Killing Yellowstone’s Charismatic Megafauna

Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding landscape is one of the most inhospitable locations in the Lower 48.  Life for large mammals is particularly challenging given the frigid temperatures, deep snow and long winters.  Summer is short and can be equally dangerous for the living due to wildfires, drought, and millions of tourists all trying to get that perfect “refrigerator shot” of a bison, grizzly, elk or some other wild critter wishing only to be left alone.

Since moving to Bozeman, Montana in 1986, I have had the privilege of working with some dedicated individuals and grassroots groups, all trying to protect nature (God’s country) in this amazing ecosystem.  This running battle with the State of Montana, various federal agencies (National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service-USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-USDA (APHIS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a host of elite local and national NGOs that suck on an average day/year knows no end, and seems to have no bounds.  And it seems to be getting worse, not better. 

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Wrong King Of Green

New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind

Northern Gallatin Range, Montana

I’ve been working to protect wilderness on federal public lands in the Northern Rockies for over 40 years. This article illustrates some of the frustration I’ve experienced trying to sort out the perceptions that NGOs are some monolithic unit trying to keep locals out of the protected areas.

Federal laws are not perfect. Loopholes were created for commerce, which are exploited to the max. That doesn’t mean, however, that all wildland conservation is fraudulent, or a waste of time. Somehow, the difference between the evil players and those with a genuine interest in protecting nature need to be exposed for all to see. Even then, people don’t want to see, or hear, the truth. Here we are, stuck in unreality, losing precious fish and wildlife habitat to mining, logging, grazing, energy development, as we argue about the impurity of corporate-sponsored fakes that dominate the narrative.

Wealthy NGOs and their sick, twisted funders are not kings, or gods. They are slave-agents of capital and its many manifestations.

As has been pointed out by some of our readers, I do a lot of bitching. Add this to my pile. NO regrets.

Are Fasci Still a Symbol of Fascism?

Are these symbols of emancipation and freedom, or a new era of (voluntary) slavery?

Like the mysterious origins of the Egyptian pyramid scattered around in strategic locations, fasci, the symbol of people united under a single, authoritarian state and its man-made laws. Fasci can be found in places most Americans might find odd if they were aware of the meaning of these ancient symbols.

To be a “citizen” of such a state is not what it’s cracked up to be. Home of the free, and land of the brave, are little more than meaningless words in such a system, regardless of how many times they are repeated in song and literature. I hope to give a glimpse or two into the false world we live in, and possibly a way we all might learn of a way to abolish slavery once and for all.

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Navajo Mystical Precognition & the St. Francis Dam Collapse

PhotoCollage_20200202_095925978 (1)

In what has become a series of posts about supernatural phenomena, here I will add a new instance to the collection from a case that I recently came across. It is a fascinating and virtually untold historical example of precognition, and I think it is worthy of more attention than it has ever before received. This story is ultimately a footnote within a footnote…a story within a story that has already been largely forgotten. That story? The collapse of the St. Francis Dam late in the evening of March 12th, 1928, which killed at least 500 people and was the largest American engineering disaster of the 20th century. The detail I hope to illuminate is a group of Navajo Indians who ultimately did not perish in the flood. The means by which they escaped a horrible death is what is so remarkable and merits being retold.

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What Keeps Montana’s Timber Industry Alive: Is it Socialism or Fascism?

Please note facsi on either side of the American flag. Fasci will remain for Trump’s State of the Union address.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an address to Congress on March 3, 2015 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress without informing the White House. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

In the not so recent past Montana’s private logging contractors and saw-mill owners operated predominantly on privately-owned lands.  The old growth was “high-graded” (stripped off), and much of that land was sold off to the federal government and real estate corporations (REITs).  In other words, after the easy-to-access, high-value old growth on private land was liquidated, the timber industry has been going through a structural transition (merger, acquisition, liquidation) for decades. This is the trend. Mills have closed, workforce numbers declined, and the “timber economy” in Montana and other Northern Rockies states has trended downward, with no end in sight. 

A significant portion of all wood-fiber production has relocated to the Southeastern states for a variety of quite logical, ecological and economic reasons.

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Michael Crichton’s remarks to the Commonwealth Club, 2003

ChichtonI don’t often (or ever) say to readers that you should go read something that I read. I know how that works, as I am usually reluctant to take time from my planned day to indulge anyone. So my suggestion here is to simply take a glance at the opening words of Michael Crichton to the Commonwealth Club in 2003, and see if you have the same experience that I did. Crichton was such an engaging writer that he held readers rapt for decades. See if upon reading the beginning, you find yourself reading the end too. Maybe so, maybe not.

Here are the opening two paragraphs:

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

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Please pass the thistle …

Everts Thistle The plant to the left is commonly known as “Everts Thistle,”named after Truman Everts, a low-level bureaucrat who used its roots to survive during a 37-day ordeal that lasted from September 9 to October 15, 1870. The plant was and is abundant in Yellowstone National Park.

This post is not part of the normal fare of this blog. I have long known the survival tale of Truman Everts, but never the details. I have long known that cirsium scariosum, or Elk Thistle, was renamed in honor of this man.  On our way to Yellowstone last month, my wife read the Everts tale to our grandson and me from the book by Dave Walter, Montana Campfire Tales, and I was enraptured. It is an heroic tale, but Everts did not go on to become a governor or senator, to write a book or to even become famous. He was just a man who in the face of 37 days of insults to his body and mind, survived.

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