Message from the President
January 16, 2023
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and we honor Dr. King as a revolutionary and fighter for the racially oppressed. His life was most extraordinary and fraught with conflict, hardship and isolation, especially during his later years as he began to challenge the power structures of society. In his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King expressed his disdain for “white moderates” who only paid lip service to the cause but did not want their towns hosting marches and demonstrations, demanding that "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators" stay clear. To those who did support the cause, he wrote “they, unlike many of their moderate brothers, have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful ‘action’ antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.” By 1963, Dr. King came to the realization that the Civil Rights Movement had provided white moderates ample opportunity to internalize black struggles, join the cause and take direct action against racial injustice and segregation. He would come to see this constituency as moral failures and the biggest impediment to change.
I would also like to take some time today to reflect on the presidency of Dr. Joseph Scalia III, who has recently stepped down from his post. Joseph was elected as GYWA’s first President some three years ago when our small group of grassroots wilderness activists first came together to fight for the wildlands of Northern Yellowstone. Under Joseph’s leadership, GYWA worked tirelessly to educate the public about the misgivings and deceptions of the Big Green-led Gallatin Forest Partnership. We called out the Forest Service’s culpability in setting in motion the continued destruction of our remaining wilderness-quality lands to special interests through the newly released Custer-Gallatin Forest Plan. Perhaps most impactfully, Joseph led GYWA and the public at large in confronting uncomfortable truths about society and ourselves, asking us to consider the kind of future we want for humanity and the planet. Joseph has left big shoes to fill and we are grateful for his leadership and dedication to wilderness at the helm of GYWA. Lucky for us, Joseph will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and he plans to continue using his voice in support of the cause.
As the new President of GYWA, I would like to first thank all of our members and supporters for your dedication to the cause and we will remain unwavering in our mission to protect and restore the ecological integrity of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Having now embraced the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act we are planning ahead for the rest of 2023 to spread the word of the revolutionary societal change we must see in order to save the remaining wilderness of Northern Yellowstone and its imperiled wildlife like the wolf, grizzly and wolverine that are dependent on wilderness for their continued existence here in Greater Yellowstone.
As we honor Dr. King, we go forward boldly and unafraid because we recognize the urgency of the moment. We must speak truth to power and hold lawmakers and big NGOs’ feet to the fire. Let’s not let history judge us as moderates, satisfied with the status-quo and unwilling to agitate. Once wilderness is lost to development, there is no going back. With so little wild country left and seemingly everything at stake, this is our time to speak up and stand strong for wilderness.
Adam Bronstein - President
Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance
P.S. Please listen to a recent Wilderness Podcast episode with Dr. Scalia titled: Capitalism’s Grip on the Wilderness Movement
The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) would safeguard the roadless lands of the Custer Gallatin National Forest as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, the gold standard of land designations on our public lands.
Want to learn about Wilderness? Visit Wilderness Connect
-Wildgrounds to Playgrounds-
GYWA Webinar Event
Recorded April 8, 2022
Listen to Todd Wilkinson's lecture at the 45th anniversary of the Gallatin Wildlife Association.
A short film by GYWA
The Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance (GYWA) is a non-profit grassroots wilderness organization based in Bozeman, Montana. We formed in early 2019, at a time when our very planet and humanity itself are terribly imperiled, and too many conservation groups keep carving up the landscape, and calling it a victory. We aim to rally public support around the proposal to protect the remaining 1 million plus acres of roadless lands on the Custer Gallatin National Forest north of Yellowstone National Park as Wilderness. These vital wildlands contain world-class wildlife habitat and critical landscape linking the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to other large ecosystems to the north, creating connectivity crucial to the preservation of both the region's and the Earth's threatened biodiversity. Because these dangers have been kept from public awareness, we aim to respectfully open up a needed, hard conversation.
Grizzly Bears and Mountain Bikes Don't Play Nice...
Consider an ongoing donation of $10 per month.
Make a donation at a dollar amount that is comfortable for you.
If you prefer to pick up a pen...
Please send your check to:
Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance
P.O. Box 5256
Bozeman, Montana 59717