As Montana’s last and largest Indian water compact chugs toward the finish line, heated debate makes for a wild ride. For over a decade, the compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT or compact) on the Flathead Indian Reservation has been kneaded and pounded by state, tribal, and U.S.
Domestic sheep have grazed on the Gravelly Landscape of southwestern Montana since the 1860s. But the Gallatin Wildlife Association is suing to get those sheep removed. The group claims that domestic sheep are responsible for disease outbreaks among the bighorn sheep population, introduced to the area by Montana Fish and Wildlife in 2001.
Westerners often decry the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as having little use other than as a regulatory blunt object that demolishes economies wherever it’s employed. To date, it has had a 1.5-percent success rate at recovering species.
Last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced some dizzying numbers regarding wild horse overpopulation on the western range. More than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming the range, according to BLM.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans held a hearing last Tuesday to discuss the Blackfeet Water Rights Compact, which—if ratified by Congress—would provide the tribe with $469 million in federal and...
The State of New Mexico has filed for a temporary restraining order against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to stop the federal agency from releasing more Mexican wolves into the state. The USFWS has so far released two wolves into New Mexico without the state’s permission, and has indicated it plans to release more.
Few topics are as spellbinding as a discussion about the BLM’s land use planning regulations. Well… perhaps “spellbinding” isn’t the word. But the BLM’s recently proposed revisions to the planning process should have westerners on the edge of their seats.
The clarion call for more local control over federal lands in the West is echoing, even in the far-off halls of Congress. Some lawmakers are calling for a transfer of lands to the states, while others are asking for improved laws and regulations on federal lands.
There may be no greater peacekeeper in the West than state water law. Everyone who inhabits this arid quarter needs water—from farmers and ranchers to municipalities. These individuals and entities ferociously defend their state-allocated water rights, many of which date back to the 1800s, when the West was settled.
Federal agencies, California, Oregon, and a corporation owned by Warren Buffet bucked local opposition last Wednesday when they signed two agreements aimed at removing four major dams along the Klamath River. According to local opponents, the finalization of the agreements was premature and excluded input from the public and affected stakeholders.
On March 11, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) quietly unveiled a policy that will require “effective separation” of domestic sheep and goats from wild sheep across the West. The new guidance is similar to a U.S. Forest Service policy that is currently under litigation by the sheep industry.
The citizens and county representatives who commented at the meeting criticized not just the draft plan, but the process in which it is being developed. Several supposedly secret meetings have already been held regarding the plan, according to a staffer for U.S.
Was the government justified in its actions on Jan. 26, the day rancher LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed along a remote stretch of eastern Oregon’s Highway 395? A video of the event, recorded on a witness’ mobile phone, was released by investigators last Tuesday.
The federal Department of the Interior seems motivated to get on with the largest dam removal in U.S. history. For years, likely due to local opposition in southern Oregon and northern California, Congress has refused to support the removal of four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River.
Two recent legal decisions have brought the sheep industry from cheers to disappointment. Both were legal challenges brought by industry against the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) because of the agency’s removals (or proposed removals) of domestic sheep in the name of bighorn sheep protection.