Currently viewing the tag: "Montana"

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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CAPTION: Open space is not the same as good wildlife habitat. The hayfield shown here has limited wildlife value. The willows and other shrubs on the left are along a creek protected from livestock by a rural subdivision. The right side of the photo dominated by grasses and an entrenched […]

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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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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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Billings, Montana has seen a steady increase in population and economic diversity. In all likelihood, Billings will continue to grow. At a modest average growth of 1.5 percent a year, Billing’s population will increase by more than 40,000 people in 20 years.

At the same time, Billing’s economy has greatly diversified. […]

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Wilderness and wildlife define the character of Montana. If you were to ask people what comes to mind when you mention Montana, they are likely to say Glacier, Yellowstone, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, charismatic wildlife like grizzlies and wolves, and trout streams like the Upper Yellowstone or Madison Rivers.

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Wilderness and wildlife define the character of Montana. If you were to ask people what comes to mind when you mention Montana, they are likely to say Glacier, Yellowstone, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, charismatic wildlife like grizzlies and wolves, and trout streams like the Upper Yellowstone or Madison Rivers.

It is beyond comprehension […]

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With both Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte sponsoring legislation to remove wilderness study designation for some Montana Forest Service and BLM lands, it behooves us to consider what is at stake. These lands are some of the finest wildlands left in the Nation. Protecting Montana’s wildlands is good for the ecology and economy of the […]

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The announcement by Senator John Tester that he would be introducing legislation to protect approximately 80,000 acres in the Blackfoot Clearwater area adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness is to be commended. I have personally hiked all the areas included in this legislation and can attest to its important to the ecological integrity of the […]

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With much fanfare, as reported in the Great Falls Tribune, the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team announced that it will bequeath more than $1.5 million for a 18,033-acre conservation easement on the 44 Ranch west of Winnett in Fergus and Petroleum Counties. Ostensibly, the state money, as well as additional private and federal government […]

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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