Currently viewing the category: "Montana"

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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Governor Bullock recently created the Montana Forest Action Advisory Council that is biased towards logging and is dominated by timber industry interests and supporters to “reduce wildfire risk.”

I don’t expect the Governor to be an expert on wildfire or forest ecology, but it is clear from the makeup of his council that its […]

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Bob Marshall, Aldo Leopold, and Olaus Murie, legendary biologists and founders of The Wilderness Society (TWS), must be crying in their graves.

When Marshall founded the Wilderness Society, he wrote: “We do not want those whose first impulse is to compromise. We want no (fence) straddlers for in […]

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Recently the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MDFWP) Commission voted to permit cattle grazing on the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Approval of livestock grazing on the WMA is based on the theory that a quid pro quo allowing ranchers to graze their cattle on public land will reduce animosity towards wildlife […]

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Across the West,  livestock grazing is one of the most destructive land uses. Some 250 million acres of public lands are grazed by domestic livestock including those administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as national wildlife refuges and even some national park units.

This use is not benign. […]

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A new report by Friends of the Clearwater documents that 18,000 Idaho roadless acres and 22,000 roadless acres in Montana were logged while presumably protected under the Roadless Rule. While commercial logging is illegal, there is a loophole that permits logging for “forest health.”

However, where the Forest Service sees a “health” problem, ecologists such […]

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The threat from House Bill 132 

By Jim Bailey

A proposed apparently minor addition to the legal definition of “wild bison” in Montana could eliminate all possibilities for restoring public, wild bison to the state. This seemingly innocent change exists in House Bill 132 which, as of this writing, has passed the Montana House and […]

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Recently the Helena National Forest released a scoping letter on a proposal to create 39 miles of  mountain biking (aka thrill biker) trails in the Strawberry Butte area of the northern Elkhorn Wildlife Management Area. https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/110309_FSPLT3_4486872.pdf

In its scoping letter, the FS notes that “Since 2001, the Forest has observed an increase in recreational use […]

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Voodoo forest science

On December 5, 2018 By

A hundred years ago or so there was a pseudo-science that focused on measurements of the human skull known as phrenology. Phrenology was based on the flawed assumption that skull size was indicative of intelligence. These studies demonstrated and confirmed that men had larger skulls and thus were smarter than women. The only problem was […]

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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