Currently viewing the tag: "wilderness"

In recent weeks, misinformed Douglas County politicians have expressed opposition to the 500,000 acre Crater Lake Wilderness proposal based on the misguided belief that wilderness designation poses a wildfire threat. They argue that “active management,” meaning logging, can preclude or prevent such blazes. But this demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand fire ecology.

Just as […]

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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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Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley have introduced the ‘‘Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act’’ (MCEOA). The senators can be commended for taking on such a controversial issue and trying to find a solution to public lands protection.

While the bill would designate more than a million acres of new wilderness, and among other positive […]

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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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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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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