[MCN] Dear Senator Daines (Part 1)

John Meyer John at cottonwoodlaw.org
Thu Sep 22 16:59:55 EDT 2016

Hey Bozeman and Missoula,

I sent the letter pasted below to Senator Daines this morning.

I got return messages from the Bozone and Missoula listservs saying the
document from Daines was too large to attach. I apologize if you have
already received this message.

Dear Senator Daines,

On behalf of Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, I would like to thank you
for acknowledging the hard work of my organization. Less than one week ago
you referred to Cottonwood as an “obstructionist group.”

In 2011, Cottonwood helped invalidate the construction permit for a $550
million coal railroad that would have destroyed farmland in southeast
Montana. In 2014, Cottonwood settled a lawsuit against the Montana
Department of Environmental Quality that requires the agency to update more
than 40 expired Clean Water Act permits.

 Your attached letter (p.3) highlights a lawsuit that Cottonwood won for
Canada lynx in the District of Montana and the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. What your letter doesn’t say is that Cottonwood prevailed in that
case because of political interference by a high-ranking federal employee.  She
ended up resigning after her actions were exposed. The employee had a
degree in engineering, but no formal training in biology. What is your

Your attached letter indicates that you would like to “statutorily settle
the matter” in an “energy bill” before the U.S. Supreme Court can hear the
lynx case. Since when is a Republican Senator from Montana scared of the
U.S. Supreme Court?

Your attached letter also characterizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
regulation in question as a “loophole.”  If the agency agreed with you,
couldn’t it issue a new regulation? There is something underhanded about
trying to use an energy bill to overturn five years of judicial review.

You may not know this, but Cottonwood provides on the ground support to
help state and federal agencies recover Montana’s wildlife. We recently met
with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to discuss potential timber projects
that would allow bighorn sheep to be reintroduced onto Bighorn Mountain in
the Gravelly Mountains of southwest Montana.  Our project would be designed
by independent, federal, and state biologists; create jobs; and help
restore wildlife.

Do most Montanans want to restore bighorn sheep onto Bighorn Mountain?
Cottonwood believes that it would create new hunting opportunities.

Montana residents look forward to your response.

Best regards,

/s/ John Meyer

P.S. Cottonwood Environmental Law Center is recognized by the IRS as a
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As such, this letter is not intended to
influence legislation in any way. Instead, we hope to educate the public
about important issues that affect Montanans.


John Meyer
Executive Director
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
P.O. Box 412
Bozeman, MT 59771
John at Cottonwoodlaw.org
(406) 546-0149

The information contained herein is privileged and confidential. If you are
not the intended recipient, you must delete this email and inform the
sender of the error.
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