Saturday, July 8, 2017

Billings Gazette LTE

Daines hands public land to outfitters

Well, Sen. Steve Daines has shown his cards, once again, as a true champion of the welfare outfitters while sticking it to the average hunter. Daines jumped into the case of Livingston District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz, a public servant doing his job for the public to increase access to the Crazy Mountains.
Sienkiewicz’ crime: actually suggesting that people could use a public trail. That didn’t sit well with the landowners/outfitters along the east face of the Crazies, who have locked up the access to the Crazies. Not only do they sell bull elk on their private lands but they block off access to the public lands as well. All this in an area that is way over objective numbers for elk. Some of these same folks come to FWP screaming about too many elk and FWP should do something about it. Talk about special interests screaming about the very problem they’ve helped create — Daines, included!
Daines’ spokesman Jason Thielmann said recently that “darn right” the senator would intervene in the case like this. Seems it’s OK for landowners to bully public officials, but when that public official pushes back on behalf of the public, he’s out of line to Daines.
Just remember that the next time Daines spews his bull about being for public access. A leopard doesn't change its spots!
Carl Brenden

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