Monday, June 26, 2017

Advocates outraged over reassignment of Forest Service ranger

Conservation and public lands access advocates are outraged over the reassignment of a Forest Service district ranger who had tangled with landowners over public access in the Crazy Mountains. Alex Sienkiewicz was removed from his position as the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s Yellowstone District Ranger last week and reassigned to lead the team analyzing a potential mineral withdrawal in the Absaroka Mountains south of Livingston. He also faces an internal review. The move came after years of trail disputes with landowners in the Crazy Mountains, which fell under his jurisdiction. One such dispute resulted in a hunter being cited for trespassing. The hunter settled the case last week. Marna Daley, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service, said Sienkiewicz is filling a void the forest had been unable to fill by taking over the mineral withdrawal team. She didn’t offer any more detail on the review or its origins, other than to confirm that landowner concerns had been raised with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and that removing Sienkiewicz is meant to distance him from the issues involved in the internal review...more

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