By David L. Pippin
Valley County Commissioner 

Colder Than Heck Just One Of Our Problems


Hello Valley County,

Thought it was cold enough that I should write, as stopping by was out of the question. I remember when they used to say "colder then heck" but this far exceeds that.  

I’m always surprised what will happen next and I’m amazed that some federal and state agencies and environmental groups think this is their playground and that we really don’t care what happens. After living here for countless years I’ve come to the understanding of how this works.

Well, here’s how it is, but it needs to change if we are to continue to thrive here in Valley County. The BLM wants to declare that sage-grouse are in need of management because of the decreased numbers of sage grouse. Then the FWP, with help from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWP) and the American Prairie Foundation (APF), help introduce the swift fox into Canada and on the Fort Peck Reservation, and now we’ve added another predator that eats sage grouse.

So the BLM seems to think that there is too much pressure on sage grouse and fewer cattle would be a great help. Now it’s just not true that those cattle using the range hate sage grouse and try to hurt them every chance they get. Most people here know that several agencies and NGOs would like to remove the cattle from the federal range land that is managed by the BLM, and also from the CMR which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife.

But whoa, it gets better. If we allow coyotes, wolves, swift fox, bison and prairie dogs back on the range then we will be forced off, the livestock will be gone, and we wouldn’t get those silly letters from the APF every year saying they’re going to save Valley County, the Range, and our Western culture. Yeah, right!

Well there’s one thing my father taught me, regardless of how well you get along with your neighbors, they are still your neighbor.  The time to stick together is before things change, not afterwards when you don’t have a prayer.  Most people in the United States have no clue of the assault we are under from federal and state agencies, and the environmental groups. l refuse to believe, or accept that someone from out of our county knows what’s best for me or my neighbors.

The reason we have federal and state government is to conduct necessary and essential business, not because they have more insight and understanding of how we want to live and what we believe. Please realize that we must work together to insure that we continue to thrive as a county, and this is how it’s got to be.

Ranchers and hunters are going to have to stick together. We need to work together if we are to stay here and not be removed from this landscape. Bison, wolves, swift fox, prairie dogs and those animals that these agencies are trying to reintroduce really won’t work here unless we pack it up and move out. By the way, many of these agencies do not promote hunting or ranching as they would have you believe. If hunters shoot those sage grouse what in the world will those predators eat??

I’ve got to tell you something, if we don’t stick together we can kiss the range goodbye and the way of life that we have. Many policies that affect the operation of federal lands also significantly affect private property rights.

Most of the pristine range that we have here is because of the people who live here. We’ve taken care of it and now someone else is trying to take it away from us. If you ranch, or if you hunt, please take the time to call all your friends and tell them we need to stick together to stop this intrusion.

We can make it through this, but we need to stick together and the sooner the better. Later means we’re too late.

Thank you for your time


Reader Comments