The Conservation Finance Network ((CFN) "advances land and resource conservation by expanding the use of innovative and effective funding and financing strategies" and supports "a growing network of public, private and nonprofit professionals through practitioner convenings, intensive trainings, and information dissemination to increase the financial resources deployed for conservation." This initiative "grew out of a pilot workshop envisioned at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in 2006 and held at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2007."
Not only do non-governmental organizations (NGO) contribute and support the CFN, your tax dollar also contributes from the US Forest Service, US Department of Defense, and US Department of Agriculture.
Under the Menu there is a Topics category that brings up all of the issues they are involved in from Forests to Public Policy. It may be that they have the ability to fund any conservation activity they want, regardless of local citizen input.
The Western Governors Association (WGA) recently held their 2019 Annual Meeting in Vail, Colorado, in which Governor Little was a participant. One of the activities included the relaunching of the Western Governors' Foundation which "is to leverage Western Governors’ influence to raise and deploy resources that collectively impact issues of regional importance", essentially further diminishing Idaho state sovereignty. You gotta love this foundation description, "leverage collective influence". Sovereignty has now been replaced with collectivism and redistribution of money through regional "philanthropy".
Another new initiative will be the "Reimagining of the Rural West" that will "will examine challenges and opportunities in rural economic development, infrastructure and quality of life, identify best practices, and recommend policies to support vibrant rural communities in the West." The three major "pillars" are opportunity for policies to leverage strengths in energy, agriculture, and tourism; connectivity for broadband and other infrastructure challenges; and lastly community to ensure rural areas have access to all of the elements of a strong community, including healthcare, affordable housing, quality education, and local leadership. A survey of 115 people was used to identify these priorities. Since when does a group of governors decide how we manage our communities? Access to local leadership? What does that mean?
But lastly, the most concerning subject the WGA revealed was a resolution on wildlife migration corridors and habitat. WGA has bought the non-governmental organization (NGO) mantra that "...migratory routes...can be impeded, degraded or eliminated by land or resource development", that wildlife overpasses are the only solution, and they should work with the federal government and NGOs to promote the creation of corridors.
Idaho is and will continue to be targeted for creation of wildlife corridors from the federal government, NGOs, state government, foundation funding, and a regional collection of governors. At some point Idahoans will have to take a stand and demand that our sovereignty is taken back and it will be Idahoans that make decisions for our state, that no other state or group has any say in those decisions, that we do not believe in collectivism, and do not want our tax dollar funding other states. That point in time is now, there is no longer any time to wait.
While Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) would like everyone to think the world will end if migratory corridors are not established, and money is being spent to chase down "ungulates" for the purposes of putting GPS collars on them. the truth is they are creating corridors, not identifying them.
Jody Hilty, Y2Y President and Chief Scientist, is making money off this scam with two books she wrote with others, called Corridor Ecology. In this Conservation Corridor summary it states the book contains, "Evidence that supports the use of corridors as a conservation strategy...", and explains "...the multitude of approaches and tie the modeling process into the overall process of designing corridors." And finally, "...we provide guiding principles as well as opportunities and challenges to implementing corridors...". They aren't trying to find out where wildlife migrate, they are creating corridors for their large landscape design and land takeover.
Even a review on Amazon states, ""The great value of this book lies in the varied examples and in the models, which show the problems and conditions of corridor establishment and the factors related to designing a corridor. The book will inspire the creation of corridors, and explains how to design one and how to take greater advantage of it."
Since these corridors are for the purposes of conservation, what does that mean? The definition of conservation is "a careful preservation and protection of something especially, planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect." No matter how they frame it, the bottom line intent for corridors is no use of the area. That is what corridors are really about, it has nothing to do with wildlife being fragmented.
Y2Y is also a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This IUCN booklet, Linkages in the Landscape, The Role of Corridors and Connectivity in Wildlife Conservation, outlines how land should be configured or designed for corridors. This is one model Y2Y is using as an IUCN member. IUCN also has a global policy for their objectives.
Never let Y2Y try and convince you they are not part of this agenda. It is all fact.
Another talk by Jody Hilty, Yellowstone to Yukon President and Chief Scientist, reveals a rather disturbing picture of a false narrative of information. Ms. Hilty either has chosen to deliberately misrepresent the truth, or lives in some sort of fantasy world.
In this Scaling Up Webinar, Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative, November 14, 2017, Ms. Hilty covers a variety of issues from both Canada and the U.S., skipping back and forth between the two countries.
In the standard Y2Y mantra, she declares wildlife need "room to roam" which usually means at the expense of where people live and their use of land in all forms. What is so ironic when describing how a Wolf traversed between Canada and the U.S., there is ongoing claims that animals are unable to survive without connectivity, taking more land for protection so they can migrate. Isn't that what the Wolf was doing without the Y2Y connectivity agenda? And while the Wolf doesn't recognize the boundary between the two countries, she fails to understand that these two countries do have jurisdictional boundaries between them, which supercedes what any Wolf may understand.
Blanket descriptions are given for historical ranges for Grizzlies, without any factual verification. However, this is deliberate as Y2Y intends to use Grizzlies as an umbrella species. Throughout the webinar, Ms. Hilty repeatedly states, "science says", not understanding that science is not a person, it can't think or speak. In her "collaborative" description, elected officials and local citizens are not included.
At the 19:20 mark, the Crown of the Continent that engulfs ID/MT/Canada, a path for Grizzlies is created on conjecture that it must be protected based on potential genetic problems. Next is the Cabinet Purcell area with ID/MT/BC involved, and three Grizzly "corridors" for connectivity, and work with land trusts to take land with conservation easements by Vital Ground, stopping development. Central Idaho is also targeted for artificial placement of Grizzlies at the 22:50 mark, manipulating wildlife so we can "live" with them, not recognizing how dangerous, and unethical that is.
A Y2Y workshop was held with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in March, 2017, to convince them to include wildlife overpasses in their transportation projects, referencing Hwy 20. Interestingly, ITD never fessed up to this, instead letting IDFG take the heat for their partnership with Y2Y. While Ms. Hilty claims the community was "super engaged", the truth was the community was strongly opposed to these overpasses, and it was only a Y2Y created front group that was supporting that objective.
Ms. Hilty claimed "huge threats of growth" and people "gobbling" up land instead of living in high rises at the 31:20 mark. And just where do you live Ms. Hilty, in a high rise or in your own house gobbling up land? She thinks protected areas are being "ringed with development". That is clearly not true. None the less, she calls these "gateway" cities and the plan is on for going in and telling these cities how they should live, holding Mountain and Resort Town Planner Summits.
The National Park Service (NPS) was part of this webinar as a deep partner with Y2Y, having some questions for Ms. Hilty at the 40:45 and 44:20 marks. More talk about growth sprawl came at the 50:05 mark, and getting elected officials to buy in to landscape conservation at the 53:30 mark. Ms. Hilty supported giving officials a "safe" place to support conservation and cited Sen. Risch and his work with the Scotchman's Peak group, never mentioned it was the vast opposition to his wilderness bill that defeated his alliance with them.
Listen to the webinar and learn more about all the work Y2Y is doing to spread their propaganda.
Both foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are pushing forward with new strategies. As much as possible, everyone needs to stay on top of their new direction. What had been more of a laid back, nobody challenges us attitude, has now become more of an offense because of the challenges laid at their feet by citizens, and they are proceeding with more deceit and lies.
Slowly, NGO members have been slipping themselves into governments, getting themselves elected, in order to influence policy. In every election, detailed scrutiny of each candidate must be conducted for any involvement in NGOs and exposed to the public.
There has also been a massive commitment from multiple foundations to increase the amount of funding to these groups, the sole purpose is only taking land away from citizens, and only to have it placed in protection with non-use. Never doubt that. The amount of land they now want to take, originally around 20-30%, is now 50%, and that includes a combined takeover of both Canada and the U.S.. This agenda comes from the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) and was promoted by Harvey Locke, one of Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) founders.
On this website, Nature Needs Half, you can find areas they want to take in Canada and the U.S., and Y2Y is involved with both objectives. The International Union of Conservation for Nature, Harvey Locke, Foundation Earth, and Wild Foundation are on the steering committee, while Gary Tabor from the Center for Large Landscape Conservation is one of the advisors.
The Hewlett Foundation outlines the new strategies pretty well, the same strategies can be found in new NGO jibberish, and they are implementing those strategies.
Hewlett identified oil and gas development near wildlife corridors and protected areas, water scarcity, residential development, agriculture, insufficient funding for conservation, and lack of constituencies for conservation as some of the risks to ecosystems. They find gains have been less than what was expected, and progress halted, undone, or threatened with reversal. This is the background for their new strategies.
Their focus has now changed to public policy as primary for advancing their outcomes. Therefore, they intend to focus on "community-driven, collaborative" solutions, which means getting more people to join their bandwagon, rather than "securing federal public land policy and protections" which is what they have been trying, instead going after state and local policies. Funding for this agenda have already begun, "building capacity" is what they call it.
NGO work was acknowledged with conserving 198 million acres since 2013. But for them it wasn't enough. So, now the focus will be partnerships with Tribes and rural communities. "Conserving working lands" means duping land owners into engaging with them and adopting their sick forms of land management practices. Another tactic will be targeting local land-use planning, and securing new policies at a local level. For every local government, they will be knocking at your door to get new ordinances in place for their objectives.
A new phony ploy will be tried, called Rural Perspectives on Western Conservation, they will pretend to listen to you, falsely giving a perception of interest, using the Jemez principle to manipulate you. Notice this is more reflective of a democracy, not a Republic, to "change from operating on the mode of individualism to community-centeredness." Collectivism, how Communistic is that? All efforts to place land into protection will continue as this new ploy is implemented.
New efforts will be targeting state policies in the U.S., an agenda already started by the Network For Landscape Conservation. Funding for this agenda has already started pouring in. Building and enhancing collaboration and strengthening partnerships will be a new focus as well, but how can this be strengthened when they are already one with governments that will achieve policy changes? At least this is the case in the U.S.. Supporting civil litigation doesn't seem to be a immoral activity for them either.
Starting on page 15 are focal areas for Canada and the U.S.. Anyone who lives in those areas should take note, keep an eye out for these new tactics. Don't be fooled by them, it is a mind game they intend to play on you.
While George Soros is known to heavily fund progressive agendas, there is another billionaire whose goal is to fund environmental causes, Hansjörg Wyss. A native of Switzerland who now lives in Wilson, Wyoming, Mr. Wyss made his fortune in medical research and his medical device manufacturer Synthes.
Mr. Wyss created the Wyss Foundation for philanthropy, conserving land as a primary focus, and millions of dollars have been given to non-governmental organizations (NGO) for that purpose. So invested in this goal, last year Mr. Wyss dedicated $1 billion to save the earth through his Wyss Campaign for Nature program. The end objective is to "...help conserve 30% of the planet by 2030"...with "...lands and waters..." protected best through national parks and wildlife refuges. Under the falsehood that Mr. Wyss claims this protection agenda is best if "driven by folks who live in these communities", he is actually referring to all the minion NGOs that are recipients of his money. Wanting to stay in the action, Mr. Wyss himself is on the governing council of the Wilderness Society.
What does this have to do with Idaho? The stated Wyss Foundation purpose is giving "donations to grassroots organizations that work to protect open spaces on public and private lands" in the United States, including the Rocky Mountains. Hmm, that makes Idaho a primary target. All of the following NGOs, along with many others not mentioned, received money from the Wyss Foundation for that purpose.
It is always fun to find out what is really happening by looking at tax forms. In this case, the Wyss Foundation tax forms reveal interesting information. Most of the foundation tax forms show heavy investments in all years for profit, and list assets over $2 billion dollars from at least 2014.
As early as 2001, the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) received a $75,000 donation as seen in the Wyss 2001 tax form. Another benefactor was the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), known for targeting Idaho land for protection, in the amount of $100,000. The Nature Conservancy of Idaho received $30,000, and the Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA) located in Boise received $40,000. While the WWA presents itself as an advocate of snowmobiling, it is really about advancing the dictatorship of where snowmobiling is allowed, and influencing forest service decisions for non-use. WWA is also a partner with ICL and corporations,
During the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, ICL received a total of $1,189,000 in donations while GYC acquired $1,155,600. In 2008, the Bureau of Land Management even received a donation of $999,000. Federal agencies can accept donations? Multiple other NGOs received donations during these and the following years.
In 2010, the Wyss foundation lists total assets over $136 million. ICL received $202,800 and the GYC $75,000. A $4 million plus loan was given to Western Rivers Conservancy for land acquisition, having succeeded in past acquisitions along the Salmon river, and having current Idaho targets for acquisition. Remembering The Nature Conservancy (TNC) business is land acquisition through conservation easements, and who are very active in Idaho, an astonishing amount of $14,442,400 was given to The Nature Conservancy of Montana.
By 2014 net assets for the Wyss foundation were over $2 billion. ICL benefited in the amount of $190,000, GYC $127,800. Western Rivers Conservancy received an alarming $6,100,000. The Trust for Pubic Land took a loan from the foundation for $906,000, in which the Bureau of Land Management partners for purchasing land for "recreational" access, or retiring resource extraction. TNC received a donation of $44 million!
2015 and 2016 donations from Wyss included Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and Trout Unlimited, each receiving $52, 800. Mr. Wyss must believe in donation recipient equality to some degree, but other NGOs received so much more.
In 2015, the Wyss tax form lists the two largest program related investments made by the foundation were in conservation land holdings for over $76 million. TNC received a whopping $9,237,734,000, Trout Unlimited $250,o0o, and the Western Rivers Conservancy $1 million. Looks like there was not enough money left for ICL or GYC this year.
According to the Wyss 2016 tax form, ICL was given $177,600. The 2016 tax form on the ICL website, dated 10/1/16 to 9/30/17, lists the Wyss donation as $125,000, with large contributions from other foundations. For the ICL listed 2015 tax year, 10/1/15 to 9/30/16, there is no listing of contributions by Wyss or other foundations. To validate the intertwined relationship, Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Program Director Kim Trotter is listed as one of the a ICL Directors.
In 2016, TNC held loans of over $4 million dollars for inholding acquisition. Basically inholdings are private land near wilderness areas that "fragment" federal ownership, so the land is bought to eliminate the fragmentation, making federal land ownership more seamless. A full explanation on wilderness inholdings can be found here. That's right, a way in which to beef up federal land ownership, but this is not to suggest why TNC inholdings are acquired or how they are used. However, land bought by TNC through Wyss donations is then owned by Wyss, or sold to the federal government.
In 2017, with assets over $2 billion dollars and heavy investments for profit, with a couple TNC loans amounting to over $3 million dollars for land acquisitions, the Wyss tax form lacks in individual contributions made to NGOs. The 2017 tax form isn't available on the ICL website and tax forms prior to 2014 have to be requested. What are they hiding?
For Idahoans who are members of ICL, they might be interested to know ICL is selling Idaho out to to a foundation that wants to do nothing more than fund land takeovers. More appalling is the amount of money being poured into multiple NGOs for the same purpose, provided by a narcissistic man who believes he can own the planet, and our government doing the same.
For these NGOs that tout the need to protect land for "future generations", this concept is not original. America's founders understood man's greed and built our Republic on a foundation that was intended to protect our freedom and property rights. It is time for all Idahoans to meet with their county and state representatives and create laws that protect Idaho land from these threats. Don't squander the gift we were given, rather make good use of it.
Although not completely confirmed, it appears the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) may be on the way out, partially due to lack of continued funding. In a scramble, how will these partnerships between non-governmental organizations (NGO), federal agencies, state agencies, and land trusts continue as a large network to accomplish their large landscape conservation goals?
There are several organizations picking up the pieces and their amassing may be a bigger threat to us than the LCCs. They are reorganizing and in doing so are becoming more aggressive. Everyone needs to become familiar with these organizations, where they do their work, their goals, and who the individual players are.
One of the most concerning is the Center For Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC). Partners include the usual, federal agencies, Western Governor's Association (WGA), and large NGOs. At the helm is Director Gary Tabor, an IUCN participant, Senior Conservationist Rob Ament, and Renee Callahan who promotes public policy. Because public funding for LCCs is drying up, CLLC has now created a "fiscally sponsored" project, the "catalyst fund" to bring in those desperately needed dollars.
Although the catalyst fund was set up by the Network For Landscape Conservation (NLC), Jonathan Peterson from the CLLC is the fund manager. The NLC coordinating committee includes members from the Heart of the Rockies, Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), National Park Service, Nature Conservancy, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlands Network, land trusts, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and Gary Tabor. A full list of all NLC partners can be found here, and it ain't pretty. Suffice to say, both CLLC and NLC are pretty much the same individuals and groups.
The catalyst fund is a "five-year national grant program to "accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative conservation at the landscape scale", funded by foundations. While they claim land conservation is "community-grounded", it is well known they mean their NGO partners, not local citizens, and "building capacity" is meant to increase their strength in numbers.
Led by Rob Ament, CLLC has an even more aggressive plan, targeting state legislators and agencies. In order to advance their, and other NGO connectivity goals, the target will be integrating their wildlife corridor agenda into legislation and policy. The WGA already conspired against us with the 2008 Wildlife Corridor Initiative, being used by the CLLC as one justification for their corridor agenda. And why wouldn't they, CLLC served on the WGA working policy groups that led to wildlife policy initiatives in 2010 and 2013, with multiple other NGOs serving as part of the Western Wildlife Habitat Council (pg 8) for initiative implementation. Data collection and mapping were also initiated as part of the agenda. Wildlife corridors are not the end to the saga, eventually there will be mandates for ecological corridors, biodiversity corridors, habitat corridors, riparian corridors, practically any excuse to create one, which will eventually suck up all land for restricted or banned use. In other words, control over land use, and people.
Returning to the Wildlife Connectivity document, CLLC has developed strategies for integration of their objectives into state legislation and policy. The truth is, CLLC has already decided where these wildlife corridors should be in Idaho and will lobby for the appropriate legislation, as well as having their Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) buddies put them into policy. On page 2 is a map of priority areas, one of which is the US 20/SH87 Complex, which was used as an attempt to build overpasses for their corridor plan. Idahoans in other priority areas are encouraged to take note, the same will be tried in your area. As can be seen, attempts to create wildlife corridors are already being conducted.
There is nothing in the IDFG 2018-2021 Strategic plan for wildlife corridors or connectivity, this is one policy CLLC will want changed, along with State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) for integration of wildlife corridors. Following are a few of those CLLC strategies.
"Delegate a state agency to develop...a wildlife corridor identification process, using "best available science" for criteria. As previously noted CLLC has already identified the corridors and developed their science for identification, it is already a done deal. IDFG employee Gregg Servheen, Wildlife Program Coordinator, has been in on this from the beginning, to suggest delegating a state agency for this agenda is ludicrous. NGOs will lobby legislators to "establish state policy to guide the management of identified corridors". But as seen above, there will be no need for guidance, it will be convincing legislators to put their already determined management into legislation.
"The state agency responsible for this program should have the autonomy to evaluate and apply site-specific management and work cooperatively with stakeholders. In addition to state agency-initiated corridor identification, the legislation might also include a process for the public to submit a petition to designate a corridor." IDFG will be the state agency since they are already involved, and are already autonomous as an executive agency overseen by a Governor appointed commission. Since wildlife have already been "...declared to be the property of the state of Idaho", that leaves Idahoans out of any decisions. The petition rubbish is for NGO members to create, giving a false appearance that there is public support for this corridor agenda. It has been done by them before on other issues, and is another reason for the capacity building.
"Legislators can require relevant state agencies to conduct statewide connectivity analyses using the best available science." Connectivity studies have already been conducted on wildlife linkage areas on Idaho roads and by American Wildlands. Wildlife corridors are used as linkage points between existing protected areas for connectivity.
"State legislation could include a provision that directs a state’s wildlife authority responsible for the SWAP to develop a revision that formally recognizes habitat connectivity as a priority as well as includes actionable management items to identify and conserve wildlife corridors." CLLC knows dang well IDFG is responsible for SWAP which is considered a "living" document that can be updated as new data becomes available, how convenient for the CLLC agenda. While connectivity is currently addressed in different SWAP sections, it is yet to be a priority, which is a CLLC goal.
"State agencies governing the management of wildlife, transportation, and energy should be required to develop BMPs for habitat connectivity. In areas where habitat corridors have been identified, these BMPs should be legally binding to ensure that habitat connectivity and wildlife movement are preserved." "State legislators could direct relevant state agencies to develop BMPs to protect habitat connectivity and wildlife movement for all activities permitted on state lands that are likely to otherwise result in environmental harm." Another area that has already been implemented between IDFG and ITD, and enhanced through the ITD Ecological approach agreement with the Federal Highway Administration, which just happens to be a CLLC partner as well. Once again Rob Ament and Gregg Servheen are involved.
"There are many potential policy approaches to encouraging conservation action on private lands. The most well-known approach is a conservation easement...". Within the McArthur Lake Wildlife Corridor aggressive action has already taken land for easements by federal and Idaho agencies in partnerships with NGOs. Forever prohibiting land use is the goal with wildlife corridors.
"Authorize state agencies to institute public-private partnerships...fund state programs to engage citizens in citizen-science projects...that need additional data for decision-making around connectivity policymaking...request information from citizens...to help inform where wildlife corridors exist...". IDFG is already moving towards corporatism, aided by federal legislation. The "citizen-science" actually references the IDFG Idaho Master Naturalist program which partners with Y2Y, and since the data has already been collected for connectivity corridor linkages, the stage has been set to feed it to legislators. Other data collection is already in place through the IFWIS, a member of NatureServe, with a special category for land management and conservation which is not accessible to the general public. The Great Northern LCC already created the Decision Support System (DSS) called Data Basin, in which Gregg Servheen participated with his "best science".
There is a rather large section in the connectivity document for wildlife corridor funding through general fund appropriations, constitutional amendments, federal and foundation initiatives, and conservation banking, claiming that all of this enjoys "wide citizen support". They mean themselves.
In addition to analyzing how he could interject his agenda into federal policy, Rob Ament also reviewed federal policy progress for connectivity. Since there is increasing federal support for wildlife corridors via Sec. Zinke Secretarial Order 3362, and the reintroduced Wildlife Corridor Act, Mr. Ament may be right. The Sierra Club helped write the legislation, along with other NGO support (Y2Y, ICL, GYC among them).
The truth is, CLLC and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have already created the "best science" to justify where wildlife corridors should be in Idaho, it is just a matter of telling legislators and IDFG where they want them, without consideration of Idaho citizens, or local jurisdictional authority. However, since IDFG was paid to inform the public, one should assume Idahoans already know. Mentioned in the NWF document are "Proposed wildlife crossings", one way in which corridors can be created using exaggerated wildlife vehicle collision data.
It is never about land protection or conservation, it is about taking control over land use. Citizens in Ventura, California understand this as they fought land use restrictions with their wildlife corridor, and lost. Not only do their restrictions involve rezoning 30% of land, it also devalues the land, destroys the agriculture sector, and increases fire risks. For all Idahoans, let this be a lesson to learn if wildlife corridors are imposed, the same set up for this garbage is in play here.
Idaho does have a statute that is suppose to protect private property rights in local land use planning, however NGOs are already taking a look at local zoning and land use ordinances for conservation design changes. Idahoans may want to consider working with county commissioners to integrate a ban on wildlife corridor designation in local land use policies before the NGOs get to them.
Potential NGO lobbyists for this CLLC agenda include Rialin Flores, Conservation Voters for Idaho; Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife (DOW); Jonathan Oppenheimer, Idaho Conservation League (ICL); Brian Brooks, Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF); Willam Whelan, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); and Michael Gibson, Trout Unlimited (TU), all of which, except one, are Y2Y partners, which partners with CLLC.
Yep, no need to worry folks, just sit back and relax. NGOs, individuals, and the government have this all figured out for you, where you can live. how you can use your private property, and how Idaho should be reconfigured for animals. Representation by local officials is no longer needed so don't worry about practicing self-governance, or functioning as a Republic, there is no conspiratorial shadow government operating here, or a deep state. Local county authority over land use has and will continue to be completely obliterated by these well thought out agendas, especially when the legislature has been infiltrated by NGO representatives. It is all transparent.
Perhaps we would all be wise to remember the sacrifices made by our Founders, who so deeply understood tyrannical governments, and the price of freedom. At what cost is freedom?
The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREP) has been reintroduced by a New York representative for the seventh time in Congress, and has been referred to the Natural Resources Committee. This bill, H.R. 1321, is another attempt at taking more land away from Idaho citizens for use and designating it as wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, biological connecting corridors, and for other purposes. Claiming that "wildlife treasures of the Northern Rockies are of international significance", the standard environmental group mantra is given that "fragmentation" of wildlife occurs due to roads, harvesting, and mining, all horse pucky. No international significance exists when it comes to Idaho land.
In the bill text, land is divided up into five ecosystems but the bill has nothing to do with ecosystem protection, it is about taking land. Each ecosystem includes Idaho national forests, and all are impacted. Affected areas incorporate land and creeks into currently existing designated wilderness areas and national forests, designate new wilderness areas into what is called the "National Wilderness Preservation System", take land for "biological connecting corridors", all of the areas being too exhaustive to list here. Also defined is "no new road construction or reconstruction, or timber harvest (except firewood gathering) shall be allowed in the lands". Everyone should take the time to see how their own particular area would be affected.
One non-governmental organization (NGO) that has put much effort into increasing federally protected land is the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), which covers the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Greater Salmon/Selway Ecosystem, both listed in the bill. GYC is out of Bozeman, Montana, but is also registered in Idaho. Kathy Rinaldi is the Idaho Conservation Coordinator for GYC, and Allison Michalski is the Idaho Conservation Associate. Their focus is "protecting" lands in Idaho from eastern Idaho through the Salmon area. Areas they focus on are included in the bill such as the Custer Gallatin National Forest, and water protection.
In the first 10/1/16-9/30/17' tax return posted below, with a net balance of 10,813,967 dollars, the GYC spent $118,957 in "direct lobbying" to influence a legislative body. $18,788 was spent on "grassroots" lobbying, which is an indirect way of influencing legislative bodies through their members. Another fact found in their tax return is the donation of $27,500 to the National Wildlife Federation for a "grazing allotment buyout", land that will most likely never be used again.
GYC proudly boasts about convincing the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to protect Grizzly habitat while partnering with them on other issues, shutting down sheep grazing, and again buying out grazing allotments. Is it no wonder that citizens have no voice on land use when NGOs such as GYC and others have the pocketbook and relationships to get what they want? Giving money to the USFS (pg 30) is just one way as they also partner with Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG), having even been on the "core team" for the development of the State Wildlife Action Plan (Rinaldi, page xii).
For an unknown reason, other than a request for an extension on tax filing, the GYC website lists a different tax form for the same year. In this form, lobbying expenses for the same period came to $116,300 in a payment made to a Washington D.C. lobbying firm, Forbes-Tate Partners. Given the drive for protecting land, did the GYC lobbyist have anything to do with the reintroduction of NREP or the recently signed S. 47?
In the tax forms, GYC specifically states one accomplishment as "permanently protecting Yellowstone's northern gateway from two proposed gold mines", that was in 2017. GYC took credit for the passage of the 2019 Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act that was included in S. 47. President Trump just signed this bill, effectively endorsing the GYC goal of shutting down all gold mining activity north of Yellowstone Park. Do they hold the same lobbying power to take thousands of acres of land for wilderness through NREP? Other accomplishments listed, "conserving public lands...in the Gallatin Range...and...High Divide", and new protections on BLM lands. Water is another focus for "permanent" protection. All of this is addressed in the NREP bill.
Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson are both members of the Congressional Western Conference (CWC), although Rep. Simpson is known for his alignment with NGOs and support for land grab legislation. CWC has a multitude of issues that it covers, one of which is federal land management, claiming too much land is controlled by the federal government and the "checkerboard" of land ownership should be streamlined. Yet at the same time, this group applauded the passage of S.47, which establishes more national monuments, designates more wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers, restores the Land and Water Conservation Fund which is used for land purchases by the federal government and provides money to NGOs for continuation of their agenda. Taking more land is being justified by increased access to public land use "unless specifically designated otherwise". Should the CWC be trusted to oppose NREP, or have GYC lobbyists and others successfully infiltrated, or bought, the caucus? NGOs have become so financially powerful they are now buying logging industries.
From all accounts, it is clear that the federal government has only one intention in mind, take more land and restrict use, leaving citizens they represent out, instead building and funding NGO partnerships to accomplish their goals. NREP is just another example of how we are being robbed of our land. Let your representatives, CWC, and the House Committee on Natural Resources know that you do not support land being taken from us or their support of NGO agendas.
It is well known that the federal government is heavily in bed with non governmental organizations (NGO), especially our resource agencies through the Department of Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). What may not be understood is how big that bed is or why federal agencies continue to implement NGO objectives over the voice of citizens. The Network For Landscape Conservation (NLC) provides the explanation.
The NLC "mission" is advancing "...collaborative, cross border conservation as an essential approach to connect and protect nature, culture, and community". Note should be taken on that cross border statement. This means across states, counties, and countries, the primary country they are referring to is Canada. There is no recognition of jurisdictional boundaries. NLC is a "hub" of organizations and individuals who participate in the agenda to place as much land as possible into conservation. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS), Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), Nature Conservancy, Land Trusts, Bureau of Land Mangement (BLM), conservation zealots, and others all serve on the coordinating committee. NLC membership includes "100-plus organizational partners and 2,000-plus involved practitioners."
While NLC claims to "bring people together", it is really about robbing citizen rights for representation through their elected officials, instead placing decisions with those who have no interest other than implementing their own ideology. By their own admission, they recognize this is a "shift in process" that "...crosses jurisdictional and topical boundaries, transcending traditional decision-making processes (meaning the foundation of our government as a Republic), and top-down hierarchies." It is government run amok with tyranny.
Recently, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives were "discontinued". However, efforts are now underway by USFWS and state agencies to fund the same objective through "public and private partners" and continue their conservation work. NLC is also pursuing funding for their objectives through a newly created Catalyst Fund, with money coming from foundations. This money will be used to help "build capacity", that is, it will bring in more partners to overpower us with their objectives and build up NGO activity. All of their initiatives in Idaho can be found on this map with the names of the groups that are executing their agenda upon us. Get to know those names so you know who you are dealing with, and their objectives. Since the cooperatives were eliminated, or at least diminished in their capacity, the governments and NGOs are now coalescing into organizations such as the NLC, there are many others. This is creating possibly a new, more powerful mass that will increase their threat towards us.
As seen here, NLC partners include the USFS, BLM, National Park Service, USFWS, NGOs, land trusts, foundations, policy centers, and universities. Nowhere to be found are citizens or local governments. It is these groups and individuals who are making decisions with the federal government on land use, if use is even allowed at all. In conjunction with these groups, federal agencies write policies, then, using the Delphi technique, parade around in front of us with a charade of phony collaborative meetings to placate us into believing we have input. Opposing science to theirs is ignored, violating the Data Quality Act, and impacts to local businesses are dissed which is in conflict with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Included in these ignored laws is the mandate for Coordination, the requirement that a federal agency meet with local governments to ensure consistency in land use policies prior to any action being taken.
While the NLC claims local governments are aware of and support landscape conservation, when is the last time your elected official announced this support to constituents? Is it the intent for local governments, who hold the highest authority for governance closest to the people, to align "...with appropriate state, federal and non-governmental programs to support landscape conservation..."? Or is that support hidden through unelected associations such as the National Association of Counties? NLC admits to incorporating their objectives "...into existing state policies and programs—in traditional conservation programs like State Wildlife Action Plans...". There is no escaping the fact that the intent is to align government policies that support landscape conservation in all levels of government. To learn more about those objectives NLC has archived webinars which provide insight into how these individuals and groups think and their ideology.
The truth is, federal agencies are in partnership with the NLC and its members to develop policy, however the members of the "Policy Working Group" are not identified. A policy paper was written for President Trump shortly after he was elected, deciding for you that you believe in their brand of conservation, asking for continued use of your tax dollar to support them, and supporting the creation of partnerships with the private sector. Perhaps the groups listed in that paper identify those who are part of the working group. This is why citizens cannot get their voice heard, the NLC and all of their cronies have already made the decision with the federal government. In fact, the 1964 Wilderness Act was written by Howard Zahniser from the Wilderness Society. That is how long the NGOs have had control. Completely left out of the equation is local government and citizen involvement. The federal government works for these groups, not us.
For all of those who are experiencing these atrocities on local issues, your voice being ignored in decisions about public land, take this information to your next meeting with a federal agency, start asking questions about their partnerships with NGOs, and provide those NGO names. Make them aware that you know these partnerships exist and ask that documentation of their work with each other is made available to you. Demand answers, you have a right to know who is running the show with these agencies. Publicize your knowledge about this information, identify the groups and players and name them, identify their objectives and how it aligns with federal agency actions. Expose them, confront them, let others know so they can join you. Now is the time to disrupt their agenda and expose the truth.
It seems wildlife overpass advocates are throwing a temper tantrum over the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) selecting Alternative 3 in the Targhee Pass (TP) Environmental Assessment (EA). Since Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) was exposed for their deep involvement with both ITD and Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) in pushing for overpasses they have chosen to recuse themselves from the tantrum, instead turning to their counterparts to cry foul. Those counterparts include the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF), and Idaho Conservation League (ICL).
All of these groups partner with Y2Y. Kathy Rinaldi is the Idaho Conservation Coordinator for GYC, Brian Brooks is the IWF Executive Director which not only partners with Y2Y but also with the National Wildlife Federation, and Rick Johnson is the ICL Executive Director. These groups and individuals are organizing to challenge ITD and the EA decision for the no overpass Alternative 3, but in doing so have used inaccurate information which they are disseminating to the public and media. Here are the facts.
Mr. Brooks began his article with the statement, "Idaho Transportation Department’s own data, which was never publicly distributed, directly contradicts their preferred alternative of the expansion of Highway 20...". The report link for the "ADS do not work" comment is inaccurate, the report did not state that. It was a survey of various ADS uses in Canada and other states, on a variety of species, and different geologic areas, while also recognizing the limitations of some survey information affecting the ability to determine if the system was efficient.
Mr. Brooks most egregious claim was that ADS costs more than an overpass. Alternative 2, including the road upgrade with overpasses, would cost $25-30.5 million. The selected Alternative 3 with upgrades and no overpasses would cost $15-19.5 million. Certainly an $11 million dollar savings is enough to maintain an ADS system for many years. The Federal Highway Administration even recognizes "...animal detection systems have the potential to permit safer crossing opportunities for large wildlife anywhere along the outfitted roadway..." and the variables that interfere with effectiveness. In his quest to convince you to believe what he wrote is accurate, a pre-written comment supporting his position was also provided in the article to be sent in to ITD.
Brian Brooks stated Hwy 20 "...is set for a 4-lane expansion and 1.5 million more cars in the next ten years." The only section of Hwy 20 being evaluated right now is at Targhee Pass (TP) which does not include a 4 lane expansion. He did not identify his source for knowing how many cars would be traveling Hwy 20 in ten years, this opinion is a guess, not a fact.
The collar report he references is the 2014 US 20 Road Ecology Report. In that report there was nothing substantiating his claim that "Existing collar data shows that elk spend weeks traveling alongside Highway 20, spooked back into the woods due to traffic and noise." The collar study was on Moose and Elk and only where they crossed Hwy 20, studying different times of the day, and in the spring and fall during their migratory times. There was also nothing reported about their inability to reach food sources or Hwy 20 causing herd isolation.
While Mr. Brooks claims Highway 20 "...runs through migration paths of big game herds to and from Yellowstone...", the truth is the Sand Creek herd is not a migratory herd that must cross Hwy 20 for migration to and from Yellowstone, staying primarily on the west side of the highway which does not result in fragmentation. These herds summer in high country around IP and in Harriman State Park and both Sand Creek and Northern Yellowstone herds are far more threatened by Wolves and Grizzlies. Mr. Brooks failed to mention that Elk wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) at TP fail in numbers to support any overpass.
As to his claim that ITD did not use their own data that supported overpasses, that is incorrect. The link in the article to the report is under "the cost-benefit analysis that favors crossings". He is referring to a report by Renee Seidler for the TP project that was completed during an unknown time in 2018, however it is cited in the EA report, appears on the TP project website, and was released the same day as the EA. On page 136 the EA states, "1.0. Reasons for low benefit-cost ratios are the low number of crashes overall and relatively low costs of property damage per crash." and "Another ITD-funded study of wildlife safety solutions (Cramer, 2016) also found benefit-cost ratios lower than 1.0 for wildlife crossings for the Targhee Pass segment (Alternative 2)."
In the article Mr. Brooks argues there would be no restrictions in Alternative 2. However, there are several restrictions listed in the EA including restricted access through gates, snowmobile restrictions, barriers with fencing, and exclusions to recreationists. Most important of all, the ability to build overpasses was impossible because no agreements on easements had been obtained from private land owners, and with easements come restrictions on use and development. Multiple other documentation supports restriction of activity and development near wildlife overpasses.
These conservation groups are reliable in using the media to advance their message. In the February 4, 2019 edition of the Idaho Falls Post Register, the IWF again gave the same erroneous information, the other groups not identified. However the statement included in this article really reveals the truth behind why overpasses are desperately wanted, “To date, no highway design elements can increase wildlife connectivity except crossing structures...with fences,” the Fish and Game assessment stated." It is about connectivity, not anything to do with WVC numbers, overpasses, or ADS. An unsubstantiated 30 large animal deaths may have occurred but Elk were the focus of the project, not all animals.
In the Rexburg Standard Journal, published January 28, 2019, Kathy Rinaldi "...argued about the effectiveness of the animal detection systems...". In truth the low number of WVC do not justify the cost of an overpass. As stated in the EA, page 136, "ITD also did not include the unreported accidents from law enforcement and reported carcass information from the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System. However, the results are not sensitive to the wildlife-related annual crash rate or efficacy of measures. This is due to the overall low magnitude of crashes, low cost per crash, and comparatively high cost of mitigation measures."