In December, Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill that would open five wilderness study areas - nearly half a million acres of pristine wildlands - to oil and gas development, mining, and new off-road vehicle use. This bill would constitute the largest rollback of protected lands in Montana’s history.
All of this was done with virtually no input from Montanans - in most cases, residents were cut out of the process entirely. Just one county had a public meeting, and it was so poorly publicized that only two people attended. Montana citizens who depend on WSAs for clean water, backcountry solitude, quiet recreation, wildlife habitat, and economic stability were ignored and sold out by “leaders” who are supposed to represent their interests.
That’s not how Montana works. Our Land, Our Legacy is a coalition of Montanans of all stripes determined to ensure that decisions about Montana’s wildlands are made by and for Montanans, not in Washington for the benefit of a select few. Our wild legacy is at stake.
Click the link in our profile to sign the open letter to Montana’s congressional delegation telling them to defend the wild places that are the heart and soul of Montana.
Not just beautiful, though--the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me. -Haruki Murakami
Happy #WinterSolstice2017 ! Nevada has some of the best night skies in the country, including the Massacre Rim Proposed Wilderness. Home to bighorn sheep, mountain lions, coyotes, ravens and raptors, and more, this place is not only a sanctuary for the night sky but for all the wild things. 📸 @basinlightphotography #WildWashoe
Happy FLPMA Anniversary! Signed on this day in 1976, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act governs how the BLM manages #OurPublicLands , including stunning and rugged Wilderness Study Areas like Buffalo Hills WSA in Washoe County (photo by Brian Beffort). FLPMA requires the BLM to manage the public lands in its care for the present and future benefit of the American people. This means the agency can’t designate all land as Wilderness, just like it can’t release all land for resource extraction. #WildWashoe
Tucked in northern Washoe County and measuring 21 miles long and 18 miles wide, Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area is part of a larger complex of Wilderness Study Areas that includes Buffalo Hills, Twin Peaks, the Skedaddle, and Dry Valley Rim. Managing these areas to enhance ecological health will benefit not only sage-grouse population growth, but other wildlife and human visitors as well. #WildNevada
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki of @nevada_outside. #WildWashoe
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be. -Anne Frank #TakeAHike
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki in the Mt. Stirling Wilderness Study Area.
The Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area in northwestern Nevada is remote and wild – and also one of the darkest places in the lower 48. With no moon present, viewers are able to see our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, commonly known as the Spiral Galaxy, with the naked eye; constellations are hard to pinpoint due to the presence of so many stars. Partnering with the Bureau of Land Management Surprise Field Office, we are working on a proposal to protect this excellent night sky via a Dark Sky Sanctuary designation from the International Dark Sky Association @idadarksky, a non-profit based in Flagstaff, AZ that is dedicated to raising awareness about light pollution and protecting the remaining dark areas. Home to bighorn sheep, mountain lions, coyotes, ravens, and much more, this place is not only a sanctuary for the night sky but for all the wild things. #DarkSky
Photo by Richie Bednarski of @basinlightphotography #WildWashoe
Northwest Nevada’s Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area provides prime habitat for Sage-Grouse and other wildlife. Its 142,000 acres are ideal for primitive recreation like hiking, horseback riding, and rock scrambling. Measuring 21 miles long and 18 miles wide, Poodle Mountain WSA is part of a larger complex of Wilderness Study Areas that includes Buffalo Hills, Twin Peaks, the Skedaddle, and Dry Valley Rim. Managing these areas to enhance ecological health will benefit not only sage-grouse population growth, but also other wildlife and human visitors as well. Photo by Jamey Pyles of @jameypylesphoto #WildNevada#WildWashoe
The rugged Million Hills Wilderness Study Area is part of the stunning Gold Butte National Monument, with over 21,000 acres that provide excellent opportunity for solitude. Alluvial slopes are cut by wide sand washes, and a tilted ridge at southern end of the Million Hills WSA showcases colorful folds and fantastic vistas. #GoldButte
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki of @nevada_outside
Nestled in the southern end of the Wyoming Range, just 12 miles outside of LaBarge, Wyoming, sits a 13,865 acre section of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land called the Lake Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Its steep ridgelines beckon to be explored, promising not just moose, elk, and mule deer, but adventure and a melancholic wanderlust as well. This landscape is an oasis away from the development around south western Wyoming and provides a place for human and animal alike to find solitude and wildness. It is one of the last known places to host a pure strain of Colorado River cutthroat trout; parts of the WSA have even been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to help protect this colorful little trout’s habitat.
Lake Mountain Wilderness Study Area is one of the many WSA’s under the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI). The Sublette county WPLI committee is reviewing this section of land and working to make a recommendation for its designation. These committees are doing important work and need help and input from hunters and anglers alike. The next meeting will be September 6th 2017 at the Sublette County Commissioners meeting room, 21 S. Tyler Avenue, in Pinedale WY. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2vm4SDe and please consider becoming a member of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation today at WyomingWildlife.org
There is no longer time to let others speak for you to protect your wild places and your wildlife.
Ever wondered what a Wilderness Study Area is? The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directed the BLM and Forest Service to inventory and study roadless areas they manage for possible wilderness characteristics. Areas that were found to be wild and natural were ordered to be managed in a way that would maintain their natural character. Over the years some of these areas have become wilderness though acts of Congress while others have been released from WSA status. #themoreyouknow#wildernessstudyarea#keepitwild#congress#nevada#wildnevada#optoutside#explorenevada