Money is flowing into environmental groups for the connectivity agenda in the High Divide (HD) area. Just alone in 2016, Wilburforce gave $553,750.00 to various groups for assistance with their HD objectives. Some of those groups are local such as Salmon Valley Stewardship, Heart of the Rockies Initiative, and Lemhi Regional Land Trust. As usual, there were also donations to organizations with specific objectives in the High Divide such as the Idaho Conservation League, Wildlife Society, Wildlife Conservation Society, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Center for Large Landscape Conservation.
There were also a couple of obscure groups that were given money for their HD objectives, Ecoflight and People & Carnivores. Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Future West also received money for their HD objectives. Interestingly, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) was given money for "State Wildlife Agency Reform".
Senator Risch seemed to support the NWF in their objectives for a Collaborative Wildlife Conservation bill, which died in a previous session, but is now sponsoring a new bill for the same called the Recovering America's Wildlife Act, S. 3223. Never doubt who Sen. Risch represents.
All of these donations begin on page 27 in the PDF below.
One thing is for sure, the Lemhi Regional Land Trust (LRLT) has been involved with the federal government for some time on land issues.
In 2013, the Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation, now called the Network for Landscape Conservation, conducted An Inventory and Status Report on Large Landscape Conservation in the Rocky Mountain West. Yellowstone to Yukon, Nature Conservancy, BLM, Heart of the Rockies Initiative, USFS, and USFWS all served on the coordinating committee of this report.
LRLT was identified as one of "122 initiatives in the Rocky Mountain West that in some way embrace a large landscape". While much of this was centered around the now defunct Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the goals were still the same, putting as much land as possible into conservation and overriding local jurisdictional authority by deciding how the areas should be designed, managed, and used. Much of this has now been revamped into other strategies but the point is, LRLT has been in with the agenda for a long time.
The Craighead Institute has been in operation since 1964 with a focus on research in designing and managing research projects that support conservation in the Northern Rockies. Another focus is "...to maintain healthy populations of native plants, wildlife and people as part of sustainable, functioning ecosystems." Where on earth did they get the idea it was their job to maintain healthy populations of people? Craighead is a partner with Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, an organization that, around the world, fosters "...cooperative efforts to conserve the earth's wildlife and wild places benefiting the wildlife and the people that live there." As a Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) partner, Craighead has assisted Y2Y with conservation for regional scale projects for habitat connectivity.
The Salmon-Challis area is a particular Craighead focus area and is part of the Y2Y High Divide. While the video on High Divide connectivity has been removed from this Y2Y link, a similar one can be found here. As part of their "collaboration", Y2Y connects with "...supporting partners, who are already in the region to scope out existing conservation efforts, identify gaps and determine where Y2Y’s large-landscape perspective can move efforts forward." Those partners include Salmon Valley Stewardship and Lemhi Regional Land Trust through their involvement in the Heart of the Rockies Initiative, and High Divide Collaborative, all of whom are currently involved in the Salmon-Challis National Forest plan revision, and who are "already in the region."
Using GIS-based tools, Craighead has conducted a "fine-scale analyses at the parcel level" for mitigation and development in Madison Valley, Montana, with plans to bring the same to the High Divide "region" for "...laying the foundation for a development planning strategy which will preserve the qualities of the High Divide so critical to humans and wildlife." What this means is they have created tools in which to map the area for determining how it should be developed in the future, parcel by parcel.
As outlined in the document below, Craighead has three specific goals for the High Divide, restore connectivity for biodiversity in perpetuity from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through the Central Idaho Wilderness Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, and ensure connectivity for wolverine and grizzly as focal species surrogates for biodiversity. Specific objectives to accomplish these goals in the High Divide include: obtaining more information on wildlife habitats, corridors and linkage areas; influencing counties, developers, landowners and state agencies on land use practices; "assisting counties" with land use policies, subdivision regulations, and development codes; improving site specific development proposals for mitigating rural development impacts on habitats and linkages; and reaching out to landowners to "assist" them in adopting wildlife stewardship practices. Through years of research, Craighead has created a vision of conservation planning which includes deciding how land should be developed and used.
Corridors and connectivity are not about wildlife or conservation, it is about control over land use and people as Craighead has so eloquently laid out in this document.
In true technocratic fashion, even more specific objectives are outlined on how to achieve the above objectives. A partial list includes purchasing private lands through land trusts; establishing conservation easements; preclude timber harvests, mineral extraction, and road development; and limiting hunting. As everyone well understands, all of these activities are happening.
They also plan to interfere with local land use plans, telling landowners how to manage their property, and informing "recreationists" how to make their camps clean for wildlife, while "listing all strategies necessary to protect each route (migratory) segment, parcel by parcel." Workshops for local community planners and decision-makers is another objective to convince them to incorporate their objectives into land use plans. Y2Y accomplished this with an Idaho Transportation Department workshop to influence them for inclusion of wildlife overpasses in projects. Talk about the intent to micromanage people, and violate law, it is just the beginning of what they have planned.
They will also evaluate their success by determining how many acres are purchased out of total needed, easements secured, how many counties adopted guidelines or regulations, and how many homeowners associations have adopted guidelines or regulations. This is all tracked to monitor their success at achieving their goals.
Believing we are too ignorant in managing our own lives, there is also an educational component to their agenda which includes educating the populace on why connectivity is so important. They will also go after our children to indoctrinate them in the classroom on climate change, connectivity and land use, and then monitoring how many schools and what grades use them. If that isn't bad enough there is also the intent to conduct student and teacher surveys to measure effectiveness of classroom lessons, assessing how much they have been indoctrinated.
Is not all of this violating our Republic? Influencing elected officials which violates a citizen's right to representation and inserting themselves into classroom instruction, bypassing local school board representation? These organizations have no respect for, or recognition of, our governance as a Republic.
Not only does Craighead have a plan for taking over how land is used with their partners, they also buy their gains, having appropriated funds for land acquisition in the Salmon, Middle Fork, $1,837,000, and Clearwater, Middle Fork, $2,909,800 as part of their wild and scenic designation.
Only their 2013 tax form is listed on the Craighead website with $126,487 listed as assets, and total support in the amount of $1,886,773. Some interesting contributors were the Western Transportation Institute, Sonoran, Patagonia, and Wilburforce. Interestingly, Craighead also has their nose in Canada, having planned a resort and golf course near Banff for wildlife connectivity but was "tabled" because of local opposition. Local opposition can get these agendas stopped. Only $202,103 is listed in assets on the 2017 tax form in spite of $1,119,780 in total support.
As a side note, Sonoran is another institute that believes they know best on how we should live our lives. Federal agencies are partners with Sonoran and the US Fish & Wildlife Services donated somewhere up to $99,999 of your tax dollars to them in 2018.
Idaho needs to take note of the Salmon-Challis area and organizations and individuals working behind the scenes to determine their future, in a multitude of ways. Every city and county in Idaho should be looking for the same individuals, organizations, and agendas in their community. Otherwise, without direct opposition from the community, they will determine the way in which your communities will look.
The Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) began with an Obama memorandum in 2010 that directed the Department of Interior (DOI) to create Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) across the United States, there was no Congressional legislation. LCCs were partnerships between federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO), land trusts, Tribes, and other entities, even Canada. The LCC mission was to "coordinate, facilitate, promote...large landscape conservation". Funding has now ended for LCCs.
One NGO member in the GNLCC was the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTRI), a partnership of 22 land trusts including Canada, one goal being conservation planning. HOTRI focuses its work in central Idaho that extends into Montana through the High Divide Collaborative (HDC). Participants in the HDC include Salmon Valley Stewardship (SVS), Lemhi Regional Land Trust (LRLT), Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), and the US Forest Service (USFS) along with many other NGOS and state agencies. Merrill Beyeler, former Idaho Representative; Toni Ruth, current SVS Executive Director, Kristin Troy, LRLT Executive Director in 2014-2015, and Jim Tucker USFS have served on the HDC Coordinating Committee, right along the side of Kim Trotter, Y2Y.
At the GNLCC Steering Committee Meeting, held Oct 15-16, 2014, Gina Knudson, SVS Executive Director at the time, Kristen Troy LRLT, and Merrill Beyeler were part of a panel discussion on Community Based Conservation at the Landscape Scale in the High Divide, Idaho and Montana. According to the DOI, community based conservation is "Collaborative and community-based approaches to natural resources management are... manifested in the increasing numbers of partnerships, consensus groups, community-based collaboratives, watershed councils, and similar groups ...collaborative conservation draws upon theories of democracy, international development, and alternative dispute resolution." Hey DOI, we are not a democracy and clearly have no intention to develop the SCNF for international purposes. By all appearances, this approach has been implemented through the SCNF revision plan, and is really about stacking these groups with NGO members and others who hold the same ideology and agendas. A total of $307,100 was given to the HORI to accomplish this goal in 2015-2016.
Michelle Tucker, SVS, Breann Westfall (Green), Tom McFarland, and Bob Russell from LRLT, Amy Baumer USFS, and Dave Schmid USFS also attended this workshop. The overall focus of the meeting was on the "High Divide, shared landscape outcomes, and landscape conservation design (LCD)" and "Utility of Landscape Conservation Design for an Ecologically Connected Landscape". LCD in the High Divide "...seeks support to identify and evaluate future landscape configurations that address the needs of local communities while conserving the High Divides unique landscape resources. In this landscape we emphasize wildlife connectivity between large protected core areas." Michelle Tucker was also a panel member in a 2014 National Forest Foundation workshop to discuss "developing and implementing projects in a way that allows collaborative productivity to persist" along with the USFS, Nature Conservancy, and Wilderness Society. Collaboration among these groups seems to be fine as long as it only includes their own.
While this LCD document outlines recommended practices for designing a landscape for conservation, page 19 specifically addresses the High Divide. It states the reason for creating the HDC was because of resident and community leader mistrust of outside organizations and governments, so they set out "...to develop a broadly collaborative assessment of conservation priorities, and LCD became our framework." For all of their claims to collaborate with all "stakeholders" for perspectives, to this day they remain only locked into their own ideologically compatible groups. They also identified "the geographic boundaries for our area of interest" and then "develop science to inform the current status of conservation targets." When has the HDC or any other similarly aligned group included anyone with a different perspective than theirs in their group discussions? LCD is nothing more than a methodology of designing landscapes into different types of conservation, ignoring all jurisdictional boundaries and authority, and private property owners.
An HD workshop, held March 15-16, 2016, described the High Divide as "...the center of connectivity between the Greater Yellowstone, Crown of the Continent and Central Idaho." Members of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Center for Landscape Conservation, and multiple federal agencies were at this meeting. One presentation was just on wildlife connectivity. Gina Knudson, SVS, and Jim Tucker, Salmon-Challis National Forest gave presentations on Communities and Wildfire and discussed the dichotomy between "environmental groups want less cutting, communities want fire protection", deciding to reframe their message to issues of "personal safety" in order to be "be more proactive and move forward" (pg 14). Another conclusion was "We need more fire on the land"!
Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC), Wildlands Network, and Y2Y authored the Importance of Connectivity - 2012 Forest Planning Rule - Best Practices for Connectivity Planning in 2015. This document gives recommendations for how to include connectivity in forest planning. CLLC took credit for "persuading the United States Forest Service (USFS) to incorporate wildlife corridors and ecological connectivity into its newly minted Forest Planning Rule." SVS has attended workshops with CLLC.
Seven HDC goals were listed at this workshop. Goals included conserving: working ranch lands; ecological linkage between protected core areas to conserve...elk, antelope, and wolverine; nationally important dispersed recreation lands and waterways; national trails; restored headwaters; crucial core and migratory sage grouse habitats; open land in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) to protect life and property; and reduce community fire-fighting costs.
In the 2015 Great Northern LCC Connectivity Pilot Project Preliminary Report, the strategies for the HD are on page 12, much of it centered around conservation projects.
In spite of the heavy involvement in the GNLCC, SVS has no mention of it on their website, nor does LRLT. However, in the Summer 2011 Newsletter, there is a piece on Beyeler, Knudson, and Troy going to Washington, D.C. for "sharing our place-based experiences with policy makers." In their 2017 tax form, SVS net assets were at $217,718 compared to $120, 924 in 2014. LRLT has fared much better, they grew in assets of $370,523 in 2012 to $2,091,313 on their 2017 tax form. It seems conservation is certainly a lucrative business.
All of these SVS, LRLT, and USFS individuals have actively engaged in hidden agendas for conservation, planning for connectivity scenarios with the federal and state governments, and side by side with NGOs. Now they have a heavy influence over the SCNF plan revision process. If anything leaves the communities voice out of the decisions, this certainly does.
In a May 2, 2019 letter to the editor, the funding behind non-governmental organizations (NGO) was revealed. It gives concern to the issue of ethics behind special interest groups, whose only interest is implementing their objectives into local communities and influencing federal agencies that are funded by taxpayers.
With the death of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, NGOs, federal and state agencies, and land trusts had to reorganize. This reorganization has taken place under the Network for Landscape Conservation (NLC). With foundations, the NLC set up the Doris Duke funded "Catalyst Fund", part of which will be used to "build capacity". This is a fancy term that means they will bring in more people to advance their organization and objectives. New strategies have also been created for their agenda, one of which is creating collaboratives to "accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative conservation...".
Two collaboratives in the Salmon area are for the purposes of accelerating this agenda, assisted by multiple NGOs. When the collaborative membership is scrutinized, one can see how these are really a fulfillment of the NGO collaborative strategy, and a fabricated front for citizen involvement.
One collaborative, the Lemhi Forest Restoration Group (LFRG), was coordinated by Salmon Valley Stewardship (SVS) in 2006, and has "worked side by side with Salmon-Challis National Forest (SCNF)" on restoration proposals. But the group is comprised of multiple NGOs, federal and state agencies, and even Sustainable Northwest based in Portland, Oregon, whose members aren't even from Idaho, including Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HORI) board member Gary Burnett, who is also on the Network for Landscape Conservation Coordinating Committee. Sustainable Northwest created the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) in which Gary Burnett and Toni Ruth from SVS are members.
SVS acts as the LFRG coordinator, and the plan revision team collaboration specialist, Gina Knudson, was the former SVS executive director prior to taking the collaboration specialist job with the SCNF. The current SVS Executive Director, Toni Ruth, is an RVCC member, and High Divide Collaborative (HDC) coordinating committee member. Another SVS staff, Mindy Crowell, helped with the organization and facilitation of the Central Idaho’s Public Lands Planning group. How much influence does SVS, and their partner organizations, have in this process?
At a 2018 High Divide workshop, Merrill Beyeler, Lemhi Regional Land Trust (LRLT) Chairman, Jim Berkey, and Gary Burnett – High Divide Coordinating Committee Representatives, gave introductory remarks which included a "framework of the collaborative: open, transparent, and building trust." There has been nothing transparent about how these NGOs or individuals operate. Advancing the collaborative was another goal, but that meant expanding to include more federal agencies, NGOs, land trusts, and universities. Toni Ruth, SVS and Breann Green from LRLT were also at this workshop.
These NGOs all receive funding from the Wilburforce Foundation: SVS, HORI, Trout Unlimited (TU), Wilderness Society (WS), Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), Nature Conservancy (TNC), Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), even LRLT received $30,000 (pg 17) and has received funding from the Brainerd Foundation. Each of these NGOs have the same objectives for conserving land into non-use protection for connectivity goals.
Looking at the Central Idaho Public Lands Collaborative (CIPLC) 2018 fall membership roster, it is driven by the same people who serve in other NGOs with the same agenda. CIPLC has several working groups, all of which include those individuals. Mindy Crowell, SVS Collaboration Specialist, is the contact person for CIPLC and facilitates the collaborative.
CIPLC Grazing Management Working Group
9 members, 5 of which are part of or are supportive of NGOs.
Tom Page - Represents the Central Idaho Rangelands Network (CIRN) which is coordinated "by The Nature Conservancy with support from the Lemhi Regional Land Trust and Pioneer Mountain Group" whose funding comes from "private foundations, private donors, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service."
Louise Wagenknecht - "Frequent contributor to Writers on the Range, a new project of High Country News" which traditionally publishes articles that support environmentalism and is funded by foundations.
Merrill Beyeler - Former Idaho Legislator; LRLT Chairman; founding member, CIRN; HDC Coordinating Committee member. Traveled to Washington D.C. with SVS and RVCC members in 2011.
Rob Thornberry - Idaho Field Representative for TRCP, which is a TNC partner, and listed previously as a Y2Y partner.
Ace Hess - LRLT member; BHA High Divide Coordinator, a Y2Y partner.
CIPLC Community Interactions and Socio-Economic Effects
Two members are from local economic development organizations, one attorney. One of the new collaborative strategies is economic development so that is the reason these individuals are included.
CIPLC Lands and Minerals
7 members of which 5 are part of NGOs. Other NGO affiliated member Tom Page.
Rob Mason - Legislator and Wilderness Society member, a Y2Y partner.
Josh Johnson - Idaho Conservation League member, a Y2Y partner.
Jim Roscoe - LRLT member.
Michael Gibson - Idaho Field Coordinator for Trout Unlimited.
CIPLC Forest and Watershed Health
10 members of which 6 are part of or supportive of NGOs. Other NGO affiliated members, Louise Wagenknecht and Josh Johnson.
Kim Trotter - U.S. Program Director, Yellowstone to Yukon; HDC coordinating committee member.
Mary Faurot - Supporter of Idaho Rivers United (IRU).
Cassi Wood - TU fisheries consultant, a Y2Y partner.
Ryan McAllister - 2L Trails member, SVS feasibility study.
CIPLC Sustainable Recreation
11 members of which 6 are part of or supportive of NGOs. Other NGO affiliated member Rob Thornberry.
Louise Bruce - Wilderness Society Idaho High Divide Community Organizer, a Y2Y partner.
Chris Gaughan - 2L Trails member, SVS feasibility study.
Max Lohmeyer - 2L Trails member, SVS feasibility study.
Seth McFarland - SVS staff.
Gary Gadwa - Idaho Rivers United staff.
ICL's new Director, Justin Hayes, was previously an environmental advocate in Idaho and Washington, D.C. for Idaho Rivers United. IRU partners with American Rivers, a Y2Y partner, in which American Rivers invited anyone to comment on the SCNF plan revision even though they may not live in the area. Y2Y is partnering with TU and ICL as well on the revision plan. Along with the BLM, another IRU partner is Patagonia, a Y2Y partner.
In 2016, the original CIPLC members included Craig Gehrke, WS; Gina Knudson, SVS; Toni Ruth, SVS, BHA; and Mindy Crowell, SVS. HDC participants include the LRLT, Idaho Nature Conservancy, BHA, ICL, SVS, TRCP, TU, Y2Y, and the SCNF, all of whom serve in some capacity in the CIPLP. Kristin Troy of LRLT is also a HDCC member. The CIPLC was clearly intended to be a catalyst for the NGO connectivity agenda from its foundation by current SCNF collaboration specialist Gina Knudson, who is the former SVS executive director.
To Lemhi County residents, do you think these two SVS collaboratives are providing objective representation for your community? Or are the collaboratives being used as a front to advance NGO objectives for connectivity? One of the CIPLC ground rules is "No backroom deals, including with agencies, organizations and people who are not CIPL Collaborative members." Those organizations are all represented in the Collaborative! Another ground rule, "Participants commit to keeping their colleagues/constituents informed about the progress of these discussions." Does this not negate the first ground rule? Are NGO colleagues being informed of what happens in the Collaborative?
The Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC), based in Bozeman, has even inserted their opinion for connectivity into your business. And why wouldn't they, their intent is to get their forest plan revision objectives into federal law, and SCNF is one of their targets. While their website has scrubbed who they collaborate with, CLLC has partnered with many of the involved NGOs in these collaboratives.
It is the partnerships between the HORI and HD Collaborative, and the Salmon Valley Stewardship that are driving this narrative, along with Yellowstone to Yukon and their partners. These are the NGOs and individuals who are controlling the decisions and outcomes, not the local community, and are receiving the funding to do it.
These collaboratives need restructuring for a more balanced representation of the community, residents who are not aligned with groups, instead of NGOs that have an intertwined relationship, and who control the narrative. Until that happens, there will be little progress for anything that will benefit, or reflect what citizens want for their community.
Many non-governmental organizations (NGO) focus on taking land for protection. The Wilburforce Foundation has the same objectives, provides funding to Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), and funds many Y2Y partners. In the Y2Y High Divide, which includes the Salmon-Challis area, this is no exception. The Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HORI), a land trust "partnership" and Y2Y partner, also works in the High Divide area but their map is more extensive into the Salmon-Selway.
A list of those funded NGOs are on Wilburforce website, and while the funding years go back farther, 2018 and 2019 will be the focus here. All of these NGOs are in the Y2Y program areas.
Page 3 - Organization - Greater Yellowstone Coalition Organization - Heart of the Rockies Initiative
Grant - Wildlife & Habitat Protection in the High Divide Grant - General Support
Amount - $100,000 Amount - $100,000
Organization - Future West
Grant - Protect Landscapes & Building Conservation Capacity in High Divide
Amount - $45,000
Page 7 - Organization - American Rivers
Grant - Protecting and Restoring Wild Rivers and Riverside lands in the Pacific Northwest
Amount - $75,000
Page 9 - Organization - Future West
Grant - Protect Landscapes & Building Conservation Capacity in High Divide
Amount - $45,000
Organization - Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Grant - Wildlife & Habitat Protection in the High Divide
Amount - $50,000
Page 10 - Organization - Heart of the Rockies Initiative Organization - Heart of the Rockies Initiative
Grant - Rural Collaborative Conservation Grant - General Support
Amount - $50,000 Amount - $100,000
Organization - Lemhi Regional Land Trust Organization - Salmon Valley Stewardship
Grant - General Support Grant - General Support
Amount - $30,000 Amount - $40,000
HORI coordinates the High Divide Collaborative (HDC). Participants in this collaborative include other NGOS such as Y2Y, land trusts, federal agencies, Idaho and Montana state agencies, and Salmon Valley Stewardship (SVS). But the conflict of interest goes further. The HDC Coordinating Committee includes members from Y2Y, Central Idaho Public Lands Collaborative (CIPLC), SVS, and Lemhi Forest Restoration Group, which is coordinated by SVS. Interestingly, Merrill Beyeler is listed as a private landowner and rancher yet he is also listed as a principle officer on the 2017 Lemhi Regional Land Trust tax form. Who is he actually representing and why the misrepresentation?
It is the Heart of the Rockies Initiative driving the narrative and decisions on the Salmon-Challis forest plan revision through its partnerships and strategically placed individuals into each group, and its relationship with the U.S. Forest Service.
It is no wonder NGOs are advancing their objectives in the forest plan revision with their financial backing and influence over the forest service. These funding mechanisms and partnerships should be challenged for biased and pre-determined decisions in the revision. It leaves little room for the citizens to have a voice and it is nothing but a sham to purport community collaboration with citizen involvement when these NGOs, state and federal agencies, and land trusts have been working together for their own agenda.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) is another, very well funded, conservation initiative, or non-governmental organization (NGO) similar to Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), based in Montana. In spite of being based in Montana, like an octopus, it has far reaching arms through its partnerships, influencing agendas and policies. Generally, 501(c)3 organizations are prohibited from engaging in lobbying or attempts to influence public policy.
Revision of the Salmon-Challis Forest Management Plan was specifically targeted in 2014 by GYC. Following is the an excerpt from the 2015 tax form, page 44 in the PDF.
"THE NEW CONGRESS SEEMS POISED TO MAKE CHANGES TO NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT, WHICH WILL DICTATE THAT WE WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR NATIONAL PARTNERS TO ENSURE IMPORTANT CONSERVATION MEASURES ARE NOT UNDERMINED GYC CONTINUES BUILDING STRONG SUPPORT FOR PROTECTING PUBLIC LANDS IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA SUCH AS THE GALLATIN RANGE AND LANDS TO THE WEST IN THE HIGH DIVIDE IN WYOMING, WE WILL CELEBRATE A SIGNIFICANT WIN AS WE FINALIZE THE SHOSHONE NATIONAL FORESTS NEW FOREST PLAN, WHICH WILL PUT ALMOST ONE MILLION ACRES OFF LIMITS TO OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT OTHER PRIORITIES WILL BE THE BLMS BIGHORN BASIN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND ENSURING KEY FOREST LANDS ARE PROTECTED FROM EXPANDED MOTORIZED USE AS THE SHOSHONE LAUNCHES A TRAVEL PLANNING PROCESS IN EASTERN IDAHO, WE HAVE HELPED BUILD SOLID MOMENTUM BEHIND A PARTNERSHIP THAT IS SEEKING TO PROTECT CRITICAL WILDLIFE HABITAT ON PRIVATE LANDS IN THE HENRYS FORK WATERSHED GYC CONTINUES EFFORTS IN IDAHO TO INFLUENCE THE BLMS FORTHCOMING UPPER SNAKE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN, THROUGH WHICH WE SEE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SECURE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE LAND PROTECTIONS"
GYC is registered as a 501(c)3 in Montana. In general, a non-profit is prohibited from engaging in lobbying or attempting to influence public policy. However, on page 22 of the tax form, there is a section titled, "Complete if the organization is exempt under section 501 (c)3." This suggests GYC is exempt from activities that influence public policy or legislative bodies. Quite a bit of money was contributed to lobbying by GYC.
Citizens often ponder, and are frustrated by their voice in decisions being ignored. With the amount of money these non-profits have, and political influence, it is no wonder why our government has been recalcitrant to our words.
Below is a map of the area that Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) is targeting in the High Divide (HD), using this area for connectivity between the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to another area they are targeting, the Crown of the Continent. The goal is the same, placing as much land into protection as possible.
The Y2Y partner working group is the High Divide Collaborative. The coordinating committee includes Y2Y Program Director, Kim Trotter, Rob Cavallero, Idaho Fish & Game, and members of the forest service, BLM, GNLCC, along with many other federal and state agencies, and organizations.
Y2Y recently hired an individual as Project Coordinator to specifically work on their objectives in the HD area, Nick Clarke, not even living in Idaho. He was a previous member of Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation and is a member of the Sierra Club. His responsibilities are "to help develop and implement conservation projects in Idaho...complete existing conservation projects...identify opportunities for future conservation projects...further connectivity conservation...protect habitat connectivity across private and public lands in the High Divide...increase safe wildlife passage on highways in Montana and Idaho...and...develop and maintain positive relationships with community partners", which doesn't appear to include citizens.
In 2008, the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTRI) launched the High Divide Plan (pg 32) for connectivity. HOTRI is a land trust partnership that includes land trusts from Canada, Nature Conservancy, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington. Conservation easements are held in land trusts. Using data they work with "...with agency and independent scientists to identify emerging data and make it available to land trusts and conservancies at scales needed for conservation action." They have a conservation atlas which the general public doesn't have access to.
These groups do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries between states or the representation of citizens by elected officials at a local level.