Currently viewing the tag: "wilderness"

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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I recently got a survey from a mountain biking advocate asking me if I agreed with the premise that bikes belong in designated wilderness.

This person justified mountain bike access to wilderness and recommended wilderness areas because they maintain trails and create new trails that are open to hikers and horse riders. And oh, by […]

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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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In the recent Public Lands legislation that was passed by Congress, Oregon got some new protected landscapes including the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, 250 miles of new Wild and Scenic River segments on the Rogue and Molalla rivers and measures such as a mining ban on the Chetco River. This legislation was a good but a […]

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Dead. Most of us have negative associations with the word. After all how did Death Valley get its name? Not because it was a favorite vacation spot for prospectors. Is anyone interested in fishing the Dead Sea? And when we say someone looks like “death warmed over” it’s not usually taken as a compliment. […]

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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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In recent years it has become fashionable for conservationists to substitute and promote other land classification in place of wilderness designation. Wilderness is “passé” so we are told, even though it is the “gold standard” for land protection.

In a recent white paper, The Wilderness Society outlined some of these alternatives such as National Recreation […]

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The spectacularly glaciated Gallatin Range stretches south from Bozeman into Yellowstone National Park. The 250,000-acre roadless area is the largest unprotected wildlands left in the northern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

WILDLIFE VALUES

The Buffalohorn and Porcupine drainages (BHP) that drain into the Gallatin River near Big Sky, Montana are a miniature ecological equivalent of the Lamar […]

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“The grazing of livestock, where established prior to the effective

date of this Act, shall be permitted to continue subject to such

reasonable regulations as are deemed necessary by the Secretary of

Agriculture.”

The Wilderness Act of 1964, Section 4(d)(4)(2)

Livestock grazing occurs on some […]

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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