It may be confusing to understand how a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposal in Montana, the Missouri Headwaters Conservation Area (MHCA), has anything to do with Idaho. Rule one, understand that federal agencies share the same ideological bed with non-governmental organizations (NGO). Rule two, they all share the same objectives and mission. And Rule three, not only is there government money, actually your tax dollar supporting them, millions of dollars are pouring in from other sources with the same dogma.
So the map of the proposed MHCA area extends north to Deer Lodge, east to Ennis, not quite reaching Wyoming, and south to the Montana-Idaho boarder that captures the tip of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controlled Centennial Mountain range.
As the fact sheet suggests, the objective is to acquire land, 250,000 acres of conservation easements, for the purposes of protecting wildlife habitat, open space, connectivity, and wildlife migratory corridors, but not property rights. Think of corridors as roads for wildlife that lead them to the next habitat area. In the imaginary world of environmentalists, this is called connectivity, in that the corridor, or road, leads, or “connects” wildlife, to the next habitat. Isn’t that brilliant? Those same individuals also believe humans are nothing but car wrecks in the path of these animals, preventing them from getting to their next habitat. Thus, the need to take land and control it for wildlife and nature.
There are a couple of mother ships for NGOs, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) which is international, and the Network for Landscape Conservation (NLC). NLC partners with CLLC, the USFWS along with several other federal agencies, and other supporters. Other partners to both outfits are NGOs such as Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), Wildlands Network, and Wild Montana.
NLC also partners with the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HORI), which is a group of land trusts in Idaho and western states and Canada. In turn, HORI collaborates with a conservation partnership called the High Divide Collaborative (HDC). HDC partners with government agencies including the USFWS, CLLC, Centennial Valley Association (CVA), several land trusts, and other NGOs. HDC works on a defined area called the High Divide. As can be seen by this map of the High Divide, the proposed MHCA is swallowed along with Idaho land, the whole area ripe for control by HORI and HDC. However, this pales in comparison to the larger land objective held by HORI according to this map.
Remembering all of these organizations isn’t crucial. Just understand that it is one big syndicate family that is bound and determined to undermine land use and property rights, and leads all the way to the United Nations affiliated International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that includes the USFWS and other federal agencies, the CLLC, and Y2Y. In fact, the CLLC President Gary Tabor works with the IUCN.
These groups consider land as a garden for them to design, which includes restrictions on use.
One funder for this agenda is the Wilburforce Foundation which granted $75,000 to Wild Montana in 2023 for use in the Y2Y program in Wilburforce priority areas, one of which is in the MHCA. Other donations included $250,00 in 2022 and 2023 to HORI. The CVA is “friends” with several of these groups (last page) and has received donations from HORI. One larger funder is the Wyss Campaign for Nature which has donated to Y2Y and the Idaho Conservation League.
USFWS claims the plan is to “acquire up to a proposed 250,000 acres of conservation easements, with no fee title acquisition, within the proposed 5.7-million-acre Conservation Area boundary”, using federal Land and Water Conservation Fund money. It even has a “realty team” for this purpose. The USFWS can then plop that land right into the hands of their HORI land trust buddies. According to CVA (pg 4), following scoping a Land Protection Plan may be developed.
Somehow this all concludes with the ability to continue using and working the land. To the average eye it just looks like the government is buying up more land for its possession and control. The land owner is still stuck with the taxes, however, because the land can no longer be developed its worth may decrease with resulting lower taxes for the landowner, and in turn less revenue for the county in which it resides. Conservation easements do come with restrictions, in some instances there can be continued, but regulated, use.
The point of all of this information is to alert Idahoans to the larger plan that many forces are working within government to meet international organizational objectives, and that the MHCA proposal is really about a much larger land area than what is revealed. This taking of land is a very incremental process and before you know it the frog is boiled to death. As can be seen, there are major bucks flowing into this agenda, and it also disregards sovereign state boundaries.
Idahoans, don’t be deceived, the MHCA is a major threat to Idaho and your active involvement in opposition to this proposal is needed. Send an email to the USFWS at MOHWCA@fws.gov by November 27, 2023 and voice your opposition to this proposal. Alert your county commissioners to the operations of these NGOs and the government, use local land use plans to prohibit these actions, and educate others on the dangers of conservation easements.