Utah governor gets word: feds won't do "land grab in Utah"

Obama’s supposed list of new national monuments was just a DOI brainstorming session-

Last week Fox News reported with bells and whistles that the President might create a large number of new national monuments on federal land in Western States. I didn’t bother to link to the story because the leaked document clearly looked some odd page out of an EIS appendix. The areas listed were all areas that I think deserve more protection, but it was obvious to me that this leak was part of the contiuing partisan battle in Washington. The short excerpt from ?? document had been sent to Fox News for a political reason. Western Republicans quickly responded with expected outrage, calling it a “land grab.”

Today there is a story in the Salt Lake Tribune that Interior Secretary Salazar’s office said it was just a brainstorming document.

The list 021810_monumentlist.pdf

Herbert gets word: feds won’t do land grab in Utah. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tells the governor a memo identifying potential land monuments was merely a “draft.” By Thomas Burr. The Salt Lake Tribune



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  1. JimT Avatar

    I would LOVE to know who leaked it and why….Salazar has done this before…tried to have “secret” memos circulate and have it come out before he wanted it to. There are no secrets in DC…

    So, should the staffer be let go?

  2. mikarooni Avatar


  3. JimT Avatar

    I just love the Sagebrush/Wise Use/knee-jerk anti-fed politicians (except when it comes to getting those Federal bucks) saying it is a land grab when it is Federal, all-citizen owned land in the first place. How can you ‘grab’ your own land?

  4. mikarooni Avatar

    Through skillful use of corrupt propaganda. Remember your history lessons; skillful use of propaganda and lies enabled Hitler to redefine, in the minds of his followers, the rightful disposition of Poland, the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway Sweden, Bulgaria, Romania, France… Brainwashing can do amazing things; the dominant culture of Utah has successfully relied on it for a very long time.

  5. JimT Avatar

    But wise use and sagebrush folks are not just in Utah….It appears to be tied into the mythos of the settlement of the West, etc, ignoring history and seeing more land, more money in the name of greed and entitlement. Again, I am amazed at the parallels between what I am reading in Tim Egan’s book and current attitudes and behaviors in the West by the industry folks. David Byrne was right..same as it ever was…

  6. vickif Avatar

    It is a very American mind-set. It happens in other countries, mostly wealthy countries. But here in the USA, we have a falsely maintained and hugely inflated standard of living. With the freedom to gain great wealth, comes a sense of entitlement to it, and a with that….many people feel that they are entitled to that wealth by any means necessary. That approach applies no matter the cost to fellow man, or nature.
    Not many other cultures outside of the USA center around misuse of resources. So many less wealthy nations revere their natural resources and view sustaining their resources as a responsibility and a gift. They give back, because they take.
    Utah’s governor is not different from most, he is motivated by the all mighty dollar, and the influence that comes from those who wave them in front of his nose.

  7. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – how can you grab your own land? Great point, except you left out the same logic when it comes to “getting those Federal Bucks” – those are our bucks my friend.

  8. JimT Avatar

    Actually, they ARE ALL of our bucks, TWB, and then get re-allocated back to states according to some schedule. I would love to see figures on how much Idaho or Montana or Utah pays out in taxes to the Feds, and how much they get back in all of the federal subsidies, tax breaks, use of federal lands, etc.

    My point is that trying to take or claim federal land for the exclusive benefit of a location based on some arbitrary measurement made a hundred years ago simply isn’t realistic or legal. Are you a Sagebrush guy? Really? l

  9. Devin Avatar


    “Again, I am amazed at the parallels between what I am reading in Tim Egan’s book and current attitudes and behaviors in the West by the industry folks”

    Are you reading “Lasso the Wind”? Egan is one of my favorite contemporary authors. His insights on the old west/new west dichotomy are fantastic! Now….who is going to be the grandfather that the West needs to help work out its problems together? I’ve been pondering that question for over a year and haven’t come up with any names that can bring both sides together for a civil discussion on policy. Too many wicked problems….

    I also laugh at the idea that the feds are “grabbing” their own federal land but I can understand where the wise-use movement is coming from. Change is never a fun thing.

  10. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – I do not have time to play today – you get my point on our monies. Not sure if I am a Sagebrush guy however, because of our relationship I will study up on it in the next few days and let you know – work now.

  11. JB Avatar

    “I would love to see figures on how much Idaho or Montana or Utah pays out in taxes to the Feds, and how much they get back in all of the federal subsidies, tax breaks, use of federal lands, etc.”

    Jim T: I wrote a post about this a long time ago. With a few exceptions, the states that typically vote Republican get more back than they actually put in: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/publications/what_came_to_and_left_your_state_in_2005

    Specifically, here are the western states:
    New Mexico: $3.10
    Alaska: $2.62
    Montana: $2.17
    Wyoming: $1.55
    Arizona: $1.53
    Utah: $1.27
    Idaho: $1.23
    Colorado: $.83 (that’ll teach ’em to vote for Democrats)

    Now look at the states that typically vote Democratic in federal elections:

    Connecticut: $.67
    Delaware: $.42
    Minnesota: $.46
    New Jersey: $.57
    New York: $.73
    Illinois: $.68
    California: $.91
    Rhode Island: $.87
    Massachusetts: $.87
    Hawaii: $1.90 (the only “stand out”)

    Conclusions: Republicans are for small government–for Democrats. 😉

  12. vickif Avatar

    Thanks for that info. I would venture a guess that if you look at populations, those states which get the least money actually contribute far more. So it would stand to reason that people outside of the states which are usually hot topics here, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona…should have a HUGE voice in what happens there. After all, they pay for it.

  13. JimT Avatar

    I have read all of Egan’s books. The latest one I am working my way through is the Big Burn, which looks at the Big Fire of 1910 that went through over 2 million acres of Montana and Idaho, and how it was used by T. Roosevelt and Pinchot to create the Forest Service. Fascinating history, and it demonstrates why the Forest Service mission for so long was to put fires out, and now we now just how destructive that policy proved to be ecologically.

    It is an interesting book..I would recommend it.

  14. JimT Avatar


    Interesting figures….I am sure the Republican leaders have some sort of spin to justify getting back more than they give in…

    The way the polls are running, Colorado may join the ranks of Republican states…and increased funding…LOL…

  15. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I have never really understood how those statistics are compiled. The states with some of the biggest returns in your list are the ones with the most federal lands, but with sparse populations. They also have some of the lowest per capita incomes (except the deep South). Do you know if the returns include federal jobs (national forests, NP’s BLM etc.), military reservations and research (I am thinking here of the Idaho National Nuclear Laboratory that Battelle/EG&G runs), federal capital construction projects like Interstate highways which stretch across those vast lands and that everybody uses?

    Answers to those questions don’t seem to easily pop up on the website you reference.

  16. vickif Avatar

    It is kind of looking that way. The problem is, none of the dems that promised to do something big did much at all. They should have came out big, and the sat back and did little.
    People lose faith really quickly.
    If we only had a republican who knew there is big money in conservation and green reform.

  17. Kropotkin Man Avatar
    Kropotkin Man

    Southern Utah wouldn’t be on the map without it’s National Parks and Monuments. I’d love to see current numbers on the bucks brought in from industrial tourism compared to everything else.

    I’d also love to see the number of privately-owned acres grabbed for roads and such by local and State governments compared to what’s simply reclassified Federal land.

    Somethings just die hard.

    I just hope the powers at be don’t find a way to build the Interstate across southern Utah they’ve been threatening to build for the last 20 years.

    Hayduke Lives!

  18. JimT Avatar

    There USED to be Republicans that thought “green”, Teddy Roosevelt, heck, Richard Nixon signed a few major bills, but no more. I still hold out hope for a Dem, if they can decide who the heck is going to run. McGinnis is a toady, through and through, and I am hoping whomever runs the Dem campaign puts that front and center.

  19. mikarooni Avatar

    Talks with Bears, you let loose a bunch of hostile confrontational nonsense, completely erroneous I might add, about your share of federal money, then run off with a condescending “I do not have time to play today – you get my point on our monies.” Come back here and face the facts! As JB correctly points out, the whiny spoiled-rotten redneck western states actually get way more fed dollars back than they ever put in…

    Specifically, here are the western states:
    New Mexico: $3.10
    Alaska: $2.62
    Montana: $2.17
    Wyoming: $1.55
    Arizona: $1.53
    Utah: $1.27
    Idaho: $1.23

    Not only does the land belong to all Americans, including Mike in Chicago (Illinois gets $.68 back per dollar in taxes paid to Idahoho’s $1.23, you creep); but, you and your redneck friends are clearly on the dole and I don’t just mean Bob Dole.

  20. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I’m not sure what to make of those numbers, as I posed the question to JB, above. It is kind of hard to say what they really mean.

    The population of those seven states might make up about half of the state of Illinois population. You will also find it interesting that while the average numbers of taxes paid vs. tax dollars received for the state seems high in a couple of those states. It is the people on the bottom rungs of the income ladder who receive by far the largest amounts. You might also appreciate the fact that New Mexico has the 43 lowest per capita income. That means lots of poor and illiterate people, some of whom live on Indian reservations. In fact, if one thinks about it, the red states and lower economic status seems to correlate pretty well. Illinois per capita income rank is something like 11th. New York, where all those slimey Wall St. high flyers are is something like 6th, and Connecticut, where the insurance company execs live is number 1.

    I think income redistribution in a country like ours is a good thing.

  21. Dusty Roads Avatar
    Dusty Roads

    Most of it today goes the wrong way, I’d say. Gov’t redistribution I don’t mean.

    It should be plain to see, but the current economic system redistributes wealth from the middle to the top. Middle class shrinks. More join the poor.

    The ugly recession we are in is redistributing wealth very quickly. The system is called neoliberalism. Naomi Klein calls it “Disaster Capitalism.”

  22. mikarooni Avatar

    The argument still stands. Talks with Bears, claims that “when it comes to ‘getting those Federal Bucks’ – those are our bucks my friend,” with the implication that the western states, the Sagebrush Rebellion states, are somehow not getting their share. But, using Illinois and Idaho for example, for every dollar Illinois sends to DC, Illinois only gets 68 cents back (less than its share), while for every dollar Idaho sends to DC, Idaho gets $1.23 (more than its share). While you and I might agree that “income redistribution in a country like ours is a good thing,” it is also true that, when Talks with Bears talks about “getting those Federal Bucks” – those are actually not his bucks, my friend. Talks with Bears, as a western resident, is actually being subsidized by Chicago Mike (I thank you, Mike, and apologize for Talks with Bears’ previous rudeness regarding your place of residence.)

  23. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    mikarooni – you know not of which you speak – when I stated that “those are our bucks my friend” I meant our “as in all American taxpayers” – nothing to do with which state any federal taxpaying person may reside – there was no implication there what so ever. In addition, I was not and have not been rude to Mike in referring to him as “Chicago Mike” – he was the one that attempted to establish his superiority because of his Chicago roots/knowledge of the Chicago Way – I was simply attempting to humor him. BTW – I made two very brief post this morning and I indicated that I needed to go about my business earning income so that I can pay taxes (payroll,state and federal) so, unless you have me confused with someone else you are carrying on in a way befitting only you. I think you may be one of the four people that comment on Mike’s site.

  24. JB Avatar

    Wow, the things you miss when you’re hard at work!

    WM: My understanding of these data is that they are an aggregate of all federal spending–that is, they include military spending, environmental spending, welfare etc. The website I cited is the best I’ve found yet at explaining where these data come from (though I agree more detail would be nice).

    I agree with you regarding the re-distribution of wealth within our society. I also agree that federal monies tend to flow from states with high populations and avg. incomes to states with lower populations and avg. incomes. However, I was also attempting to make a point regarding the hypocrisy of the political elites that represent many of the states who get the most–per capita–from the federal government. I think conservatives in these states need to be confronted with the reality that they get more from the federal government than they put in. If they don’t like “big” government, we in Ohio (at $.80/$1 contributed) would be more than happy to take any surplus monies that they don’t want!

    As an aside, currently I’m getting a huge kick out of some of the conservatives that are railing against the “evils” of “socialized medicine” while ensuring their constituents that they will do everything they can to preserve medicare. Hmm… 😉

  25. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JB – here is another wrinkle for consideration. All of our federal tax dollars reallocated within our republic correct? How about another allocation of resources – energy. Have you checked to see where the energy sources that Ohio uses are extracted and refined? I would be willing to bet that Louisiana and Texas could use a shout out from you guys. And by the way, just so it is fair, the folks in Louisiana and Texas pay the same for gasoline (wholesale cost before state taxes) as you do – they get no discount for dealing with pollution and habitat destruction do to resource extraction and refinement.

  26. JimT Avatar

    DISCOUNT? Why in the hell should refineries get a discount for pollution; for habitat destruction? They already get tax breaks galore, making record profits for the past two years, and the costs of environmental compliance and pollution effects are simply passed onto the consumer. The state legislatures in Texas and Louisiana CHOSE to sell out to the oil and gas industry for money, and damn the consequences to their environment. One of the effects that contributed mightily to the damage in New Orleans from Katrina was the destruction of the wetlands areas by the oil and gas development that eliminated the buffering effect of the wetlands during hurricanes? I wonder if they stepped up and said “hell, we’ll pay our fair share to restore New Orleans.” Yeah, Right.

    They are directly responsible for the acid rain damage in the Northeast, most from the Four Corners coal powered plants, and yet do they pay their fair share of what their processes cause in terms of air degradation, habitat destruction, health effects?

    I think you can find a better example for your point than the oil and gas industry.

  27. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – easy now, please read my post, I said the “folks” in Louisiana and Texas and you said “refineries” – it is the “folks” that have to deal with the direct pollution from the refineries – they call a part of south Louisiana “cancer alley” for a reason. And yes, unless you are riding a mule everyday you are in need of someone polluting somewhere to help you out with your energy needs. ” One of the effects that contributed mightily to the damage in New Orleans from Katrina was the destruction of the wetlands areas by the oil and gas development that eliminated the buffering effect of the wetlands during hurricanes” – not so, the part of the coast that was impacted by Katrina is not in anyway overly developed for oil and gas. In addition, the “event” during Katrina that contributed to the flooding in New Orleans was the storm, due to angle of approach, with a strong east wind for days, pushing water thru Lake Borgne into Lake Ponchatrain and Lake Maurepas. Then when the storm moved north and the winds in Lake Ponchartrain switched to the north the elevated waters were forced south (remember, the waters came in from the east) where they came into contact with the levees that protect New Orleans – there is no marsh here only lake and levee. When this levee broke (in an area known as Lakeview) the waters in Lake Ponchartrain were going back home to the Gulf of Mexico – just by a different route. Loss of marsh is a an issue in Louisiana but, not in this case.

  28. JimT Avatar

    Dusty Roads,

    How can you call the current free for all on Wall Street that caused this recession “neo-liberalism” economics? It is more of an oligarchy where the corporations make sure the wealth is distributed upwards. A book that got great reviews about understanding the mess, and written in mostly plain English is a book called Freefall by Joseph Steglitz, a very well respected economist.

  29. JimT Avatar

    The reason why the waters reached Ponchartrain an Muarepes was directly impacted by the lack of these wetlands; every report I read said they would have played a major role in mitigating the sea surge that eventually overwhelmed the diked to the degree it did. There would have been flooding in some areas regardless, you are correct. And I didn’t say it was overdevelopment of the wetlands…which is even scarier if true because it show just how devastating oil and gas development with its attendant road and building structures is. Add in the fact that the levees were not engineered to withstand more than a Category 3 hurricane, now deemed ineffective for protecting areas of a city like New Orleans where so much of it is at or beneath sea level.

    I realize the need for fuels, but for too long, the oil and gas industry has been allowed to simply pass the costs of compliance and remediation onto the consumer, ensuring their profits, and also providing no incentive to change operating practices unless sued into it. This whole trend of green practices by energy companies is just a calculated PR campaign to prolong the inevitable demise of fossil fuels. Like water, there is a finite supply….We act as if we were in a Roadrunner and Coyote cartoon with an ACME box labeled “gas” or “water”, and when put a drop on the appropriate box, a gas statiion or development pad, or a lake, springs up out of nowhere, and VOILA, problem solved.

  30. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – every report you read must not take into account the geography of the region – if you look at a map you can see for yourself. Many do not understand the impacts of hurricanes, each storm is different due to wind field, speed of storm, angle of approach, which side you are on, upwelling, tidal timing, pre storm pressue gradients and many others. The saffir -simpson scale for “category” is a value for discussion and general public use – the random events that occur within these storms is quite remarkable. If you study the geographic history of the region, the wetlands loss is due primarily to the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers levee system. These have been in place in one form or another since the early 1900’s for the benefit of man. It has made for easy commerce and development however, it has kept their courses the same and therefore the natural changes that had occured since the beginning that would replenish the barrier islands and wetlands no longer occurs.

  31. JB Avatar


    Ohio gets most of its energy via coal-fired power plants that are right here in Ohio; most of the coal comes from West Virgina. Regardless, I fail to see how where our energy comes from matters in the context of how federal tax dollars are distributed? I could just as easily argue that all of the folks in the West should be giving us a “shout out” for producing a lot of the food (energy) they consume.

    The point is that the states that get the most (per capita) from the feds are the states that are constantly bitching about the federal government.

  32. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JB – I bet you do not drive a coal fired car nor does your food arrive via a coal fired 18 wheeler. JB – energy is a resource and can be tied to revenues – that is my point. Think of it in a different way, say “green building” – you and I want to construct a building for our business. To build it “green” we have to spend 30% more and it is estimated that it will take us 20 years to recoup this additional cost in energy savings. However, we have to pay this additional cost now and we have to expend “energy” to earn this extra money now. So, how much did the “green” building save in energy? And what is the “energy equation”?

    Your point that the states that get the most from the Feds – are these “additional monies” above the fair share portion not used to either take care of Federal lands and or United States military installations (missles and such in MT)? I do not know the answer just asking – maybe there is a break down. It seems possible that a low population state with large Federal land holdings and military installations could have the apperance of being on the better end of the equation when in fact upon closer inspection that may not be.

  33. JimT Avatar


    Let’s agree that the man made levees, coupled with the destruction of wetlands through the lack of replenishment, plus further degradation of the wetlands because of the oil and gas development, and the Corps errors in building the levees, along with the strengthening of Katrina, led to this disaster. That, and the historic question of the wisdom of building at or below sea level during the history of New Orleans. It was, in all ways, a perfect storm….much to the detriment of New Orleans. The thing that is bugging me are some of the reports from the Corps and its critics that the rebuilt levee system is still pinned to a Category Three event. Seems to be a bit stupid, but then, it is the Corps. With the forecast of more extreme weather events of all sorts in the Gulf and the Southeast US due to climate change effects, overbuilding the levees seems to be the prudent approach.

    As far as the green building…it is best approached conceptually as an investment in the future and the demands for power being spread around instead of focused on fossil fuels which is ultimately self defeating. But then, American culture has always favored the immediate return and investment than the long term view…that may be the thing that does us in..

  34. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – the reason the levee system is not being enhanced is the cost – big, big, ticket and even then it would not and could not be expected to withstand all scenarios. With or without more extreme storms sooner or later the right one will come along and it will be repeat performance for N.O. I think it would be better to shrink the city to the more defensible positions – there are a few “higher spots” and save ourselves another big,big ticket clean up. I guess you could call me out on choosing to live on top of the big volcano – I just assume if it blows there would not be a Bozeman to rebuild in for quite some time.

  35. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – a personal question is there a Mrs. JimT?

  36. JimT Avatar


    It is a tricky issue, telling residents that you can’t rebuild in a floodplain, in your own neighborhood even if it wasn’t a wise idea to have buildings there in the first place. I agree with the issue of paying again and again for the rebuild. I guess if you are not going to forbid rebuilding in the areas which are most subject to this kind of flooding in the future, then it would be a wise investment to put money into the levees, even if it is a high number of dollars.

    It is an interesting question. Do you allow folks to rebuild in California where the combination of fires, destruction of bank stabilizing vegetation and annual rainy seasons result in tens, maybe hundreds of millions of insurance claims and relief tax dollars? Do you allow folks to rebuild in an area prone to wildfires in the Western states, knowing that it is likely to happen again? Same for areas of seacoast erosion where artificial sandbars are built to try and protect million dollar homes, but eventually the storm erodes the beach and overcomes the protections? What kind of effect does this have on national insurance rates. I recently heard from friends in Vermont whose family has had a “cabin” on one of the islands off the coast of Maine for several generations. Now, because of the cumulative claims from the hurricanes over the past several years in the Southeast, they can’t get an insurance company to write a policy for their summer house. They are contemplating selling because self insurance is a very risky thing, but so far, it is a white elephant of a house, especially in this market.

    And yes, there is a Mrs. “JimT”. Why do you ask? Is there a Mrs. Bear? :*)

  37. JimT Avatar

    As for you building in Bozeman, the odds are in your favor that you will be gone if there is a big blow, but there are no guarantees..I mean, you could take this stuff to an extreme…Life is arbitrary, and if it is your time to go in a volcanic eruption…just make sure you eat dessert with lunch each day, just in case…;*)

  38. JB Avatar

    “I bet you do not drive a coal fired car nor does your food arrive via a coal fired 18 wheeler. JB – energy is a resource and can be tied to revenues – that is my point.”

    All resources (manpower included) are related to revenues, I’m still not sure what that has to do with anything? BTW: I live 2.5 miles from work and carpool, so I don’t use a lot of oil/gas. I also try to buy local food, which is a lot easier in the Midwest (though not as easy this time of year). 🙁

    “Your point that the states that get the most from the Feds – are these “additional monies” above the fair share portion not used to either take care of Federal lands and or United States military installations…”

    Seems to be very little correlation between DOD spending and overall rank (just eyeballing it), which is surprising given the dominance of the DOD’s part of the federal budget. Federal lands spending would be harder to parse out, based upon these data, but there certainly is some correlation. Regardless, federal monies–even to maintain federal lands and military bases–means jobs ($$$) for local people and tax revenues for local governments.

  39. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – I like your overview of the tricky issue – the closer you look the more prevalent those issues are.

  40. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – considering what I have learned about you over the last few months I would like to submit Mrs. JimT for saint hood or some other equally deserving award or recognition for putting up with you. I bet you don’t argue with her like you argue with all of us????????

  41. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JB – where can I find that info you are referring to? Thanks

  42. JimT Avatar


    Oh, you silly person. She too is an environmental lawyer, and is one of the founding folks of environmentalism as it emerged in the 70s. She has also been a tenured law professor, director of an environmental law program and currently ED of an environmental group here in Boulder. She has worked on anti-nuke issues, coal and oil and gas issues as well. The one area we don’t have in common is I had the misfortune of dealing with solid and hazardous waste laws and regulations as well as Clean Air and Clean Water for a time. She was spared that ordeal, and is better off for it.

    As for arguing…we call it “discussing” here. And while she is no saint, she is a wonderful partner in life and we have very similar views and feelings about the world and the wild things in it. You should be thankful she is not a blog-oriented person. ~S~..She is much better at debating than I am, but I think I am more persistent. A person who knows about these kinds of things once told me my totem animal was a badger…~S~…and it fits, believe me.

    So, let’s have a little bio of yours and yours…~S~

  43. JimT Avatar

    Thanks for the compliment about the tricky issues, but there are no solutions proposed, so it really isn’t of much help. I took State and Municipal Budgeting from Cap Wienberger during my MPA days, and he once said policy and plans are the easiest part of any job or issue…implementation is the 90% that counts, and it inevitably gets screwed up. I guess with his position in government, he would have been very familiar with the concept…VBG…

  44. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – one of the best stories I have from college occured in my only Public Admin class – not blog appropriate but a good one over a beer. Next, your wife sounds very accomplished and tolerant – good news for you my friend. In addition, being that I do not believe everything you say I will disregard your comment about her “not being a saint” and roll with my orginal thoughts. As a gentleman, I know that you will pass this on. As turn about is fair play, there is only one Mrs. Bear and I am thankful for her each day. BTW – you can thank (or not) her for me chiming in, I would lurk – she encouraged me to wade in for educational purposes – glad she suggested it – it has, other than a few exceptions been a great experience. We had the occasion to meet thru our jobs while attending a certain university south of the 45th. I came out West in 86 (Wind Rivers to be exact) and it felt like home from the first day. Lots of stories between then and the eventual move out here – I like to say I just had to have the right team. To pick up careers, leave family and move someplace where you know not one person in the phone book can be challenging – glad we did but, it has not always been easy. Interestingly, Mrs. Bear chose software development and I decided that working for myself in the world of finance would be best. The Jr and only Bear will be headed off to school in the not too distant future – somewhere south of the 45th I would guess. Spent a few nights and days in Boulder over the years – much more temperate than Bozeman and the folks seem to have a pride of ownership – a good thing.

  45. JimT Avatar

    Well, if you are in Boulder, you can get my contact information from Ralph. I know Layton doesn’t think much of craft brewed beers…;*)…but there are tons of good microbreweries here, and we could share a beer..or two. Be interesting.

    My wife laughed a bit at your compliment and thanked you, but she is Swedish mostly, and can be as fierce as one of her ancestors at times. Think grizzly bear with no sense of humor…LOL…

    I hope your daughter isn’t considering CU at Boulder. Reputation is a bit overblown by the PR folks (Harvard of the West?). and there are TONS of distractions…a good time school and town.

    We should could cut this personal stuff short..Ralph is tolerant, but not that tolerant…;*) I am like you..I came West in 75, and went back East a few times for jobs, but am a Westerner in heart and soul, and care deeply about its future. Boulder has changed in the years we were gone, and not so much the tolerant laid back place it used to be, much to our dismay. Too much government by the city when a lighter hand would do nicely; too much money and too many folks who think their mission in life is to make it like Orange County. Alot of the older Boulderites have moved up into the hills, or to other places.

  46. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – thanks for the invite – likewise if you guys make it up here.

  47. JimT Avatar

    I appreciate it…we get up to Bozeman from time to time. At one point, we both had job offers in Bozeman, but decided after a decade plus of Vermont winters, we wanted something a bit more mild…but beautiful area, and I like the town alot, though last time we were there, a few things were shuttered…sad.

  48. Elk275 Avatar

    Jim T

    ++but decided after a decade plus of Vermont winters, we wanted something a bit more mild…but beautiful area,++

    It has been a very long winter. I will be glad when spring arrives in 2 months time. Up until the last few years I was able to escape to South American for 6 weeks, but the economy has put a stop to that.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan