Currently viewing the category: "Wilderness/Roadless"

 

Smith River, Little Belt Mountains,  Helena Lewis and Clark NF. The FS could not find a single acre in the Little Belt Mountains worthy of wilderness recommendation. Photo by George Wuerthner

The recently released Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Service (HLCNF) plan is a huge disappointment by recommending only 153,000 acres out […]

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The recently released Custer Gallatin National Forest Service plan shrinks interim wilderness protections for the 155,000-acre Hyalite Porcupine Buffalohorn Wilderness Study Area (HPBH WSA).

The HPBH WSA was established by Senate bill S. 393 in 1977. Among the mandates in the Act: SEC. 3. (a) says: “Except as otherwise provided by this section, and subject […]

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Cattle grazing Mojave National Preserve, CA. Photo by George Wuerthner

The 1964 Wilderness Act requires federal agencies to protect and manage designated wilderness areas “to preserve its natural conditions.” Given that all domestic livestock are exotic alien animals and hardly contribute to “natural conditions,” one might assume that livestock production would be […]

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One of the most outstanding wildlands on the Custer Gallatin National Forest is the 43,759-acre proposed Lionhead Wilderness. The Lionhead lies along the Continental Divide and rises up above  Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone. The Madison River and Quake Lake on the north, while Targhee Pass on the south and Raynold […]

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Recently there has been a spate of commentaries advocating collaboration as a means of resolving issues surrounding which public lands should be given the “Gold Standard” of wilderness protection under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Advocates of collaboration, including some representatives of Montana’s various conservation organizations, argue that only collaboration can “resolve” the issues in today’s […]

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Wilderness designation preserves many values. Designated wilderness is a storehouse for carbon and insurance against climate change. Wilderness preserves critical wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors. Wilderness provides for clean water and clean air. And, of course, designated wilderness protects the scenery and ecosystem integrity that supports Montana’s economy.

However, there is yet another value preserved […]

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Montana Wilderness Deficit

On September 19, 2019 By

Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well […]

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The Gallatin Range south of Bozeman, Montana is one of the most critical wildlife areas in the northern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Indeed, protecting the remaining roadless lands (approximately 230,000 acres) as wilderness is vital to maintaining the ecosystem integrity of the GYE.

The Gallatin Range is home to one of the densest populations […]

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Mountain Biking is a significant threat to our wildlands—both in designated preserves like national parks, wilderness areas, and the like, but also Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and roadless lands that may potentially be given Congressional protection under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Wilderness designation is one of the best ways to protect biodiversity, watersheds, wildlife […]

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As we ponder the future of public lands in Montana, including what areas deserve protection as Wilderness, it is worthwhile to look back in history to see how past protective measures were viewed.

In 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park many Montana citizens were outraged. For example, the Helena Gazette opined: “We […]

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey