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.)

Sen. Tester, Sen. Daines reintroduce Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act

 Sen. Tester, Sen. Daines reintroduce Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act

Today, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) as co-sponsor, reintroduced the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act into the 116th Congress. When passed, the law will prohibit large-scale mining on 30,370 acres of our public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway forever.

(Photo Bill Campbell.)

Looking ahead to 2019 in Greater Yellowstone

Looking ahead to 2019 in Greater Yellowstone

While we had a very successful 2018, we’re looking even more forward to the endeavors of 2019. We’ll be wrapping up a few campaigns, diving deeper into some big projects, and keeping an eye out for new issues in the ecosystem that needs our attention. We asked our staff what they’re most excited for in the New Year and this is what they had to say.

(Photo Louise Johns.)

Making the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act law in 2019

Making the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act law in 2019

Today, we remain close to a major victory for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In the waning days of the lame duck session, the United States Congress deferred a public lands package that included the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act to early January 2019. When passed, the law will prohibit large-scale mining on 30,370 acres of our public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway forever.

Finding the wild wolves of Yellowstone

Finding the wild wolves of Yellowstone

We’re five miles into the Bechler area of Yellowstone National Park, crossing a flat meadow of yellow grasses between forested hummocks.  It’s late August, and the Teton Range, visible behind us, is white from the first snowstorm of the year. Yellowstone Wolf Project Research Associate Kira Cassidy and I are collecting a trail camera that’s been up for nearly a year.  With any luck, it will yield images of the Bechler Wolf Pack, one of the least known packs in the park.

Help protect wintering wildlife and Don’t Poach the Powder

Help protect wintering wildlife and Don’t Poach the Powder

As much as I look forward to hitting my beloved backcountry runs, I know this is also a really hard time for wintering wildlife like bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and moose.  Popular canyon spots on the west side of the Tetons (including Fox, Darby, and Teton Canyon) are important areas for wintering wildlife and will be closing to winter recreation on Thanksgiving – except for travel on designated routes.  And I’m okay with that, because there are lots of other places I can ski. 

GYC supports wildlife crossings on Targhee Pass

GYC supports wildlife crossings on Targhee Pass

Every fall, two of Yellowstone’s nine main elk herds move from their summer range in Yellowstone National Park to their winter range outside of the Park. Both herds need to cross U.S. Highway 20 - one of the busiest thoroughfares to Yellowstone - through Island Park, Idaho, to get there.