Take a look at the list of names below. They are the members of the Advisory Council of the Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch, the organization formed in 2007 which helped gain public ownership of the former Eberts Ranch, now the Elkhorn Ranchlands, which is threatened by gravel mining by the surface mineral owners.
Theodore Roosevelt, IV Honorary Chair, Trustee, Theodore Roosevelt Association
Simon Roosevelt, New York, Trustee, Theodore Roosevelt Association and Director, TR Medora Foundation
Tweed Roosevelt, Massachusetts, Vice Chair, Theodore Roosevelt Association
Lowell E. Baier, Maryland, Executive Vice President, Boone and Crockett Club, Trustee, Theodore Roosevelt Association
Barbara Berryman Brandt, New York, Chair, Theodore Roosevelt Association
Governor John Hoeven, North Dakota
Andrew L. Hoxsey, California, Chairman, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Bill Kiefer, North Dakota, Principal, Financial Advantage Investment Services, Board Member of the Torstenson Wildlife Center
Robert Model, Wyoming, Chairman, Boone and Crockett Club
Edmund Morris, New York, Biographer and Historian
Gale A. Norton, Colorado, Former Secretary of the Interior
R. Max Peterson, Virginia, Chief Emeritus, USDA Forest Service
Edward T. Schafer, North Dakota, Former Governor
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Florida, US Army Retired
Alan K. Simpson, Wyoming, Former Senator
Russell Train, Washington, D.C., Chairman Emeritus, World Wildlife Fund and Former Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
Keith Trego, North Dakota, Executive Director, North Dakota Natural Resources Trust
John Turner, Wyoming, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and Former Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Rebecca W. Watson, Colorado, Former Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management U.S., Department of the Interior
Don Young, Alaska, Congressman
Whew! Quite a list of luminaries, not? Roosevelts, governors, liberals, conservatives, hunters, fishermen, cabinet officers and congressmen. Norman Schwartzkopf! Edmund Morris! If I had a problem, these are people I’d like on my side.
Take a look at the list of organizations below. These are the conservation groups who formally backed the Forest Service’s plan to acquire the Eberts Ranch in 2007. According to Lowell Baier, the executive vice president of the Boone and Crocket Club, who led the private sector effort behind the acquisition, these groups represent about 40 million people.
Boone and Crockett Club.
Bear Trust International.
Bowhunting Preservation Alliance.
Campfire Club of America.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
Dallas Safari Club.
Foundation for North American Wild Sheep.
Houston Safari Club.
International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Izaak Walton League of America.
National Rifle Association.
National Shooting Sports Foundation.
National Trappers Association.
National Wild Turkey Federation.
North American Bear Foundation.
North American Grouse Partnership.
Orion, The Hunters Institute.
Pope and Young Club.
Quality Deer Management Association.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Lowell Baier put that list together as well. He did his job well. He’s got just about every hunting and fishing organization in America, along with all our state Game and Fish Departments. If I had a problem, these are organizations I’d like on my side. They (well, their members) all carry guns! Lowell and I will be visiting about this in the next few days, looking for a strategy.
If you know any of these people, or if you are a member of any of these organizations, please contact them, send them a copy of the Bismarck Tribune story and ask them to send comments on the gravel mining scheme I wrote about in earlier posts, here, and here.
As of Tuesday morning, the scoping documents for this project were still not on the Forest Service’s web site. If you would like copies of them, I can forward to you an e-mail I received from the Forest Service that has them attached. Just send me an e-mail at email@example.com. If they get posted, I will update my blog to include the web address so you can read them for yourself.
It is important that the Forest Service get a lot of comments opposing this scheme. If not, they will say “Well, apparently no one is concerned about this, so let the draglines rip and roar. Grab that gravel, Roger.”
I’m still talking to people trying to find out what can really be done besides protesting. Is there money to buy out Lothspeich, as distasteful as that sounds to me? Would the organizations and individuals posted above pony up some more money to buy back the minerals? Is there federal money for the Forest Service to buy back the minerals? If not, as I said before, we’re probably just gonna have to sit down in front of the dozer.
Here’s how to send comments:
Ronald W. Jablonski, Jr., District Ranger
Medora Ranger District
99 23rd Ave. West, Suite B
Dickinson, North Dakota 58601.
Or e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.