Currently viewing the tag: "Montana"

Paradise Valley, Montana. Photo by George Wuerthner

 

Paradise Valley, Montana, is aptly named. The Yellowstone River flows north to Livingston, Montana, framed by the Absaroka Mountains on the east and the Gallatin Range on the West. It’s one of the most stunning landscapes in the entire West.

Due to its location […]

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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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The 275,000-acre Great Burn proposed wilderness lies west of Missoula on the Idaho-Montana divide. The 1910 Burn, which over ran 3 million acres of northern Idaho and western Montana, gives this wildland its name. The Burn left a legacy of snags and beautiful vistas from ridgelines cleared by the blaze. Alpine lakes, like a string […]

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Clearcuts in Montana

The Forest Service is once again demonstrating its Industrial Forestry bias with its proposal to treat 3,790 acres by Cruzane Mountain in the Lolo National Forest. An acre is approximately the size of one football field.

The District Ranger suggests that treatments will “address insect and disease impacts and improve […]

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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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Recently the Idaho Fish and Game changed its rules to allow any hunter or trapper to kill up to 30 wolves per year. And the state is considering a proposal to open much of the state to year-round wolf killing.

In Montana, the MDFWP is discussing increases from 5 to 10 wolf tags for some […]

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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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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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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