Wolves Have No Mercy

By Tim Ravndal

It has been now nearly a quarter century since the Federal Government brought to Montana an invasive species known as the wolf.

Animal Rights Activists took to the streets from New York to Los Angeles with a cry to save the wolves. In that quest, the National Park regulators looked the other way and rubber stamped the plan to re-introduce wolves into Yellowstone National Park

As the plan moved forward, ranchers, farmers, hunters and families across Montana looked at history and called foul to the federal government officials. The quest for responsible wildlife management then came home to rest with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks. (MFWP)

In the next several years, MFWP took the ostrich in the sand approach claiming they had no jurisdiction to intervene in the introduction. In communities across Montana the truth continued to rise in what was being done with still no response from Montana elected officials.

Here we are in 2020 where the species that was introduced into Yellowstone has migrated many miles from the park. They are multiplying at rates that exceed the prey base available and still MFWP sits idly by only looking at selling licenses.

The failure to take an aggressive approach to wolf management has resulted in a catastrophic impact to the economy and the future of wildlife in Montana.

Looking at the species in question, there is documented historical records that show the re-introduction is not the species that existed in the United States when Montana became a territory and later a state. The species now here is a hybrid that has no biological connection to the management of wildlife in Montana.

We now are looking at a new Governor of Montana along with multiple other high level offices that will be filled in November. Will these elected officials protect the rights of the people or will they continue to march down the road of political and social correctness?

If you like deer and elk hunting in Montana and love to stand with ranchers to protect Livestock and private property rights, do not help promote a political agenda that is destined to ruin Montana. In November remember who is going to stand for the people and those who only stand for the system that is working the system for the system.

Mining Rights Challenged

By Tim Ravndal

Back in the early 1800’s a push to the west was charged with yellow fever. The dream of striking it rich brought thousands of prospectors out west to hit the mother Lode.

When Gold was discovered in Confederate Gulch, a craze began with thousands of propsectors and suppliers stampeding for what was then Meagher County. In those days, the early prospector got the nugget and the rest fought for the crumbs.

Within a few years, it was realized that controls had to be put in place to protect the miners from not only each other but to ensure that their rights were not infringed by the government of the Territory or the Federal Government.

In 1866, the Mining Act was passed into law. In that act, provisions of protection of patented rights along with access to those claims could not be inhibited. The new law also provided for a must needed protection for the conveyance of water to facilitate the mining and ranching needs of the area.

Further protections were needed so in 1872, the Mining Act was revised giving further protection to the citizens of this country. In this process many of the disputes were resolved through the new amended law and the search for beneficial resources continued.

As of 2020, the 1866 Act as revised in 1872 still stands. The law has never been amended or repealed but the federal and state government officials predominantly ignore the law in the name of environmentalism.

Corruption Takes Hold With Elected Officials

By Tim Ravndal

Many citizens here in Montana have been working hard to maintain transparency in government.  With Elected officials bound by the Constitution of Montana, they take an oath promising that they will defend the rights of the people while abiding by the delineated powers listed therein.

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) currently chaired by Brad Johnson is center stage regarding public duty and responsibilities of elected officials.  The Montana PSC consists of 5 elected commissioners in an office that employs 35 people.

Recently, Northwest Liberty News broke a story regarding publicly released email exchanges from within PSC.  The story opened up with claims of improper use of government email.

Commissioner Roger Koopman  who served in the Montana Legislature for 2 terms, is at the heart of this story.  Mr. Koopman has a history of taking on government when he sees failure in the duty of elected and appointed officials to the people.

Not long ago, Mr. Koopman challenged elected officials of Bozeman Montana for illegally working out of the city office to manipulate a bond election.  In that dispute, Mr. Koopman made a connection to electioneering laws in Montana.  Mr. Koopman and city officials ended that civil action in a plea agreement.  In that agreement, city officials promised not to violate the law again.

The current issue on the table is questions of accountability within PSC, brought forward by Commissioner Koopman.  Substantial discussions were held in an email exchange with those working within the PSC circle.

In that exchange, expenditures amounting to thousands of dollars by Chairman Johnson were questioned by Commissioner Koopman.  In addition, some of the emails publicly released contain personal correspondence which is not illegal, but highly recommended against by policy.

Mr. Koopman in his quest for answers within the PSC as an elected official appear to be in proper order.  The integrity of any office depends on the ability to have internal discussions between officials and those working within the government system.

Certainly all these exchanges are public information as this is a government entity.  Under the Constitution of Montana Article II Sections 8 & 9, provide for the citizens the right to know and the right to participate in all actions by elected officials of the state.

Also in many cases, one must consider Article II Section 10 of the Constitution of Montana that provides for the right to privacy.  Provisions of transparency cannot outweigh the right to privacy.

An undisclosed employee or acquaintance of PSC officials delivered a cash of emails that were drawn from Mr. Koopman’s official email account to Northwest Liberty News.

In the email exchange that is posted on Northwest Liberty News, Commissioner Koopman questions the performance of the duty by the PSC to the people of Montana.  In the email exchanges there are several unknown or unidentified recipients included in that exchange that raise concerns of privacy.

Within PSC the commissioners recently hired a communications director to oversee the commissions public communication program.  Communications Director Drew Zinecker, serving as an employee of the commission, is responsible for the integrity of PSC and to accommodate the public participation process guaranteed under the constitution.

According to Commissioner Koopman, he and others raised questions regarding the decision to hire Mr. Zinecker.  Details to why Mr. Zinecker’s hiring was questioned but unanswered, remain with little or no information publicly available.

Mr. Zinecker working with Commissioner Pinocci have stepped up their opposition to Commissioner Koopman’s inquiry making claims that Commissioner Koopman has exited the realm of reality.  We have heard many horror stories regarding the new trend of “Red Flag Laws” that are being implemented across the country.  Mr. Zinecker is now claiming his position with PSC and his personal safety is now being compromised by Commissioner Koopman.

Commissioner Pinocci sent a letter to the PSC Chairman Brad Johnson and Vice Chairman Bob Lake raising concerns regarding the actions of Commissioner Koopman.  The letter submitted by Commissioner Pinocci was tabled by Chairman Johnson.  Mr. Johnson cites concerns over taking any further action outlined in the letter against Commissioner Koopman will escalate, harming internal administrative harmony.  A copy of the letter is not available publicly.

Mr. Zinecker making claims of threats and intimidation went to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practice seeking help to put an end to Commissioner Koopman’s inquiry.  Commissioner Jeff Mangan assured Mr. Zinecker that his office would take his complaint to the front of the line.  Mr. Mangan is an appointed official by current Governor Steve Bullock.

With Brad Johnson gearing up to run for the office of Montana Secretary of State, he is not wanting to have a corruption anchor tied to him. Randy Pinocci is placing himself in position to take the Chairman of PSC if Mr. Johnson moves to Secretary. Either way, both will retain power in politics with the deals made and promoted by Mr. Zinecker.