Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Sustainable Development Q&A [UN Agenda 21]

From Plymouth Rock to the Pacific Coast, home owners across America are losing rural land and property rights in alarming numbers. Willingly or not, they are being crowded into high‐ density urban living and "walkable" communities in the name of sustainable development, Smart Growth and environmental justice.
A Sustainable Development Q&A [UN Agenda 21]
What is sustainable development? The United Nations defined the term in a 1987 report as "development that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." A 1992 UN convention, called Agenda 21, codified the report.
What is wrong with that? The "needs" the report refers to are not human needs but those of the planet. It concludes we can only meet them by eliminating or reducing "unsustainable" activities globally. These include property ownership, consumerism, and high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, roadways, automobiles, dams, our legal system, pastures, golf courses and more.
How can a United Nation's program affect citizens in the United States? Three presidents agreed through executive orders to
1. abide by these definitions of sustainable development,
2. reduce the "unsustainable" activities and
3. implement action plans to accomplish this through federal agency regulations.
Why have I not heard of this side of sustainable development before? Because, most see sustainable development as a safe way to protect the planet. The UN and other groups see sustainable development as a political agenda in which it is acceptable to sever personal rights in the name of the environment.
How does the UN version of sustainable development enter my community? Planners or groups approach local officials and "stakeholders" (not always residents) with proposals to review Master Plans and conduct surveys to improve living quality and the environment. Frequently, they invoke perceived "crises" such as transportation issues, overpopulation or poor water quality. Grant money often follows, and may include strings that limit property rights. The UN version, while protecting the earth and wildlife, has secondary regard for personal rights.
How might sustainable development affect my property rights? By accepting certain grants and extreme regulations on property usage, owners find their development rights stripped away in favor of bicycle paths, solar farms, open spaces, mixed‐use dwellings and controlled property and farming use.
The Constitution and local laws protect my property rights, don't they? Not if you sign them away by agreeing to accept certain grants, surrender them through conservation easements, wetland or endangered species designations, or lose them through eminent domain or specific changes in your town's Master Plan.
What can I do? See pamphlet: The "Sustainability" Solution. For more info go to:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MONTANA in the 70’s: When the State Stood Tall for Its People and Its Lands, and the Self-Inflicted Injury of the Proposed CSKT Compact.

By Elaine Willman,
Author of Going to Pieces...

There was a time when the Montana legislature was at the forefront of environmental policy, state sovereign authority and diligent protection of the rights of Montana citizens.  Look at this interesting time line of events from 1970 through 1981 when Montana legislators were taking excellent care of their State and citizens:

1970  National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This federal mandate requires assessment and analysis for all significant projects affecting the environment, across the country.

1971  Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). Farsighted legislators passed, 99-0, a state mandate, MEPA,  requiring assessment and analysis for all significant projects affecting the environment. MEPA stepped up the “spirit” and strength of the federal act, NEPA, and significantly expanded the public right to participate in government decisions. Perhaps now we better understand why both of these environmental mandates have been avoided at all costs. The proposed CSKT Compact is in direct violation of NEPA, MEPA, and the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, requiring due process and a remedy for grievances against government decisions. MEPA was preparatory to the development of a new Constitution for the State of Montana, adopted in 1973.

1973  Montana State Constitution. Legislators adopted a Constitution that incorporated the intent of MEPA into Article IX of the new Constitution, and additionally provided Montanans with 35 enumerated rights in Article II, including popular sovereignty, the right of participation,  and the right of self-government.

1975  Indian Education and Self-Determination Act (Public Law 93-638) provided tribes with the right to self-government and management of their own federal funds through contracted services.  Unfortunately, many tribes ignored the critical word prefix self in self-determination and took actions toward  asserting tribal government authorities to tax and govern non-tribal persons and properties.

1981  Montana v. U.S. 450 U.S. 544.  In 1973 the Crow Tribe attempted to assert its jurisdictional authority over non-tribal lands and persons. The State of Montana argued valiantly for many years to protect Montana citizens, and obtained the ruling in Montana v. U.S. that continues to be a landmark Supreme Court case protecting citizens in Montana and across the country from tribal governance over non tribal persons and lands.

Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s the Montana governors and state legislators were diligently protecting state sovereign authority, state natural resources and the individual rights of Montanans. So what happened between 1981 and 2015? 

The emerging coalition of a powerful triumvirate: 1) federal Executive branch over-reaching; 2) tribal government political influence and tribal government over-reaching; 3) coalitions of environmental extremists; the trendy aboriginal and United Nations movement, and the globalists promoting Agenda 21. All of these folks are on the same page, singing from the same hymnal and absolutely dedicated to the demise of State sovereignty, citizen and property rights. This cumulative political and financial power has had oppressive and intimidating success among elected officials at every level of state government and academia in Montana. The 2015 Montana State Legislature does not remotely resemble the Montana Legislature of the 1970s, when the State was acting like a State and damn proud of it.

What will be the end result of the CSKT Compact if Montana's legislators breathe life into this legislative Beast?  Look again at the policies and laws noted in the time line above.  The CSKT Compact will render irrelevant the U.S. Constitution, the Montana Constitution, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Montana Environmental Policy Act, and this is just openers. Current state legislators passing the Compact will ensure their ongoing and future irrelevancy as elected officials of a state intentionally enfeebled by the CSKT Compact. Oaths of office and the Pledge of Allegiance are now just meaningless, irrelevant rituals. One of the finest State Constitutions in the country, Montana’s 1973 Constitution becomes toilet paper.

Another irony:  Passage of the Compact will also overturn hard-fought protections from tribal governance over non-members in 1981 Supreme Court case of Montana v. U.S. for Montana citizens; however,  the rest of the country will remain protected by this Landmark ruling of the High Court because the ruling protects citizens from tribal governance absent their individual consent.  The Compact legislatively removes individual citizen consent for some 350,000 Montana citizens in 11 counties that will be subject to tribal government control of their water, their water rates, and water-dependent land use.

The Compact is not just about water. It is now about the Rule of Law as well. Our federal and state Constitutions matter, or they don't. Our federal and state environmental mandates matter, or they don't. Supreme Court rulings matter or they don't. Exactly what does matter to current legislators and an entire cadre of well-paid Montana state attorneys? It certainly does not seem to be to uphold the Rule of Law in the State of Montana. The once youthful and muscle-bound State of Montana is voluntarily surrendering its Statehood to Assisted Living in perpetuity, to be governed by tribes, the federal government and International organizations intent on destroying State authorities, property rights and the rights of the Popular Sovereignty of each and every citizen. Montana is already buckling at the knees; the proposed CSKT Compact begins the process of turning off the State’s life support as a State. The battle then goes to all of the other Western States.

One more sad irony: There is within the rule of law the Doctrine of Parens Patriae. This is a legal doctrine wherein a State within its sovereign capacity may provide protection, and may even sue on behalf of, citizens unable to care for themselves. The proposed Compact will render tribal and non-tribal landowners, 11 counties and their municipalities, and some 350,000 Montanans needing water for the homes and businesses, hard pressed to pay high water rates, or take care of themselves in the future. Do you suppose your current or future Governors and State Legislator will step in to help them?

A victorious CSKT Compact opens the door for the federal government, tribal governments and globalists to fundamentally transform Montana to something unlike the proud State that existed in the 1970s. Montana legislators passing this Compact may just as well turn off the lights in the Helena Capitol because the CSKT Compact is a fatal, self-inflicted injury to State sovereignty and all of Montana's waters. Legislators voting for the Proposed CSKT Compact are assuring their future as useful idiots to federal, tribal and international influence.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Message to MT Senate Judiciary Committee - re: SB 262

The CSKT compact proponents claim they will file 10 thousand lawsuits statewide if the compact is not approved and ratified.

However, squirrelled among its many unfair, and unlawful provisions, this gem: anyone not liking what the Tribe "gives" in the way of "water allotment" may go to court to argue for a better deal.

So, to get this straight, in exchange for preventing 10k lawsuits [extortion], the Legislature is being asked to allow this compact to be ratified, which may ensure potentially 300,000 such lawsuits!

Please do the right thing - which you swore oaths to do - defend and protect the rights of ALL Montanans, not just a select group, lorded over by untouchable Tribal leaders - for whom we, the REST of the people of Montana, have NO vote nor representation, NO say in their proceedings, nor to whom CSKT Tribal leaders are obligated to even listen.

Given that I have NO expectation of nor any right to "own" water in MT to sell to anyone else, why is the Legislature being asked to create such a "right" for a small band of unaccountable Federal and Tribal extortionists?

Jim Greaves
Thompson Falls MT

Friday, February 13, 2015

CSKT Water Compact throws thousands of Montanans “under the bus”

By: Senator Debby Barrett
As a rancher with deep roots on a family place in southwest Montana, I know something about the importance of history—and water rights.  I also understand negotiation and compromise.  That’s why I have served on the state’s Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission since 2011 and voted for some compacts. However, during my time on the reserved water rights commission, I’ve voted “no” to provisions within this compact on seven occasions.  Here is why I will not support the proposed CSKT Compact. 
The Legislature’s role is to examine a proposed compact and decide whether or not to enact it into Montana law.  The Legislature’s responsibility and authority includes amending proposals if necessary, and approving all state costs associated with a compact such as this one. (The price tag of the state’s share on the CSKT compact is $55 million total).  But at an informational meeting held by proponents, the Legislature was warned that it cannot amend the proposal.  It’s a “take it or leave it” deal. 
That insult to the constitutional role of the Legislature is enough for me to want to leave it. Other proposed compacts have not been thrust on us, the Legislature, with such arrogance and disrespect for Legislators.  But there are other good reasons, too.
The 2013 Legislature refused to ratify the last CSKT Water Right Compact, for many good reasons concerning its legality and equal treatment of this state’s citizens, both on and off the reservation.  In fact, the primary proponents of the Compact this time concede that the previous version was very flawed and needed to be rejected.
Now, it has been re-introduced, but not much changed or improved.  While one portion of it was somewhat re-negotiated during the interim between the 2013 and the 2015 Legislative Sessions, the result did not improve that portion enough to protect local individual water users, both tribal members and nonmembers, and failed completely to address legal and policy shortcomings, on and off reservation, in the original proposal. 
Off the Flathead reservation, these failures include more than a dozen permanent surrenders of the Legislature’s authority over water in Montana, allowing the CSKT to choose whether to obey legislative enactments or not and giving them complete immunity from compliance with important aspects of Montana water and environmental law, including the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  It also requires the State to give partial ownership of some of its water rights and its contracts for water to the CSKT and to manage those assets for the Tribes’ benefit, rather than all citizens of the State.  In essence, this proposed Compact requires the State to limit its legal authority off the reservation by sharing it with the CSKT--permanently. 
On reservation, it gives the CSKT the water right to 110,000 acres of irrigated land owned by individuals, whose irrigation districts have filed on that same water right.  It also reduces irrigation water to many if not all these irrigators, who are tribal members and nonmembers, and it establishes a unique water administration code and governing body, with the State of Montana again compromising its constitutional authority over water rights.   
I recognize there are powerful supporters of SB 262, including some elected officials who managed to negotiate changes to the proposals, protecting their constituents at home.  Having heard the evidence as a member of the Compact Commission, I believe the off-reservation in stream flow water rights the Compact gives are not scientifically based or well-grounded in law or history.  But I also recognize that the CSKT and their public relations people have artfully threatened much of the state with water right filings for in stream flows if the Legislature doesn't simply accept this “take it or leave it” deal. 
As a rancher and a Senator who values little ahead of private property rights, I think I know when to call a bluff, and when to stand my ground no matter what.  This is such a time.  Not all values and principles should be compromised away.  I do not believe my fellow ranchers and farmers really want to turn their backs on the thousands of Montanans whose property, including water rights, will be devastated by this proposal. 
The proposed CSKT compact is the perfect example of overreaching in negotiations, causing their failure.  The CSKT and federal government on their behalf demanded too much, and the Compact Commission negotiators surrendered too much.  As a state we tried for years to negotiate a deal good for all.  In this compact alone, that has proven to be impossible.  So, it’s time to recognize that this compact is not going to work, and we must prepare to protect the State’s rights, interests,  and sovereignty.  This compact is not just poor policy, sacrificing the rights of thousands of Montanans to protect the rest of the state is the worst policy possible.
Senator Debby Barrett, R-Dillon, is an eight-term lawmaker representing Senate District 36 in the Montana Legislature.  She serves as Senate President for the 64th legislative session.