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  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, August 28, 2016

    All Past Is Prelude

    Grumping And Groaning
    your license to whine
    .. So it comes down to this. The final public input meetings for the proposed Draft Madison River Recreation Environmental Assessment, (EA.)
    .. This debate and proposed action started with conversations in the plush digs of wealthy Montana landowners way back in 2011 and 2012.
    .. The EA will address the means, modes, and density of recreation on the upper Madison River and the regulation and enforcement of those means, modes, and densities.
    .. Although this is the least important public meeting from a public perspective, it is the most important meeting from the perspective of the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, (FWP.) It signals the last public meeting prior to the release of the EA in November.
    .. AND, unless FWP staff have been totally asleep, the EA is mostly complete.
    .. Should you choose to attend one of the three scheduled meetings, (see below,) there are several things to keep in mind:
    1, The waters of the state of Montana are owned by the citizens of the state. Not just fishing guides, not just fisher folks, not just landowners, not just float tube riders, not rafters, - all the citizens and their varied recreational predilections.
    2, The FWP is a combined agency that is charged with multiple responsibilities. Rightly or wrongly the State Legislature and recent new constitution have lumped diverse responsibilities into a single agency.
    3, Citizens of the state of Montana are the employers of the bureaucrats that hold their position in FWP. Those bureaucrats are accountable for their actions.
    4, Citizens of the state of Montana are also accountable for their own actions and participation, (or non action and non participation,) in the EA process.
    5, Both citizens and bureaucrats have a tough job. Both must uphold their rights and duties. Without due diligence there is no license to whine on the part of the citizens.
    .. Should you choose to practice due diligence it behooves you to do it right. Try the following:
    USE  IT
    A, Take a pencil and paper to write down what you think was being said and by who. Write down the names of the bureaucrats in attendance.
    B, Use your smart phone's camera to record things that are important to you and your concerns. Don't erase it.
    C, If you have pressing questions or concerns that you want addressed in the EA - write them down and give them to one of the bureaucrats with the admonishment that they should be addressed in writing in the EA. Keep a copy and record the name of the bureaucrat that you gave them to.
    D, If you ask questions rather than making comments be sure that the question is answered with specific responses to the question that was asked. Beware of weasel words: maybe, probably, possibly, try to, explore, address, many, often, science says,  etc. Note the name of the bureaucrat that answers the question.
    E, Followup. Make the phone call to make sure that your interest and concern is, indeed, addressed in the EA.
    .. Be sure that you know the scope and extent of the planned regulatory scheme and enforcement policies. Be sure that you understand just "WHAT IS BEING REGULATED" and planned for.
    .. Ask the question. Do not assume that you and the bureaucrat are on the same page and speaking the same language. If the bureaucrats are masquerading as experts you should be the expert.
    .. Know the law and know the way that Montana implements the EA and EIS process. Don't you overstep the legalities and don't allow the bureaucrats to short cut the process or the intent of the law.
    .. Practice and demand honest and civil and pertinent questioning and answering.
    >  Montana FWP Telephone Numbers,
    >  Original Montana Open Meeting Act (PDF),
    >  Montana Open Meeting Code Annotated (2015),
    >  Memo Introducing Montana Bureaucrats to NEPA (PDF),
    >  Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA),
    >  Official MEPA Guidelines (PDF),
    >  Montana Secretary Of State Environmental Review Requirements,
    >  Guide To Montana Environmental Policy Act (PDF),
    >  Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (website),
    BOZEMAN: August 29, Hilton Garden Inn, 2023 Commerce Way, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

    ENNIS: August 30, Ennis Elementary School cafeteria, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

    WEST YELLOWSTONE: August 31, Holiday Inn, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.