This is the last of a six part series. The reader is strongly urged to visit these websites and study what is discussed in these articles in order to make an informed decision.
Part one covered data collection in the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) which was used to create the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) for species and habitat protection. In part two ecosystems and its components were covered and corridors were explained in part three. Part four exposed those who are involved in the effort to redesign Island Park. How Island Park residents are being excluded as a primary voice in decisions was exposed in part five. Now that the full truth is out, where does Island Park go from here?
What would my father think about building artificial Elk passages along US 20? He might possibly think that saving Elk from horrendous deaths would be good. But, as one who always took caution by looking for them during his drive, he would most likely blame people for being irresponsible. However, if he was told the truth about the hidden agenda behind these passages, he would ferociously object to them. In no way would he support any activity that would alter Island Park, remove property rights or freedoms, or incorporate her into Yellowstone. He would fight for her.
So now the truth is out. There are substantial organizations and foundations that work with federal agencies to promote connecting large landscapes into conservation with eventual regulatory requirements that will dictate how the Island Park community will be designed and how a property owners will be required to design their own land, or even use it. This is a covert agenda by outside groups, NGOs, and both state and federal governments to alter Island Park into some man made design, making it look like a zoo where wildlife can be "enjoyed" rather than letting her exist naturally as she has for generations.
The starting point is wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC), the Elk who cross US 20 two times a year on their migratory path. Although Targhee Pass is identified as a primary area of crossing and need for an overpass, the Elk actually make their crossing a few miles south of Bighorn Hills. This would require fencing which would force the Elk to alter their natural path.
No Elk, or any other wildlife, should die on their journey. The WVC numbers vary depending on which source is cited. All studies were conducted for the specific outcome of overpasses and connectivity while downplaying other alternatives, or even consideration for other possible options. Has the number of WVC, or even the number of Elk deaths increased in 50 years? Those numbers are never mentioned. These initiatives, NGOs, and government agencies with a massive agenda have decided to make the Elk an issue, with their bias, to implement their predetermined solutions.
Those who are part of this agenda, these initiatives, will try to dissuade us from accepting the truth, controlling and manipulating the dialogue on compassion for wildlife and the "threat of human-wildlife conflict", while continuing to hide what is coming next and who is involved. That "conflict" is a fabrication from their fantasies. The perception that there is no compassion for the Elk will be promoted. They will try to marginalize folks who do not support their agenda and who are willing to listen to the truth. A negative impression of those who oppose the initiative will be painted as uncaring and disrespectful towards the beautiful animals we all care about. None of this is true. This type of rhetoric is only to distract from the truth, while defining you as the enemy. The larger discussion about private property restrictions and impacts, fencing, acquisition, multiple use reductions, other wildlife and endangered species, the bison and brucellosis, and the connectivity agenda have all been avoided and hidden, and will continue to be avoided if allowed by Island Park guardians. Elk are loved just as much by those who seek the truth. Perhaps their love for the Elk is greater for not wanting to change their natural habitat, forcing them into a man made environment. There is no reason to be ashamed for wanting to protect them and Island Park.
Our Founding Fathers believed property rights exemplified the foundation of liberty.
“Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.” John Adams
“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” John Jay (First Chief Justice)
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.” Samuel Adams
And others believed this as well.
“The Right of property is the guardian of every other Right, and to deprive the people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their Liberty.” Arthur Lee
“Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing.” Calvin Coolidge
Property rights are the most precious gift of our Republic. We are not a democracy where the mob rules, we are a Republic and a nation whose foundation is based on laws, laws that protect our rights. Because we are not a democracy, and in spite of what they may believe, the masses of individuals, groups, government agencies, and wealth behind this agenda do not rule. Fabricated changes to boundaries and rules about land by those with ideological beliefs must never be accepted.
It seems most conflicts in the world are centered around the theft of property, the taking of land from others, often leading to battle. The theft occurring now is different in that there is no battle, but the war is the same.
Island Park is sovereign, independent from Yellowstone Park, with clear jurisdictional boundaries, not only at a city and county level, but at the state level. These boundaries must be protected and defended.
Island Park citizens must come together. They must become knowledgeable about NGOs, federal and state laws, and understand their rights. Understanding the hidden agenda is critical to understanding what rights will be taken from them. Citizens must ask questions, demand answers, and stand up for their rights, both as an Island Park resident and private property owner.
Others must be educated on the issues and brought on board with regular meetings that keep everyone current on the issues. When not in residency everyone should stay connected through all means of social media, emails, and other methods, sharing information as it becomes available. Move the discussion beyond compassion for the Elk to the real issues being hidden.
Coalition groups or advisory committees should be created to insist that your voice is the primary voice that must be heard with NGOs and other initiatives taking a back seat. Let them know their agenda is not welcome.
A broader discussion in solving WVC is needed with other solutions brought forth, including alternatives that haven't been given any consideration. And there are others. If the technocrats say an alternative is not beneficial, research it, find out what other areas have tried them, and the results. Come up with new ideas and solutions and present them to ITD. Keep the pressure on them to listen. Land alteration and forcing a change in the migration path of Elk are not the only answers to protect them.
As the guardians of Island Park, to those who are most bonded and connected to the land, stand up for her right to exist naturally, and your rights. Become involved and never allow anyone to change it into an artificially designed, faux zoo landscape. Appreciation for Island Park comes from how it has always existed.