Fish & Wildlife Commission Fights for Access & Land & Water Conservation Fund

Marias_scouting_2.jpg

Something pretty important happened in Helena today: The Fish & Wildlife Commission issued the following proclamation in support of the Land & Water Conservation Fund:

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a Federal Program that was established by an Act of Congress in 1964 to provide funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water, and easements on land and water, for the benefit of all Americans. The main emphases of the fund are recreation and the protection of national natural treasures in the forms of parks and protected forest and wildlife areas.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Land and Water Conservation Fund: Democracy, and the Economics of Access

The sound of splashing and laughing children drifts through a dense thicket of willows and cottonwood saplings. It’s a hot, mid- Saturday morning in early August at Grey Owl Fishing Access Site on the Yellowstone River, crowded with a row of parked pickups and SUVs and Subarus left behind by the early wave of fishermen and guides boats already far downstream. Late arrivals like my son and daughter and I are everywhere. A cowboy-hatted man and his three kids drag a sun-bleached raft to the water, while a woman in a new Toyota 4-Runner waits her turn to launch an elegant Lavro driftboat.  A yellow Labrador pup trots by, nose-to-gravel, pursued by a swift barefooted toddler in shorts, who has outdistanced a young woman bearing a swim bag in one hand and a picnic cooler in the other.  We’re here to wile away an hour or two, just passing through on our way home. Like everybody else here, we’ve come to enjoy one of the coldest, cleanest, most accessible big rivers in the world.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

A Man for Our Times

blogger-image-1552975338.jpg

We're happy to join the chorus of folks endorsing Neil Kornze as the new director of the Bureau of Land Managment. Neil has a giant task ahead of him: balancing the needs of wildlife, hunters & anglers, energy development and agricultural users.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Opening Day

Pronghorn1.jpg

I've got a pocket full of tags and a loose knit plan on how to fill them all. This Saturday, 130,000 fellow Montanans and I will begin our five week journey where we fall in love with Montana all over again. Fall in the high country, coulees & fields of Montana is about as close to heaven as you can get without meeting your maker.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Kicked out, Shut Down & Sold Out

 blogger-image--284470584.jpg

The Government is shutdown, Yellowstone and Glacier are closed for business, costing local businesses much needed revenue during the fall season. Archery hunters in the CMR have had to pick up and get out. Federal Fishing Access Sites along Fort Peck, the Bighorn River and Missouri are closed. Forest Service campgrounds sit empty as hunters pack up and move on. Nobody knows when it will end and it doesn’t look like congress has a plan to get us back to normal before pheasant opener on the 12th. The petty politics of Washington DC are throwing an unneeded monkey wrench into Montana’s hunting season.

Read more
1 reaction Share

The Sweet Spot

final_approach_2.JPG

I haven’t anticipated a duck season like this since I was a kid. I’ve got a serious case of duck fever.  Thanks to the conservation ethic of America’s hunters, the prairies are full of birds.  Slightly down from last year but the second best numbers since they started counting in 1955, at 45.6 million ducks, there will be plenty of opportunity.  I have freshened up both my goose and duck spreads with some finely crafted birds. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Opportunity & Access For All

IMG_0055.JPG

Fall in Montana is about as close to Heaven as you can get and September 28th is a day that every hunter knows is a good day to be in the field. Tomorrow, Saturday, September 28th is National Hunting and Fishing Day. The bill establishing this day was signed into law in 1972. It’s a day when elk will be moving because of snow in the high country, trout will still be slamming hoppers and Montanans will be out in force, as usual, enjoying our public lands and public wildlife.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Sheep for the Mountains

204553_1954019340838_3136738_o.jpg

If there’s one species that signifies Montana’s place in the Boone & Crockett Record books, it’s bighorn sheep. We produce monster rams. It’s what we do.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

A Beard by Any Other Name

Has the Gauntlet been laid down?

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Hunters Against Hunger

IMG_0249.JPG

Last session, while we were all embroiled in fighting legislation to test & slaughter elk in the Northern Yellowstone Herd, hand control of our wolves back to Washington D.C. and take your resident hunter opportunity away, something good did happen.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Conservation Cuts Bad for America

We love Steve Rinella of Meateater Fame. He's a growing breed of outdoorsman who are answering the call sent out by Theodore Roosevelt around the turn of the last century to stand up for all wildlife, even if we don't chase them with a rod or rifle.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Fresh Tracks on the Front

1170812_520559984683652_8381711_n.jpg

Tired of the smoke, fire, heat and general crankiness that pervades August in Montana? Here's a great way to cool off and help support sensible conservation measures like the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act:

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Land and Water Conservation Fund purchase of Tenderfoot Creek in Smith River watershed of Montana

Tenderfoot.jpg 

We live in a nation with the highest standard of living of any on earth, judging by income and purchase of consumer goods. Although the battle is never won, we enjoy clean air and drinking water, abundant wildlife and room to roam, to hunt and fish and swim in rivers or hike with our families, in a way that almost no other nation on earth can claim. Many of us have been so privileged, for so many generations, that we seem to have forgotten why it is that we, almost alone upon an ever-more crowded planet, can experience this abundance. Those of us who talk of American Exceptionalism- those on the left who decry the notion that we are somehow, as a nation, more blessed than others, or those on the right who claim that we are, simply by dint of place of birth, exceptional, are both profoundly wrong. The United States is exceptional, and any one of the perhaps one billion would-be immigrants to our country may be better equipped to tell us why, than most of us, sated and oblivious, ever could. There is a truth here: Americans have made exceptional decisions, fighting for the quality of life we enjoy, not necessarily on the battlefield, though that is true, too, but in the courts, the legislatures and the halls of power from every point on our compass. Our  antecedents accomplished what  few others on earth have done- created systems, sometimes complex and interlocking, of providing the money to pay for so much of what has been lost in the rest of the world: parks, ecosystems that both provide invaluable economic and biological services but also make our lives and our children’s lives infinitely more rich and hopeful.  One of those systems, one of the most visionary, productive, and successful of them all, has been the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Stacking the Deck

Jones_creek.jpg

Like many people, I’m still in recovery from the 2013 Legislative session. Unfortunately, the work never stops. Today, I went to a subcommittee meeting of the Environmental Quality Council where the members were discussing a proposed survey to be sent out to Counties that have 15% or more public land inside their boundaries. Reading the survey is enlightening.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Art of Compromise

Marias_scouting_2_(1).jpg

This week, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission did a couple of things that deserve praise. They set a new wolf season and they rejected a negotiated settlement on the Marias River Wildlife Management Area. Wolf management, as always, is controversial. There was no shortage of opinionsexpressed during the two hour public comment ranging from the usual “kill ‘em all” to “don’t kill any.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Thanks for all the Fish!

Max_Float_065_(1).jpg

As the Bully nation knows, we’re huge fans of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester both have been outstanding champions when it comes to helping secure funding for this program that pays for a lot of fishing access sites, new public hunting grounds and helps conserve working landscapes like the Blackfoot Valley and the Rocky Mountain Front.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Rearview Mirror

buffalo1.jpg

It's Friday. A long week has me ready to hit the hatch starting this evening. We're blowing out of town around 3 or so and should be knee deep in a freestone by 6. Just in time for the caddis to start coming back to the water.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Green Fires

rifles.jpg

It’s safe to say that there’s not a lot of sympathy for folks who like toothy critters in Montana. At least that’s what the papers and the blogs seem to say. It seems like you have to think that deer, elk and other species of wildlife exist simply for our hunting opportunity rather than follow the North American Model and Aldo Leopold’s vision: We’re here to serve wildlife rather than have it serve us. Some folks haven’t missed that though.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

A Cog in the Wheel

Picture1.jpg

The world is a complex, interconnected place. That’s especially true when we start to think about elk, wolves, bears the lands that are necessary to sustain abundant wildlife populations and our ability as hunters and anglers to access them.  Human nature, on the other hand, is remarkably simple. We look for the easiest answers, usually the ones that fill our preconceived notions of what’s happening.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Memorial Day Thanks

Memorial Day weekend is when a grateful nation reflects on the sacrifices the men and women of our armed services have made to ensure our freedom and our way of life. It’s also the traditional opener of the summer festivities Montanan’s save our sick days for.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

1  2  3  4  5  Next →
Hellgate Hunters and Anglers
Our Mission is to conserve Montana's wildlife, wild places, and fair-chase hunting and fishing heritage.