Two untrustworthy players, playing a game we know little to nothing about, except that if the past is prologue, we need another Yellowstone Club like a hole in the head. Remembering the Lee Metcalf Wilderness trade-off (Jack Creek road) and Gallatin I and Gallatin II land exchanges, which I opposed, with only a handful of like-minded souls who could see the disaster (Big Sky/Yellowstone Club et al.) long before it materialized. I cannot figure out what the Crow nation sees in this by accepting anything less than original, absolute title to their sacred land. My .02, off the top of my head.
Anyone can submit commments. If you do not submit comments, you will be most likely barred from entering a federal court challenge due to lack of “standing.” Clever, aren’t they?
Forest Service seeks comments on Crazy Mountains land exchange proposal
The public now has the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed land exchange that’s been brewing for four years on the east side of the Crazy Mountains, an idea first formulated by a group that includes area landowners.
The agreement would exchange 4,135 acres (10 parcels) of forest lands for 6,430 acres of private lands (11 parcels), owned by six private property owners in the Crazy Mountains and near the Inspiration Divide Trail in Big Sky. The land near Big Sky is sought by the Yellowstone Club, a private community of multi-millionaires.
I listen to podcasts these days when exercising, more so than music. There are a number of good ones out there. My own preference is comedy. It seems during lockdown people decided that being alone at home and hooking up via computers was a way to alleviate boredom. There are quite a few, my own favorites Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend and Fly on the Wall with David Spade and Dana Carvey.
One that I picked up on is called Smartless, which has three hosts: Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, the latter one of my favorite comedic actors. He played Job on Arrested Development. Bateman, of course, is one of our Brats, part of the Matt Damon group, and appears unaware of it. He is not aware of us, of course, but his own “chosen” nature. He had an unhappy childhood and that sort of thing. He’s been employed on one thing or another his entire life, including Arrested Development, where he shows great comedic chops (along with Arnett). Hayes I know nothing about, a costar in Will and Grace, a show I never watched.
Wildness, wilderness and roadless areas are all words that we use to describe lands that remain as nature intended, untrammeled by man’s unquenchable thirst for comfort, convenience and attachment to shiny objects. Fragments of Montana, Idaho, Alaska and smaller parcels scattered about the Lower 48 are all that remain of the once vast wild landscape that existed before Europeans occupied (colonized) and exploited anything and everything that could be converted into gold, silver of fiat money. It was all wilderness once. Lately I’ve been reflecting on experiences and events that have influenced my life in the Northern Rockies. Yes, I’m a transplant, originally from “The East.” College in Denver, and then migrating to Missoula, Montana in the winter of 1974-75. I wrote the following piece for a group I helped to found in 1987 in Swan Lake, Montana, The Friends of the Wild Swan. wildswan.org
After 35 years of grassroots wilderness and forest-ecosystem activism, it’s worth reflecting on one of Friends of the Wild Swan’s most important accomplishments: wildlands protection. In 1987, the social, cultural and political climate surrounding the wilderness/roadless-areas debate was highly contentious, to put it mildly. All across western Montana, and in the Swan Valley in particular, public outrage and resentment was growing rapidly against the rapid expansion of clearcut logging on Plum Creek’s (“checkerboard”) corporate holdings, and indiscriminate clearcutting on publicly-owned forest land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Change is coming to what I think is Montana’s most alluring “island” mountain range, the Crazy Mountains. It’s about to become the latest in a long, tortured history of celebrity destinations dotting the American West. As the success of Big Sky ski resort, the Yellowstone Club, and Moonlight Basin (northwest of Yellowstone National Park) have demonstrated, there is plenty more opportunity here in Southwest Montana if you’ve got deep pockets and high-level political connections in Washington, D.C.
Hikers and hunters have been battling the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to maintain access to public lands for decades. Local ranchers have been illegally posting “no trespassing” signs to keep hunters and hikers out of their backyard, and off their private land. But the ownership pattern is complicated in a “checkerboard” of private and public sections (640 acres, or 1 square mile, per section) that originated when the railroad was given title to every other section. Under the Union Pacific Act of 1862, Congress granted every other section along the railroad – in one square mile blocks — to Union Pacific and retained the alternate sections as federal government lands.