CS Masthead

Culbertson FFA Hosts Big Muddy District Leadership School

The Culbertson FFA chapter hosted the Big Muddy District Leadership School in Culbertson, Monday, Sept. 8.
Students were split into age groups ad learned and variety of things, ranging from the many different career development events to what the older members can be doing to lead
the younger students and better their chapter.
Many of the activities involved mingling with other students from different chapters, as well as
learning what today’s young students can do to be involved and help out with their community. A few select students were also asked to speak to the younger group about the many different trips they have been on through FFA, such as: Washington Leadership Conference, Alumni Leadership Camp, National FFA Convention and Ag Tours.
At the end of the night all students went home with new ideas and goals for the new year in FFA.

First Checks Mailed In Nearly $950 Million Cobell Class Action Payment

The first checks for the nearly $950 million Cobell Indian Trust Settlement were mailed Monday, Sept. 15.
The U.S. Department of Interior provided information to the Garden City Group of Seattle, Wash., the court-appointed administrator, last week.
The Garden City Group Inc. and Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton, announced that the first checks were mailed Monday, Sept. 15, to the trust administration class in the Cobell Indian Trust Settlement.
“Garden City is sending checks to trust administration class members where we have a current address beginning today,” Garden City chief operating officer Jennifer Keough said.
The Cobell Settlement is the largest class action settlement against the federal government. Filed in 1996 by the late Elouise Cobell and other Native American leaders, it sought an accounting of the individual Indian trust accounts and reform of the trust system, which had been mismanaged for over a century. Once the case settled, counsel for the plaintiffs, Bill Dorris and David Smith were tasked with distributing funds to 500,000 individual Indian beneficiaries across the country. However, the records from the Department of Interior reflected decades of neglect.  
“There were insufficient or absolutely no addresses for over 315,000 class members, 22,000 individuals Interior listed as alive were deceased, over 1,200 Interior listed as deceased we found were still alive, and there were thousands of whom Interior had no record at all. But it was important that Elouise Cobell’s legacy be fulfilled and that class members receive the money to which they were entitled under the settlement. By working closely with tribes, associations, and individual Indians across the country we were able, in just over a year and a half, to fix trust records that had not been adequately addressed by the federal government for generations,” Smith said.
More information is available at www.indiantrust.com.

Bullock Signs Executive Order Establishing Sage Grouse Habitat

Gov. Steve Bullock was joined by representatives from natural resource industries, ranchers, wind power advocates, sportsmen and conservationists, as he signed an executive order establishing the Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program, Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The program, which was developed from the ground up, and has broad support from a diverse group of interests, seeks to maintain state management of the sage grouse by protecting its habitat, while respecting the private property rights of Montanans.
“Montanans recognize that it is in the best interest of our state, its economy, and our quality of life, to maintain state management of the Greater Sage-grouse,” Bullock said of the executive order. “Through a public process, and the work of a diverse group of stakeholders, we’ve developed a dynamic, and science-based approach to ensure this bird remains under state management, and is not listed under the Endangered Species Act.”
Once established, the program will work to implement the requirements laid out in the executive order, including a review process for actions that might impact the bird or its habitat, including industry-specific measures. In addition, the order addresses, among other topics: adopts a comprehensive program for keeping sage grouse management in the states hands; recognizes the important role that Montana’s private landowners play in sage grouse conservation and the need for voluntary incentives to help those landowners to stay on the land and preserve vital sage grouse habitat; creates the Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program and the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team, attached to the Governor’s Office, to maintain state leadership, administer the program based on sound science, and continue to bring Montanans together to move sage grouse management forward; strikes the appropriate balance to preserve the sage grouse and its habitat and protect valid rights and existing land uses and activities; and ensures that Montana and Montanans will continue to manage this iconic species for the benefit of future generations – and continue to economically prosper from the industries that have existed in sage grouse country.
In addition, the executive order makes it clear that existing land uses and activities are not subject to the order, some uses and landowner activities are exempt from compliance with the strategy, including  county road maintenance, and production and maintenance activities associated with existing oil, gas, communication tower and power line facilities.
“We appreciate the efforts and leadership from Governor Bullock to ensure that management of the sage grouse remains in state hands,” said Dave Galt, Executive Director of the Montana Petroleum Association. “By working together, we’ll ensure that we can protect not only this bird, but also economic opportunity and quality of life for all Montanans.”
“Continued state management of the sage grouse is important for all Montanans, especially for cattle ranchers,” Errol Rice, Executive Vice President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association said. “With an eye towards solutions, stakeholders with diverse viewpoints have come together to find science-based ways to ensure that we are protecting this bird, while respecting the needs of Montana ranching families.”
“We applaud the Governor’s willingness to step up to the plate to launch this important conservation program. Science shows that business-as-usual will have devastating effects on sage-grouse over the long-term. We all need to follow the emerging science and work closely together to conserve this iconic species. And what’s good for sage-grouse and sagebrush is good for a whole host of at-risk wildlife species—making this an important conservation program for the state of Montana and our wildlife,” said Janet Ellis, Program Director for Montana Audubon.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring the state retains management of the sage grouse for the benefit out our state’s economy and quality of life,” Glenn Marx, Executive Director of the Montana Association of Land Trusts said. “Through incentive-based conservation projects and actions, this plan recognizes that private land owners will play an important part in our success going forward.”
The program will be administratively attached the to the Governor’s Office. When fully implemented, the program will have up to six full-time staff. The Governor’s upcoming budget will include funding for the program, however until that budget is approved, the Governor intends to work with stakeholders to raise private funds help the program get off the ground.
In addition, the Bullock indicated that his upcoming executive budget will include a proposal for a Sage Grouse Stewardship and Conservation Fund, designed to, among other objectives,  promote and fund voluntary incentive-based non-regulatory programs and practices on private land to conserve sage grouse habitat [if approved by the Legislature].
The executive order was based off of recommendations of the Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Advisory Council, which Bullock established in 2013. The Advisory Council gathered information, and brought stakeholders and experts together in a public process to recommend conservation measures to address the primary and secondary threats to the greater sage-grouse in Montana. These recommendations were presented to Bullock in January.
The executive order is available online at: http://governor.mt.gov/Portals/16/docs/2014EOs/EO_10_2014_SageGrouse.pdf.

Roosevelt County Jail Roster For Sept. 18

(Editor’s note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday Sept. 15, 10 inmates were incarcerated, Valley County Detention Center was holding two females and one male and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding four males to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail as of Monday, Sept. 8: Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; Malinda Bibb, 31, Minot, N.D., arrested on a warrant; Michael Conant, 34,  McCabe, partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief, felony assault on a peace officer; Scott Crain, 27, Froid, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and misdemeanor criminal mischief; Andrew Giles, 32, Wolf Point, criminal contempt warrant and driving without a valid driver’s license; Tina Houim, 50, Tioga, N.D., criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence; Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of- county warrant; Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft and obstruction of a peace officer; and Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Correction For Photo ID

A caption under a photo on the front page last week should have read Culbertson School board chairman Paul Finnicum explains about the school’s achievements to Lt. Gov. Angela McLean. Also pictured is school board member Ron Larsen.