Written by Karen Schumacher
Although this article is regarding Island Park, every Idahoan throughout the state will be affected by the same agenda.
It must be time to transform Island Park into something else using “action plans”. The question is, what needs to be transformed? What in Island Park needs fixing? The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has been working tirelessly for 10 years, inspecting Island Park with partnering “experts”, creating a list of “problems” they deem necessary to fix, and then creating a plan to fix those problems “they” identified!
This endeavor was for the revision of the State Wildlife Action Plan, or SWAP. These “experts” have identified conservation targets and the “threats” to those targets. The plan focuses on conserving fish and wildlife while helping humans “benefit” those species that need the most “help’. This help by humans will be “voluntary” but the true goal is preventing all human activity that might endanger wildlife, and taking private land. Isn’t it amazing that in spite of all federal and state agency work, and human activity, these species have managed to survive without these newly suggested efforts to help them, while at the same time managing to cohabitate with humans in healthy enough numbers to be studied in spite of the threats being identified?
The Island Park area is now considered to be part of the Yellowstone Highlands, defined as an ecological subregion by the US Forest Service (USFS), because it comprises the western margins of the Yellowstone Plateau. This is most likely a deliberate choice as one eventual goal is to incorporate the Island Park area into the Yellowstone system, whether in the park itself or the protected lands within the “ecosystem“. Currently, this is being accomplished through incremental demand that wildlife should have access to habitat outside of the park perimeter, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wanted with the buffalo, and the Nature Conservancy. It will only be a matter of time before the demand is made that all wildlife have the right to access habitat across boundaries, with Island Park being a target for incorporation into Yellowstone. By the way, the NRDC and Nature Conservancy are both United Nations (UN) non-governmental organizations (NGO).
Here is a map of all the “ecological sections” in the state so you can check yours out but the Section names might be unfamiliar to you. You will also notice that these Sections cross county lines, which is deliberate.
Now Island Park sits right smack dab in a caldera created years ago from volcano activity. This makes it an ecologically significant area. But to the people who have lived there, and still do, the beauty of the area is really in their hearts, it is their HOME, not some Latin specimen. The Section begins by detailing the geographical and ecological aspects of the area, reducing it into nothing more than a dry statistical read that at times might be hardly understandable to the casual reader. Within these pages humans are identified as the terrible souls who are responsible, and at fault, for destroying habitat and wildlife.
The Section notes that housing has “tripled” since 1963 with an “…estimated 150 square miles of currently undeveloped private land…”, predicting that it will be altered with more housing in the next 10 years, insinuating that the destruction is the result of private land use. To disrupt or prevent this habitat destruction, the plan targets 5 habitat conservation areas (forest, Aspen, riparian forest, wetlands, Henry’s Lake Flat), and for good measure 2 wildlife species, the ungulate and grizzly which face “special conservation needs”. These targeted conservation areas include private land. The plan identifies Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), ranging from bees, owls, toads, bats, loons, grouse, wolverines, cranes, swans, down to the tiny duskysnail. These species have associated conservation targets, meaning land. And realistically, there is at least one of these critters on each piece of private land.
Just one warning side note, for the “regionally rare” ungulate, the target is to “…capture the process of ungulate seasonal migration and resource use through the area as well as more localized species movement. Includes seasonal, transitional, and stopover habitat.” (You know, the ones that stop for a cup of joe on their journey, or may find the habitat favorable and decide to stay awhile). “US Hwy 20 presents a threat to connectivity… (and) potential expansions…would decrease permeability. Rural residential development also poses current and future threats to key transitional habitat in Shotgun Valley, Henry’s Lake Flat, and the south rim of the caldera.” For those who live in those areas watch out, IDFG or an NGO will be knocking on your door to tie up your land for a “regionally rare” animal.
Through mapping, the plan identifies the Lodge Pole pine as the dominant tree with a sprinkling of Douglas Fir. For locals and just by observation one has to wonder how much it cost to figure that out. But since these trees are homes to the critters, the experts decided the trees provide “low value for sustaining biodiversity”, meaning a poor quality habitat. Interesting. Just how did those critters survive so long in this inadequate housing? They go on to mention some of the bushes in the area like sagebrush, chokecherry, and yum, huckleberry. The experts also decided these conifers were encroaching upon the Aspen population. Maybe if the USFS would allow proper thinning, this wouldn’t happen.
Now what could be worse than Douglas-fir habitats being “threatened by fire exclusion and rural residential development, while mature coniferous forests are most threatened by habitat fragmentation from roads.”, citing that ” low–intensity fires maintain a naturally diverse stand composition and structure that benefits a wide range of wildlife…”. Prescribed burns have been used for generations by Tribes and ranchers and these experts are just now getting a clue? The USFS was the federal agency that reduced prescribed burning so now a law is needed to allow it again. Where is the logic in any of this? By their own admission “Fire suppression has also greatly reduced the presence of aspen…”. So the federal government, once again, has created a catastrophe that has to be fixed with another law.
According to the plan, “Roads can have negative impacts on fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals…”, and “…many roads have been gated under the assumption that limited use by “administrative traffic” will not unduly disturb elk and other wildlife. Unfortunately, this assumption is untrue, and even a limited amount of administrative traffic behind closed gates provides more than adequate reinforcement of the avoidance behavior”. That is the IDFG talking, a truck rolling through every month causes animals to avoid the area. Previous closures and restricted access has now become no human access or use. Alleged damage from ATVs, motorcycles, or snowmobiles can be read about in the Section, but most Idahoans know that seasonal changes remove any evidence of casual use, not long term damage, and the habitat is still there.
According to the IDFG, agriculture, livestock grazing, housing development, recreation, and timber harvest are all land uses causing negative impact in the Yellowstone Highlands. To read about all the alleged damage you can go to page 492 in the Section. Also, these “…land uses have fragmented riparian habitat, reducing connectivity necessary for species movements.” Once again connectivity is mentioned, it is the theme for all future landscape planning. But it is connectivity for wildlife and habitat, not humans or private property.
Just know, the IDFG states, “This region is a national conservation priority landscape…”. The true goal is locking up all the land in that area by increasing restricted use, including private property. “…lower elevation lands in the GYE have some of the most productive habitats, but also face many looming threats, particularly on private lands.” The plan also highlights the conservation importance of the Yellowstone Highlands “for maintaining the ecological integrity of the GYE (Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem).” This is right where Island Park lies and why banning human activity is so important. This is the same goal for the rest of the state.
For any private land owner who is contemplating a conservation easement (CE), read this document first. It should also be read by those who have already placed their land in easements. Idaho Statute 55, Chapter 21 covers the law regarding CE, while 55-2102(3) states, “…a conservation easement is unlimited in duration unless the instrument creating it otherwise provides.” 55-2103 covers CE court actions. CE are nothing more than a tool used by the federal government to shift private land into public land classification. Conservation easements rob the county of revenue, land can be resold to the government for a higher price, and increase property taxes for others. Placing private land into public hands is one major reason CE and land trusts are heavily promoted in the SWAP plan. Protect your rights by understanding the laws, don’t believe what NGOs tell you.
The document below gives just a brief summary of corrective action plans to reduce all of these “threats”. All actions can be found in the Section link boxes.
The people who worked on this report included multiple state and federal agencies, UN NGOs, Tribes, and Land Trusts. Were the citizens who live in Island Park thoroughly notified and allowed to have input into what is being done to them? Oh, pardon, there was a paltry 45 that provided public input, along with an organized number from participating NGOs, 3 webinars, and one meeting in Boise. At what point will “voluntary” participation become mandatory? For all their hard work, the IDFG will be rewarded by the federal government with more money for their extremism. But what is the true source of this larger landscape transformation?
As a partner to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a UN participant, the US Fish and Wildlife Service implements IUCN objectives, one of which is addressing “threats’ to wildlife, habitats, wetlands, etc., and advocating for special land protections.
IUCN categorizes different protected areas. Category IV is Habitat/Species Management Area and best applies to what IDFG has done in their new plan. Since the Yellowstone Highlands is considered part of the GYE, the IUCN Category II also applies, which focuses on maintaining a whole ecosystem. Here is a shorter version of Category II. It all lines up with the IDFG plan.
The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), another UN outfit, has made another aggressive push for this agenda in their “Global Forest Goals” this year, specifically Goals 2.5, 3.1, 6.2, and 6.3. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has the same priorities.
Many of these IDFG “experts” may not appreciate the disclosure and exposure of the truth in this article. There is growing awareness of this agenda along with growing outrage by Idaho citizens. The outrage is knowing a state agency willingly follows UN dictates, partners with UN NGOs to advance UN ideology, implements UN practices over and over which are destructive to our land, while at the same time, advancing UN ideology that the destruction is due to climate change. Idaho citizens are also outraged that the state, and federal government, are using aggressive and covert tactics towards private land and its use, using legal instruments and foot soldiers to take land from Idahoans for their possession, while banning traditional practices and uses through their agencies. To advance this agenda, federal agencies are promoting a growing, forceful regulatory stance with blurring of jurisdictional boundaries.
Idahoans are no fools, they know the land better than any UN or IDFG partnered “expert”. Idahoans have been forced to sit by and watch the destruction of our land, private property, liberties, and theft of their land through deception. Rather than working with its own citizens to solve concerns, IDFG chooses the UN and its partners.
It cannot be denied that the federal government partners with the UN to advance and implement its policies which has subsequently trickled down to affect every Idahoan. Need more evidence? In the top right-hand column of page 45157 in this 1998 federal register it clearly states the federal government is implementing Agenda 21, and this was just the beginning. It is more insidious now as the term used is “sustainable development”. Sustainable development is Agenda 21. The IDFG plan is outlined in Agenda 21, Chapter 15, and now in Agenda 2030 Goal 15. It is not a conspiracy, it is fact.
Idahoans, not just those in Island Park and Fremont county (forget that other name), are encouraged to look at the plan and how it will affect their area under the SWAP Ecological Sections here.
The use of endangered species, including ecosystem and habitat protection, are the means to the end in achieving the goal of putting more land into the federal government hands and force Idahoans out. Don’t fall for it! Fight back and say NO when they come to your door. Tell all of them, NGOs and government officials, their hidden agenda is known to you. Know the law. Ask them, where is the law, whether state or federal, that gives them the authority to do this? They will stumble because there is no federal or state law. Do everything you can to make them understand their agenda is not welcome, will not be tolerated, or accepted in your community. Educate them on the truth, and keep educating them until they understand, all the while not complying with their plans.
Do whatever you can to never have to say, So Long, Island Park.
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