FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 17, 2020
Montana Standard: The inexcusable shrinking Crazy Mountains
By: Kathryn QannaYahu
Recently touted as a “made-in-Montana compromise”, this 3rd land exchange proposal (east-side of the Crazy Mountains) is anything but — let’s call it what it is — a big money sellout.
To summarize what got us to this point:
2015, Responding to Sen. Daines, concerning Trail 115/136, Erickson wrote, “The Forest Service maintains that it holds unperfected prescriptive rights on this trail system as well as up Sweet Grass Creek to the north based on a history of maintenance with public funds and historic and continued public and administrative use.”
2017, As landowners objected to Sienkiewicz’s multiple-use management, Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, began shifting Forest Service management, away from previous long-held FS positions defending and maintaining public access in the Crazies.
June 16, 2017, District Ranger, Alex Sienkiewicz was removed, after Sen. Daines wrote to Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue, including landowner false allegations. After public outcry and an investigation, Sienkiewicz was re-instated, but has not been involved with any proposed exchanges.
Taken as a whole, between east and west-side obstruction requiring litigation, proposed southern exchange, now the east proposal, we’re seeing the inexcusable shrinking of the Crazy Mountains, a theft from the public’s hands.
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