Biologically it is one of the more diverse and important areas in the entire Yellowstone ecosystem. The range is critical habitat for Grizzly Bear, Lynx, Wolverine, Bighorn Sheep, and other rarer mammals. In addition, the lower elevations sustain thousands of wintering Elk and an important migration corridor.
Indeed, the Montana Natural Heritage Program lists 18 birds, 8 mammals, 3 fish, 3 amphibians, and 1 reptile as “at risk” or declining in numbers, demonstrating the need to provide the strongest protection possible for this area.
A debate exists among conservation advocates over the best way to protect the rich biological heritage of this landscape. Read More
The CGNF is not the nation's wood box, nor should it be the nation’s outdoor gymnasium. What the CGNF does best is provide for high-quality wild lands.
Wild lands protection is critical to the quality of life of the region’s communities, and essential to the outdoor economy that draws visitors, as well as contributing to the well being of residents providing clean water, important fish habitat, critical wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty. Read More
Among the areas that deserve wilderness protection are the Great Burn outside of Missoula, Scotchman's Peak south of Libby, the Blue Joint near Darby, the East and West Pioneers near Dillon, the Ten Lakes and Whitefish Range near Kalispell, the Big Snowies outside of Lewistown, the Lionhead by West Yellowstone, the Gallatin Range by Bozeman, the Crazy Mountains by Livingston, Bitter Creek by Glasgow, Mount Baldy by Helena, the Pryor Mountains by Billings and the Terry Badlands near Miles City.
We often hear opponents of wilderness arguing that the designation of more wilderness will somehow harm the state's economy. California, which is only slightly larger than Montana, has nearly five times as much acreage in the wilderness, with 15.3 million acres in the federal wilderness system. California remains one of the economic powerhouses in the entire world. Wilderness designation has not harmed the California economy. Read More
An Act To establish certain wilderness areas in South Central and Eastern Montana, to make additional wild and scenic river designations in the State of Montana, and to authorize various land conveyances involving National Forest System land. Read the Draft