Custer Gallatin National Forest

Newspaper Opinion: Our Last, Best Chance to Protect the Gallatins

Newspaper Opinion: Our Last, Best Chance to Protect the Gallatins

June 6 is a date looming large for those who prize the Gallatin Range. It’s the last day the public can submit comments on how the U.S. Forest Service should manage the Custer Gallatin National Forest, including the Gallatins, for the next 20 to 30 years.

No surprise then that emotions among those with a vested interest in the Gallatins have been running high over the last several weeks. Nothing less than the fate of our beloved backyard mountains – and their wildlife, waters, and recreational opportunities – is at stake.

Chronicle column: Gallatin Forest Partnership: A path forward for our wild backyard

Chronicle column: Gallatin Forest Partnership: A path forward for our wild backyard

You have the chance to help determine the future of our wild backyard for the next 30 years.

We are lucky to call the Gallatin and Madison mountains home. They provide abundant wildlife, clean drinking water, and wild trails – but for how much longer? Between skyrocketing populations and a changing landscape, these constants of mountain living are starting to look a lot less certain. Now the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s management plan is up for its once-in-a-generation revision, giving us our chance to secure our mountains’ future.

Public lands in public hands: the Gallatin Forest Partnership

Public lands in public hands: the Gallatin Forest Partnership

As a community organizer, I spend a lot of time thinking about how and why people come together. In today’s age of polarizing politics, common ground is admittedly hard to come by. Fortunately for us in Montana, we’ve got plenty of it – over 30 million acres, in fact. Our abundant public land is the literal common ground upon which all manner of Montanans stand to celebrate, enjoy, and defend.

(Photo Eliza Wiley.)