to legal rights…) You should not be signing in ANYWHERE to access NFS lands. Furthermore, the PUBLIC should not be signing in to access YRD-NFS lands either. Please ignore any existing or new sign-in-stations at traditional NFS access sites. These are deliberate efforts by private individuals to extinguish public rights. I am CC-ing the FLT as an FYI. I am happy to provide my business cards and or letters for any USFS personnel carry should landowners request that one sign in.”
    And the Law Enforcement Officers email,
    October 26, 2015, Law Enforcement Officer Shawn Tripp, in reference to members of the public calling about hunting, “Please provide anyone with questions or comments on the Crazy Mtn North Ranger – Trail 136 to me and Alex. And don't refer folks to the landowner for permission.”
    The public has a right to know, just like many not understanding that corner crossing was and is not - illegal.

    Now, I think Lee should have opened with a note explaining what the context of the email was, but truthfully, seeing how those groups have handled this and not a single person looking into it, if it wasn't this, it would have been something else they were looking for to use as a springboard.

    Neither do I think Alex was foolish in any manner. He was doing his job, per FS policy. I get documents all the time to let the public know about things, that doesn't make the originator culpable or foolish that the message resonates with some stakeholder group and they wish to share that with others.

    Sometimes I get things that are not supporting of the agency personnel, like my FWP information request with emails showing some of them were obstructing the process and concerns of the public or some of the things I have gotten on BLM in Lewistown. But the public has a right to know how/what these managers of our resources are doing in that regard.

    I, for one, am grateful to know that Alex was upholding policy to protect our public interests in regard to historical access.

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    Brad Wilson lives near the west side of the Crazies in Wilsall. He publicly recreates and hunts there. Over the years, he has seen growing obstruction, so he began the Friends of the Crazies to help fight back this year.

    District ranger axed for protecting public access

    After reading and hearing about the removal of our district ranger, Alex Sienkiewicz, I was appalled. I have seen many district rangers come and go in Yellowstone. It is rare when you actually find someone who truly loves their job and, yes, doing what they are supposed to do.

    Alex is one of those rare individuals who actually works for everyone. He never discriminated against any one group. Alex decided he was going to take a wrong and make it right. Unfortunately, he took on a special interest group and now feels the power of greed and politics. I cannot imagine doing your job and all of a sudden you are taken out of your position because your supervisor caved to political pressure. I want to take a moment and just say thank you, Alex.

    To all sportsmen, fishermen, backcountry enthusiasts, and folks that enjoy the great outdoors, do not let this go unchallenged. Alex was only trying to preserve something that has always been ours, public access and public lands.

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    Group defends forest ranger who was reassigned after Crazy Mountains access dispute

    For his part, Daines’ letter to Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, dated May 26, and copied to Secretary Perdue, said that he “strongly believe(s) that we must prioritize increasing access to public lands.” Yet in 2015 he voted for an amendment that would have allowed the sale, transfer or exchange of federal lands to state and local governments. That idea has been adamantly opposed by public access advocates in Montana and around the nation out of fear that states might sell the public lands.

    Daines’ letter goes on to say he “greatly appreciate(s)” the Forest Service’s role in acquiring public access, but he questioned the agency’s policy and guidelines to achieve that access.

    “The perceived direction coming from the USFS seems to promote controversy and aggressive action rather than the collaborative approach we all strive to achieve as public servants,” he said.

    "Darn right the Senator asked for an explanation for the aggressive and provocative tone coming from a Forest Service employee that was posted on Facebook," wrote Jason Thielman, Daines' chief of staff, in an email. "Montanans have the right to expect civil servants are both serving citizens and civil. The actions brought to the Senators' attention were neither."

    This is not the first time a Montana U.S. Senator has stepped into a Crazy Mountain access dispute. In 2006 then-Sen. Conrad Burns attempted to circumvent the Forest Service staff to give landowner Mac White an easement across public property without reciprocating and providing public access across his land to reach forest property. The easement was never granted.

  12. #12

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    Big article in the Helena Independent Record newspaper on this today.

    The smell is strong enough to end this stuff if we keep it in the papers.

    Keep fighting!!!
    RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

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    I knew PERC's Terry Anderson would be on this quickly. He just came out with an oped - What a difference a president makes.

    Less well known on the national scene, but visible to those of us who live in Montana, are both administrations’ stance on private property rights and access to public lands... The political winds changed when the new sheriff — President Trump — came to town. This spring, the heavy-handed approach of the Obama administration was brought to the attention of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a letter from Congressman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and furthered by a meeting with Montana landowner interests in May. Thereafter, Sienkiewicz was reassigned to another district in order to “create some separation between Alex ... and allegations raised concerning access issues.” According to Melissa Baumann, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees Forest Service Council, this is a signal that employees are “under the gun from the administration.”
    So Sienkiewicz, doing the job he was hired to do, following the FS Policy and the same actions as a number before him, well prior to Obama ever taking office is ignored to blame all this on Obama, yet again. My dog's ears must be hurting for how loudly they are blowing that damn whistle.

    And for those of you that still think Trump and his sons are about public lands and access, take a good hard look at what is transpiring here. Because that TX Rep. Pete Sessions' letter to Ag. Sec. Perdue, which uses false allegations as the Trojan Horse to get to his real point, Agency directives to stop prescriptive easements and Statements of Interest, as well as possible legislation, could have a major effect on the whole of the US federal lands with access, not just for the public, but for the agencies that manage them.

    PERC's "innocent" sounding suggestion of just asking for permission out of courtesy, plays right into the hands of abandoning our historical prescriptive easements. Not so "innocent" as calculated to achieve maximized privatization.
    Last edited by katqanna; 07-05-2017 at 01:07 PM.

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    Reinstate Sienkiewicz as Yellowstone district ranger by Dan Vermillion

    For those that might not know, Dan Vermillion is a FWP Commissioner, whose region includes the Crazy Mountains.

    Recently, the U.S. Forest Service removed District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz from his position in the Yellowstone Ranger District pending an internal investigation into his efforts to defend historical Forest Service trails and easements along the Crazy Mountains. Sienkiewicz is a Montanan who is raising his family in Livingston. He is an important part of our community. In addition to being an assault on the public’s right to legally access its lands, this re-assignment threatens the Sienkiewicz’s family’s well-being and instills fear in our public employees who work for all of the public.

    From the perspective of many of us, Sienkiewicz is being investigated for doing his job. Don’t we expect our Forest Service employees to manage our lands for multiple use? Don’t we expect the Forest Service to defend our legal public access to those lands? I believe we do...

    It is very important to recognize that public lands which do not have public access will not be accessible until the Forest Service, or other public agencies, can negotiate an access with willing surrounding landowners. If negotiations are not successful, or landowners are simply not interested in reaching an access agreement, then the public lands will remain inaccessible. Nobody is trying to force open access to these lands. They, including Sienkiewicz, are simply trying to ensure that historical accesses are protected in light of the attack on public lands by the present administration.

    When legal access to public land does exist, I believe Montanans fully expect the Forest Service to defend and maintain that access for Montanans. As with so many of these issues involving political pressure on public agencies, a look behind the curtain reveals a very troubling story. According to media reports, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, and Congressman Pete Sessions from Houston, Texas, both contacted Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding Sienkiewicz’s efforts to protect legal, established accesses to landlocked public lands. According to Mary Erickson, forest supervisor, “the reassignment was made after allegations from an assortment of landowners in the Big Timber area were raised to the level of the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and Sen. Steve Daines.“

    If Daines and Perdue support public ownership of public lands, then they should also support access to those public lands. By pressuring the Forest Service to reassign a Forest Service employee who is defending legal public access, Daines and Perdue are betraying their pledge to keep public lands in public hands. I urge Montanans to contact Daines. Let him know that support of public lands includes access to public lands.

    I also urge Montanans to contact the Forest Service and ask them to resist political pressure and to reinstate Alex Sienkiewicz as district ranger for the Livingston Ranger District. Intimidation of public employees by powerful interests hurts all of us. In this case, it is hurting a great Montanan and his family as well.

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    Deleted - Kat already posted this info.
    Last edited by SteveE; 07-06-2017 at 10:05 AM.
    RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

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    Look for the lowest common denominator in lowlife pursuit of folks(Alex and Robin Cunningham) doing their job, and you will find Moga! There is few orgs. that are as blatantly opposed to public access and trying to monopolize public trust resources.
    Many of us refer friends to outfitters to enjoy Montana. Perhaps we should be making sure we tell them to avoid booking with Moga members. Montana has plenty of ethical outfitters to chose from.

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    Stockgrowers and Farm Bureau, we are truly disappointed in this effort! Are you joining the welfare outfitters in denying the public their rights? This should be in court not frying public employees for doing their job!

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    I am working on the Crazy Mountain map, the hunting aspect and the outfitting information on the Crazies. I think when people visually see what I have, it will be eye opening as to a good portion of the local motivation of what is driving this.

    I also have a number of FOIAs arriving, one of which specifically has MOGA communications.


    The Bozeman Chronicle Editorial Board just posted this article - Access to our public lands must be protected.
    Last edited by katqanna; 07-06-2017 at 01:23 PM.

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    After reading through this thread and the local bills that have been introduced in my home state of Wisconsin, it really is kinda depressing. It seems as though all the news regarding conservation and public lands is bad and more bad. Hopefully this forest service employee gets his job back. If I was a Montana resident I would be giving Daines a call

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    I just had another letter sent to me early this evening. This one is from the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers Association and another group on public lands they represent. This one dates to December 30, 2016, written to Custer Gallatin National Forest Mary Erickson.

    MSGA lists not only their false allegations against Alex Sienkiewicz, but their resolutions. They falsely claim that Sienkiewicz's following and advocating FS policy on behalf of the public landowners they manage for, has "alienated landowners" and invited "vigilante action against landowners". MSGA disingenuously state Sienkiewicz's actions were extremely "unprofessional", strongly suggesting he be reprimanded, "cease his covert and heavy-handed attempts to undermine property rights." Talk about projection! They then bring up not only the removal of Sienkiewicz, but the removal of these roads and trails not only from FS maps, but BLM.

    The letter was signed by 3 Crazy Mountain landowners representing the Montana Stockgrowers Association - Lorents Grosfield, Chuck Rein and Ned Zimmerman.

    Montana Stockgrowers Association Letter to Forest Service - Crazy Mountain Public Access write up

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    kat- I rarely chime in but I follow your posts very closely. When it comes to public lands, (And other topics), you are can ferreted out the details like no one I have ever seen!

    Many of these foul scenarios are repeated elsewhere. You provide the playbook on how to get to the bottom. Keep up the good work.

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    Just sent Daines a letter regarding this. My main point being the false attributing of comments made by an individual to Alex S and the subsequent reassignment.
    "if we allow the freedom of the hills and the last of the wilderness to be taken from us, then the very idea of freedom may die with it."

    -Edward Abbey

  23. #23
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    Z Barebow, thank you. Hopefully with some of these FOIA's and Public Information Requests I have recently put in, we can shine a light on some of this better. I am anxious for the FWP hunting license and tag one, see which of these guys put in or received tags in the Crazy Mountain hunt districts that many of the public can't get to, Especially Daines, who has pr information that he likes to recreate, hunt and fish in the Crazies, but does not own any land there, so I am wondering, just how does he get to enjoy that area, which landowner lets him in, since they block, harass and cite the general public.

    Jim Posewitz son, Andrew, just wrote a piece, Crazy Mountains saga could be an episode of 'Dukes of Hazard'

    And the Standard just ran my oped I sent out yesterday, Who will ensure, as public landowners, that we have access to our own public lands?

    I talked with an AP guy and sent links, I know some other writers are working on the story, hopefully we can get this out of Montana, so that more people are aware of what is being plotted on the National front and can fight back through their legislators.

  24. #24
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    Livingston ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL: Sienkiewicz reassignment raises questions

    This is an important point, which is trying to be swept under the rug. "We would strongly disagree with the forest supervisor.

    Sienkiewicz is a public official and any such review should be open and available for public scrutiny, especially considering the widespread interest this matter has generated in recent weeks across Montana.

    The Forest Service must be forthcoming about the decisions leading up to Sienkiewicz’s reassignment. Furthermore, it must be transparent about its ongoing review.

    After all, Sienkiewicz occupies a position of public trust and his actions in that role impact all forest users.

    Furthermore, the Forest Service should work to determine and clearly define public access in the Crazies and stand with employees who work to safegaurd our precious public access."

    The recent reassignment of Livingston District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz of the United States Forest Service raises many questions.

    The first and most obvious question is whether top-ranking Forest Service officials reassigned Sienkiewicz for working to improve access to public land.

    Another question the federal agency must answer is whether this decision was politically motivated.

    The reassignment comes during a time when our access to public lands is being threatened by special interest groups and others across the nation — groups that would rather sell off our public lands for their own private benefit.

    Managing access to public lands in the Crazy Mountains northeast of Livingston has always been a sticking point, with a patchwork of public and private lands existing in the range.

    If Sienkiewicz, a public employee working for a public agency was in fact reassigned for working to improve public access to public land, everyone who enjoys Montana’s public lands, should demand answers and a full review — not of Sienkiewicz, but of how and why the reassignment decision was made. In a Thursday guest column that appeared on this page, Dan Vermillion, a Livingston resident and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission chairman, wrote that many area residents believe Sienkiewicz is “being investigated for doing his job.”

    Sienkiewicz’s reassignment and subsequent internal investigation is related to “ongoing issues around access in the Crazy Mountains and allegations from landowners about how Alex has navigated some of those disputes,” Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson told Yellowstone Newspapers in June.

    Erickson declined to offer additional details, calling the review an “internal matter” that’s not “a public process.”

    She further stated in her interview with Yellowstone Newspapers that the review is “not a public process and the results of that are not a public document.”

    We would strongly disagree with the forest supervisor.

    Sienkiewicz is a public official and any such review should be open and available for public scrutiny, especially considering the widespread interest this matter has generated in recent weeks across Montana.

    The Forest Service must be forthcoming about the decisions leading up to Sienkiewicz’s reassignment. Furthermore, it must be transparent about its ongoing review.

    After all, Sienkiewicz occupies a position of public trust and his actions in that role impact all forest users.

    Furthermore, the Forest Service should work to determine and clearly define public access in the Crazies and stand with employees who work to safegaurd our precious public access.
    — Justin Post
    Enterprise Managing Editor

    I dropped off my bike to have a new front axle put on and some spoke work done. I saw the acrylic map holder at the counter with all the trails available. I told the guys there what was going on, what was at stake with the efforts to get rid of these roads and trails on future maps. Made me think of the library book burnings. I have a alot of maps, but damn, not for all the US and not even for all of Montana. These guys gave me their emails to get the info sent to them, they are into access. Hopefull,y more will see how important this access info will be for maps, especially the older maps, before this special interest administration begins purging records, historic records data, disappearing our public access.

  25. #25
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    In my MT FWP license request, I just received notice that 4 of my 14 did not have Montana Hunting licenses. The names were listed.

    That means Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue do have Montana hunting licenses. I realize that Montana is a great hunting and fishing destination, just having a hunting license in Montana does not represent a conflict of interest.

    We will see if any of the 10 names put in for any draw tags in the Crazies.
    Last edited by katqanna; 07-07-2017 at 10:44 PM.

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