Montana Public Radio

wilderness

A bill heard in a U.S. Senate committee on Sept. 16 proposes nearly 90 thousand acres of new wilderness and recreation areas in northwest Montana.

The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act stems from nearly a decade of collaboration between people representing wilderness, recreation and timber interests near Seeley Lake.

About 200 people attended the festival's business panel at the Wilma Theater in Missoula
Eric Whitney

Groups promoting the economic value of public lands in Montana held their third annual Last Best Outdoors Fest event to get their message out in Missoula yesterday.

The event brought bands, beer and information booths to Caras Park downtown, and a panel of business leaders to speak at the Wilma theatre.

"We aren’t just a place you can come visit, but we’re a place that you can come make a living," said Evan Tipton, who was on the panel.

National Forest Wilderness Sign
Jason Crotty (CC-BY-2)

Due the partial federal government shutdown that started in December, the Bitterroot National Forest is extending a comment period on whether helicopters should be allowed to fly into a wilderness area to repair a century-old dam.

Andrew Larson is the new director of the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute.
Courtesy Andrew Larson

Andrew Larson, The new director of the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute wants to continue refining the organization’s core mission of education, research and service. But Larson also says, "One of the things that I’m hoping we can accomplish is to place wilderness in a broader context."

Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Kathleen Williams debated on Montana PBS Saturday, October 6
Montana PBS

Two of Montana’s congressional candidates squared off Saturday night for their final debate before November’s election.

Republican incumbent Greg Gianforte and Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams’ debate took place on a closed MontanaPBS set in Bozeman.

Montana U.S. House candidates Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams.
(Williams: Olga Kreimer/MTPR)

Wilderness Study Areas:

During the debate, Congressman Greg Gianforte pushed back at challenger Kathleen Williams’ accusation that he had introduced legislation, without public input, to release more than 700,000 acres lands classified as Wilderness Study Areas.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen vows the agency will meet with mountain biking groups who want to regain access to two wilderness study areas in the Bitterroot National Forest.
(PD)

The Bitterroot National Forest has kicked off a 45-day objection period focusing on bicycle access in two wilderness study areas.

The Blue Joint WSA is south of Darby in the Bitterroot mountains along the Idaho border. The Sapphire WSA is southeast of Hamilton.


  A couple of commercial guide and outfitter permits that have been dormant for several years are being re-activated on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.

A screen capture from https://www.swanson4liberty.com/ on 08-17-18.
https://www.swanson4liberty.com/

Earlier this week we heard from the major party candidates in the race for Montana’s U.S. House seat on the topic of Wilderness Study Areas. Both Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams and Republican incumbent Greg Gianforte held roundtable discussions about them on Wednesday.

Today, we’re getting the perspective of Libertarian candidate Elinor Swanson, a Billings attorney.

Kathleen Williams, Democratic candidate for U.S. House at her roundtable discussion in Missoula, MT about Wilderness Study Areas, August 15, 2018.
Eric Whitney

The Democratic and Republican candidates for Montana’s U.S. House seat both held roundtable discussions about Wilderness Study Areas Wednesday.

Kathleen Williams, the Democratic challenger, hosted hers at the University of Montana, and her campaign's Facebook page shared a link to a Facebook Live stream. 

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