Closing Range

Closing Range

Wilderness 101: Multiple Use and Sustained Yield

Welcome back, class. Let’s dig out that copy of the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (MUSYA) you saved in your computer from last time, specifically MUSYA Section 4(b): “‘Sustained yield of the several products and services’ means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high level annual or regular periodic output of […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Our Forest Legacy

Well, did you buy Plum Creek stock on my suggestion last month? A few weeks ago, Congress passed HR 2419, the “Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008,” aka the Farm Bill. Deep within this 682-page pig were two impressive, and impressively stupid, pork slabs for corporate America: $182 million in tax breaks for Weyerhaeuser; […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Wilderness 101: Multiple Use

Welcome back, students. My esteemed colleague, Professor Schneider’s recent lecture (May 21 Beacon: “Wilderness is Multiple Use”) redefining wilderness as the fullest form of multiple use has changed our lesson plan. Today, we’ll backtrack a bit in our study of wilderness politics and take a fuller look at the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Seeing Jesus in Spokane

Early in April, I attended the 70th Intermountain Logging Conference in Spokane. This year, we heard the gospel from such public-sector big shots as Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho director of state lands George Bacon and Washington lands commissioner Doug Sutherland. But a panel featuring three big private-sector wheels – Mike Covey, CEO of Potlatch; […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

The Interlocal Agreement Fallout

On April 23, I joined a packed house attending the City of Whitefish vs. Flathead County Board of Commissioners hearing before Flathead District Court Judge Kitty Curtis. The main point of the argument presented by Whitefish attorney John Phelps was that irreparable harm would occur were the county to resume zoning jurisdiction. Flathead County counsel […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Wilderness 101, Part Two

Our previous Wilderness 101 class covered how Bob Marshall almost single-handedly created the “wilderness movement” in American politics and set the stage for the eventual passage of the law governing wilderness areas on American public lands: The Wilderness Act of 1964. When Marshall died in 1939, various federal agencies had set aside roughly 5 million […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Retardant Justice

It must be spring. After all, environmentalists have “sprung” at least six or seven new lawsuits on the Northwest court system the past couple weeks – and Earthjustice is about ready to file against delisting Northern Rockies wolves. But it’s a just-dismissed lawsuit that has my attention, especially since I just got “carded” for this […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Wilderness 101: All About the Bob

After my “Wildernists” column, my secret advisory board jumped me for not fully explaining the “wilderness” concept to readers. To begin with, wild land is wild land, but whether it is “Big-W” Wilderness, sanctioned by Congress, is a political act by human beings. God makes the ground, but only Congress (people) make Wilderness. So, since […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Jackrabbit Junk Journalism

If you were expecting a riff from me on the Whitefish doughnut war, sorry, but something else is jammed in my craw: Crummy science and even crummier science journalism. Around Valentines Day, the Associated Press reported on Wildlife Conservation Society scientist and University of Montana professor Joel Berger’s “discovery” that jackrabbits have disappeared from Yellowstone […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

When Wildernists Fight, Montana Wins

Bill Schneider’s last column lives up to his “Wild Bill” marquee, with his wish for environmental groups to stop bickering and get Congress to pass a “wild bill” for Montana. Let ‘em bicker. First, the original Wilderness Act, signed by President Johnson in 1964, designated 9.1 million acres of big-W wilderness up front. Section 3(B) […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Dissing the Franchise

When you read this, the results from Super Tuesday should be in with the major parties settling on their guy or gal. I’m gonna have some fun here and put on my Great Carsoni swami hat: On the D side: Hillary Clinton. The Democratic establishment has too much vested in her and Bill to take […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Helping Trophy Ranchers

The end of 2007 saw a flurry of new conservation easements in Montana and Flathead County. Good news? Perhaps not. First, the main reason for this flurry isn’t idealism. It’s money. Stuffed way down in the Pensions Protection Act of 2006, apparently by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is Section 1206 covering “provisions relating to exempt […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

Time to Bag a Wolf

One of my New Year’s resolutions is a howling good one: to get me a wolf. I’m not the only one resolving such a thing for 2008. The Helena Independent-Record ran a Web-poll that showed 253 of 471 respondents support a wolf-hunting season. Even 63 percent of random Idaho “not-hunters” surveyed feel hunting is an […]

By Dave Skinner
Closing Range

The Sum of All Foolishness

Bucky Wolford’s Glacier Mall, aka Glacier Town Center (no extra “e’s,” thank goodness) is going to have yet another public hearing, on Jan. 7. It should be a doozy, with everyone’s nerves freshly frayed by the just-ended North Kalispell Christmas Season Shopping Traffic Jam. At the recent non-voting hearing before Kalispell City Council, Citizens for […]

By Dave Skinner

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.