Wildlife Advocates for Southwestern Montana
GWA's Introduction: First Ever Video? Really?
Welcome to the Gallatin Wildlife Association!
September 19, 2020
Hope you enjoy our first ever video, as far as I know anyway. Hard to believe, but we're trying to make it into the 21st Century! We are a wildlife advocacy organization that has been around since 1976 - believe it or not. We've been on the forefront of many pushes to protect wildlife habitat, even those efforts promoting the full protection of the Gallatin Range as wilderness - realizing of course that wilderness means the protection of wildlife habitat.
We are a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) that tries to be a voice for wildlife. If wildlife could speak, what would they say? Those may sound like simplistic terms, thoughts and ideas, perhaps to idealistic, but we are a small and active group who uses science and the law in our battle for their right to exist. Those are not simplistic ideas. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a purpose. That is the reason we exist, not for us but to be a voice for the voiceless.
Please consider our organization if you have those concerns as well. The cause is great and just.
Clinton Nagel, President
Gallatin Wildlife Association
WE URGE ALL MEMBERS AND FOLLOWERS OF GWA TO COMMENT ON THIS DRAFT AS PREPARED BY THE MONTANA FOREST ACTION ADVISORY COUNCIL.
See link here:
or Forest Destruction?
GWA would like to share a youtube video with you, one that was shared with us by the Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Association. It is a subject matter that really addresses the premise behind much of what and why we believe the way we do. We ask that you view this video and recognize that new science is just beginning to emerge, a new science that helps us understand the intracies of how our forests works. Much we knew before, but much we didn't. Climate change has forced our hand to understand what is at play when it comes to the delicate network contained within our forests. This is video basically challenges the notion that we need to clearcut, log and thin our forests in order to fight climate change, a premise pushed by certain land-use management agencies and those who want to exploit the resource. We say there is a better way.
2020: It isn't getting any easier!
We've just entered into the 10th month of year 2020.
Many of us are probably saying to ourselves, this year can't end fast enough. But we probably shouldn't say that for as my mom used to say to me when I was a kid, "You don't want to wish your life away".
The obvious news stories of the day, threats upon our wildlife and environment are coming at us at a faster pace, faster than ever before. And this seems to be even more true in the advent of COVID-19. Why do you suppose that is? Do you ever get tired of playing defense? We do. To state the obvious, we are in challenging times as we travel through time into this year of 2020. For those involved in the environmental community, that is an understatement. But that doesn’t mean we are helpless or hopeless. Consistency, unity, advocacy and passion are necessary to combat the overwhelming threats that seem to be imposed upon our wildlife and their habitat today. It is much easier to fight the good fight with the help of others striving for the same cause, whether you are with an organization or as an individual, we invite you to join the Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA).
What We've Done So Far?
1. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter, and Western Watersheds Project concerning the Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan draft proposal 2019/2020 as sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
2. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter to Wyoming Game and Fish Department urging them to phase out elk feeding grounds in northwestern Wyoming.
3. Provided Amicus Brief on behalf of GWA against the proposed timber sale as part of the North Bridger Forest Health Project.
4. Sent letters to and visited the offices of Senator Daines and Tester urging them to reconsider the public land give-away of the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana. This National Wildlife Refuge is being transferred into the dead of night to tribal lands of the CSKT. GWA is against this sale as we believe it sets bad precedent not to mention the loss of public bison, the science and the infrastructure that has been bought and paid for by the U.S. Government. Submitted Op-Ed letter to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper on the subject to try and inform the public.
5. Heavily involved and completed in the sponsoring of the 6th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival.
6. Submitted comments on NEPA changes as proposed by the Trump Adminstration.
7. GWA along with Montana Rivers and Cottonwood Environmental Law Firm filed a complaint in District Court against the Department of Environmental Quality to protect the Gallatin River from unwanted pollution from proposed discharge of treated waste water from the Big Sky community.
8.Have agreed with several other NGO(s) to bring suit against the Forest Service to curtail the bad precedent of the elk feeding grounds in Wyoming. Action soon to be coming.
9. Written comments on the Montana's Climate Solution Plan as drafted by the Climate Solution Council originated by Governor Steve Bullock.
10. Submitted comments on BLM's effort to weaken grazing regulations on public land.
11. GWA originated a sign-on letter addressed to the U.S. Forest Service (Regional Offices) to not participate with the state of Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game to violate Federal Law in the management of the Gray Wolf in wilderness areas within the state.
12. GWA, eleven other conservation groups, and Footloose Montana along with two community leaders signed on to a letter requesting the Director and Commission of Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks to suspend all trapping on public lands during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
13. GWA held their first ever "virtual" board and membership meeting on April 21, 2020 at 9:00am due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many topics were discussed and it was felt that this medium (Zoom) held great promise for future meetings.
14. On May 8, 2020, submitted comments to the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council over the idea of proposed hunting of grizzly bears as part of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks statewide's management plan on public land.
15. GWA submitted comments written by Dr. Jim Bailey to the Centers of Disease Control and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on the subject of removal of Brucella abortus from the select agent bioterror list. Comments submitted May 12, 2020.
16. GWA cosigned a letter along with several other NGOs sponsored by Western Watershed urging the U.S. Congress to include stimulus funding for protection of wildlife and public lands on May 12, 2020.
17. On May 30, GWA submitted original comments to the Montana Dept. of Transportation on the U.S. Hwy 191 Project Study, a study researching resources from Four Corners to the Junction of Beaver Creek Rd at Hwy 191 just south of Big Sky, MT. This highway cuts through prime wildlife habitat resulting in severe animal/vehicle collisions each year. If you would like to comment, here is the link.
18. In June, GWA is glad to announce the realization we have our first active Facebook page. See details above.
19. GWA signed on to a letter with other NGOs for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to release all correspondence they have had with the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council (GGBAC). We believe that there has been some attempted influence to get the GGBAC to adopt a proposal for grizzly bear hunting.
20. On July 4th, GWA sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs requesting them to remove provisions relating to the National Bison Range. GWA and the Blue Goose Alliance and many other groups do not believe that federal lands and their corresponding native wildlife should be negotiated away simply as a real estate deal or as cash to bail out a state's economic woes.
21. On July 23, GWA provided spoken comments to the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council concerning the future policy on Grizzly Bear Management in the state. Then on August 11, GWA provide further, more detailed comments on the final draft of that plan.
22. We put together a position letter to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission on July 27 to eliminate trapping within the urban interface and/or other recreational areas in Montana as a result of increased demand extending from Covid-19.
23. GWA provided extensive Objection comments to the Forest Service on the 2020 Final Forest Plan for the Custer Gallatin National Forest on August 5. GWA Objected on three (3) counts: Species of Conservation Concern, Wilderness and Land Allocations, and Climatge Change and Forest Health.
As of Oct. 16, we learned that our Objections have been
accepted by the Forest Service. Now we wait for the
discussion period with the FS most likely in mid-November.
24. On August 23, we finalized our comments on the Hwy 191 Corridor Study Project within the Gallatin Canyon.
25. On August 27, we presented a letter to the State of Montana urging them protect the Congress designated WSAs as they currently exist. Their wilderness status needs to be maintained until the proper debate and discussion by the public has taken place. There should be no action taken by others to circumvent the traditional process.
26. GWA provided the Custer Gallatin National Forest with extensive comments on the proposed South Plateau Landscape Area Treatment Project on September 15.
27. GWA is currently working on comments for the Montana Forest Action Plan, a state-wide action mandated by Governor Bullock's Executive Order.
What Are We Working on Now?
It is the 17th of October as I update this. Many of us are now looking toward this upcoming election. We have offered up our Objections to the Forest Service. They've been accepted and now we wait. But there is more always more to do, more to come. This reminds me of Sen. Ted's Kennedy's speech at the Democratic National Convention of 1980.
"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dreams shall never die."
We have to remember, such as it is in the work of environmental protection. The work continues on, the cause surely endures, and we must have hope for we are not just doing this for ourselves, but for other inhabitants of the world. I could ramble on, but time, space and your attention, probably say “no”. But let me leave you with a couple of questions. What kind of world do you want? Empty and stark where biodiversity and biological integrity are a thing of the past, or a world full of wonderment and amazement where we can coexist with other lifeforms who have as much purpose here as we do. We at the Gallatin Wildlife Association, say we want one that protects the “wild” in wildlife. If you agree, again please join us.
Clint Nagel, President
Gallatin Wildlife Association