With 12 percent of our Treasure State
suffering the drought of the century, over 300,000
acres of central Montana range and timberland has
Producers in the Missouri Breaks are a special breed
and today’s column is for those far from the fire
line, but whose actions may be the death nail for
cowboys struggling to survive the wildfire.
Consider what happened to our neighbors to
A North Dakota rancher recently
suffered financial damage and loss of property as if
his ranch burned in a sweeping prairie fire.
It did not.
Without smoke, flames or heat, his ag
operation fell victim to the most dangerous threat
of modern times—progressives blinded by good
intentions teaming with Republicans eager to
Here is how the fire started:
In 2012, an animal welfare ballot
initiative, Measure 5, was soundly defeated by North
Never yielding, the US Humane Society coerced
the ND Farm Bureau to help shepherd their
legislative version of Measure 5 through the 2013
Sadly, after dangerous compromises and
meaningless amendments, the bill became law and
rendered a new normal in North Dakota.
On April 22, 2017, Gary
Dassinger’s Gladstone ranch was visited by law
officers who began the process of confiscating
animals deemed neglected.
The time of the year, the age of the animals
and their true body condition are insignificant
technicalities compared to the truth Mr. Dassinger
was unconstitutionally robbed of his property
without notice or conviction in court.
Fifth Amendment rights to due process of law
no longer exist in North Dakota and by granting
immunity to all individuals working to “save the
puppies”, he has limited legal recourse.
I served in Montana’s House in
2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Each session, animal rightists recruited
legislators to introduce similar bills always
disguised as “saving the puppies.”
unique in technique, each elevated government power
above the property rights of the animal owner.
We tabled them all.
Those who took my place in the 2015 and 2017
sessions also successfully rejected the same bills,
but in 2019, Big Sky Country might not be so lucky
and this brings me to my point.
Missouri Break’s producers who
nearly lost everything in the Lodgepole Complex Fire
may find their surviving livestock a little thin
over the next year.
Give thanks constitutional, Montana
legislators consistently defeated the “save the
puppies” legislation, or the government could steal
the few thin cows they have left.
The USHS will return, so you best know the
core belief of the legislator you send to Helena.
hold the Constitution as a sacred document, or do
they discard it as outdated?