Montana Outdoors

October 1, 2012

Our roadless National Forest land.

This past week the United States Supreme Court denied the state of Wyoming’s petition to review the Roadless Area Conservation Rule case bringing very good news for the millions of Americans who appreciate and want to protect the nation’s 58 million acres of pristine roadless forest land. The Roadless Rule affects all Americans because it protects land in our National Forests, land that is owned by ALL Americans, not just those in the states where the land lies. Press release by The Wilderness Society

Following are a few photos showing land that is not protected by the rule and then a few of National Forest land that is protected.

Smiley Creek

Smiley Creek area

Todd Creek area

Todd Springs area

Todd Creek area

Todd Springs area

Todd Creek area

Todd Springs area

Todd Creek area

Todd Springs area

Evans Gulch Roadless area

In the Evans Gulch Roadless area

From Seven Point Mountain

Photo taken from Seven Point Mountain in the Cataract Roadless area

From Seven Point Mountain

Photo taken from Seven Point Mountain in the Cataract Roadless area

Pear Lake

Pear Lake in the Evans Gulch Roadless area

Pear Lake

Pear Lake in the Evans Gulch Roadless area

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66 Comments »

  1. The difference is plain to see – that is very good news for anyone who loves the wilderness and its wildlife. Superb photos – I just can’t get over the intensity of the sky. Guess we haven’t seen much blue sky over here this summer!

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — October 2, 2012 @ 1:53 am

    • Unfortunately, there is a mind-set here, particularly in political circles, that the National Forests do not belong to the nation as a whole, but for the people of this state and that we should capitalize on the resources therein, which always results in the destruction of the original ecology. It is a very selfish and short-sighted attitude. It seems to me to be self-evident that nature is not making any more wilderness and what we still have needs to be preserved and protected.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  2. Hooray (this time) for the SCOTUS! Your photos would make for an open and shut case.

    Like

    Comment by jomegat — October 2, 2012 @ 2:35 am

    • Yes, Hooray! Sadly, my photos can only show a little of the beauty of the wild natural places, but not the the vital biodiversity that they represent or the extent that the watershed contained in them is vital to the health and future of our planet.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  3. I’d rather see trees than stumps and am against seeing oil wells in National Parks, so that’s the way I vote. It’s quite obvious that lumber and oil companies care nothing about the land or conservation.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — October 2, 2012 @ 4:36 am

    • True. Those who exploit the natural lands have a very short-sighted attitude and if they had their way, they would use them all up as quickly as possible, amassing wealth along the way and leaving a planet unable to function well enough to support humanity. Ultimately the planet would be just fine, but without our species as part of the ecology.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  4. Good news. There was something I was reading about it the other day but it was about someone who had land in a national park and he wanted to build a town or something. I am not sure if they ruled on that or not yet. National forest should be off limits to developers and such. Apparently there are always loopholes and they find them. Too bad for us.

    Like

    Comment by Roberta — October 2, 2012 @ 6:36 am

    • Protecting the National forests is a perpetual battle. I find it so ironic in a state like Montana where tourism is such a huge part of the state’s revenue stream that so many are willing to destroy that which brings in the visitors.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  5. FANTASTIC… Like you say, there’s one issue that’s at stake on the part of the companies who would contest the law: MONEY. It’s sure not the protection of what little pristine land remains…

    Wonderful images to demonstrate the point!!

    Like

    Comment by FeyGirl — October 2, 2012 @ 6:38 am

    • Yes, quick money to be made and nearly every time the rubble that remains behind become a burden for the taxpayers to mitigate where mitigation is even possible. I see forest areas that have been so badly damaged that they will never be forests again, at least not in this millennium. We are killing the ecosystem that supports the life of our species.

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      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

      • VERY well said. I think forums such as this, and images to demonstrate these points, help. There’s nothing like a visual.

        Like

        Comment by FeyGirl — October 3, 2012 @ 8:15 am

  6. That is great news!

    Like

    Comment by sandy — October 2, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    • Yes it is! And thankfully those organizations who have fought so hard for it will continue their efforts of conservation.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

  7. Very well selected, illustrative examples of the ugly and bad vs. the good.

    Quite remarkable the court held in this manner, but it is obviously a very good decision.

    Like

    Comment by Dave at collinda — October 2, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    • I was surprised and very gratified at the court’s decision! Happily they have demonstrated a wisdom beyond their cloistered existence.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  8. A picture is worth a thousand words — so, a few pairings of pictures, like yours, should be worth many thousands, Montucky.
    Very good job here!

    Like

    Comment by C.C. — October 2, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    • Thanks. Pictures do go a long way in letting people see what it there, good and bad. Along with them also must be the ecological knowledge if people like Bill at Wild Ramblings for a complete story.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  9. I am not an excessively political person, but on the rare and much needed occation, if you come across a petition that needs signing, (one that can accept out of state signatures), I’d be happy to add my signature to a growing list in order to keep OUR wilderness in the best possible condition. I bet a lot of your readers would be glad to do so. 🙂

    Like

    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — October 2, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    • Thank you. I will keep that in mind and post some links to things like that as they come up. Getting the right kind of attention to issues with our National Forests is difficult because many people who live all across America don’t always realize that they hold as much ownership of the National Forests in Montana that I love so much as I do.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  10. Great post. Everyone needs to see this!

    Like

    Comment by westerner54 — October 2, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    • Thank you! I wish more people could. Sometimes I feel like the guy playing the proverbial one-string banjo, but it is the main reason for my blog.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  11. Wonderful news for all of us! Yay!

    Like

    Comment by allbymyself09 — October 2, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    • Yes, good news indeed, yet we cannot ever relax our vigilance.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

  12. Some wonderful country!

    Like

    Comment by Phil Lanoue — October 2, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  13. Great news!!

    Like

    Comment by alskamom — October 2, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    • It sure is! Now it there can be an equally good resolution to the individual issues in several states that are still pending including about 9 million acres in dispute in Idaho and 15 million acres in Alaska.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  14. Traveling through right now and I absolutely love the state of Montana. Beautiful! I could take pictures all day, every day. Still enjoying the ones you post too.

    Like

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 2, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    • I was thinking about your trip. Looks like maybe the smoke is clearing now and that should make things more pleasant. Have a great stay and stay safe on the roads!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

      • Smoky in the Missoula area but clearer farther east. Lots of wildlife to see. Wonderful state to travel through. I hope to use some of the photos I took to post a blog soon.They won`t be the quality of your photos, but hope to show the look of the land.

        Like

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 3, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  15. That’s great news, Terry. Sometimes the right side wins. You must be very gratified.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — October 2, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    • Yes, and it’s a very big win. I feel good for the areas in 38 states that now have a more solid protection, but sad for the 12 that have no roadless land.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  16. What an amazing ‘photo-essay’ and reminder of the importance of protecting our wilderness. Well done!

    Like

    Comment by Marcie — October 3, 2012 @ 5:29 am

  17. Great post Montucky! Everyone needs to see this, including politicians. All of them need to come back to reality and live in the world we all do. I realize we need resources, but there are ways to acquire them without totally destroying the area for eternity. If there is room on the wagon, I would be happy to jump on!

    Like

    Comment by dhphotosite — October 3, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    • One of my greatest wishes is that everyone at some time could experience true wild country and spend enough time within it to understand how vital it is for all of us; and how fragile it really is as well. I hope that my photos help, but I know that they have a very limited effect.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  18. road-less is gorgeous!

    Like

    Comment by Tammie — October 3, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  19. Beautiful series of photos. The weatherman said it was snowing in Montana this morning… hoping to see some snow covered larches on here shortly. 😉

    Like

    Comment by kcjewel — October 3, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    • The larch has only begun to turn; now, just a light lime-green. But the ones that live above about 5000 feet have white hats today.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

  20. Have you thought of sending this post – and the comments from people – to the Supreme Court? Or, perhaps, to someone in Montana with Court contacts? It never hurts to let people know when they’ve done something right – sometimes, it helps encourage them to do right again. Conservationists need to do what political candidates are learning to do – nationalize their causes just as campaigns are being nationalized. With the limited number of Senators, for example, the vote of the person in South Dakota or Maryland may be as important as that of my own Senators here in Texas.

    Louisiana is trying to do that with coastal restoration – and with some success!

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — October 3, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    • There are far better spokespersons than I working on doing that. I have been able to support them sometimes in a small way. A year ago, Earth Justice did use some of my photos from within roadless areas in a promotion on their website. There is no political support for the roadless areas from anyone in Montana. Indeed, the winds of politics blow hard against them, despite a lot of lies from Senators Tester and Baucus and one single Representative, Denny Rehberg. They give conservation some degree of lip service, but their actions are always in favor of the exploiters.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

      • That just seems astonishing to me – that even within Montana there should be so little support. Ah, well. On we go.

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        Comment by shoreacres — October 3, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

        • There is support from a lot of Montana folks, but unfortunately, not those in the political arena, and that’s even worse now when the politicos preface every project they are pushing for their industry supporters with “it creates jobs”. They are pushing logging now despite that a lot of the lumber that is being produced is being shipped to China. I don’t believe that is a good use of forest resources that will take two hundred years (if ever) to replace, and it creates very few jobs at that.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  21. Thank you for sharing, Terry…thank you for the photos, too…recognized a few of them from earlier posts…wonderful….

    Like

    Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    • Perhaps as time permits you can add to this from some of the Utah roadless areas too. I see that there are over 4 million acres of it there; wish I were closer!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

      • I need to investigate that, Terry…thank you.

        Like

        Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

        • If you haven’t seen it before Scott, check http://www.roadlessland.org/map.php?state=UT

          Like

          Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

          • I’ve still got the page up on the computer, Terry…there are three Wilderness areas that I hike in regularly, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Aire, and Twin Peaks…all three are in our Wasatch-Cache National Forest that entails the Wasatch Mountains right here in/alongside SLC…just read an article from the SL Tribune, also…good history of the issue and court ruling…while Colorado has their own modified version that allows them to mine in part of the area…seems like a violation to me, regardless of the jobs that it secures….

            Like

            Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

            • I’m sure every potential loophole will be exploited, as usual. That’s why blogs like ours at least do some good in reaching people who get a one-sided story from the media.

              Like

              Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

              • Yes, as usual…and there does seem to be quite a few people who visit and comment on the natural wonders that we share. I hope it helps…even a little.

                Like

                Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

                • I’ve learned over the time I’ve kept up this blog that there are surprising impacts from it, and that makes me keep on doing it.

                  Like

                  Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

          • That’s the exact page I’m looking at here….

            Like

            Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

            • It’s one of my favorite websites. I really need to spend some time and put more photos on there too

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              Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

              • I looked at several of the photos from my area…didn’t notice that we could add our own…will check it out further.

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                Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

                • It’s pretty easy to do and Nelson appreciates it.

                  Like

                  Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

  22. Great news indeed. I support of forest protection. Here even quite near to Helsinki it is done. Well, Your photos were giving great report.

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — October 4, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

    • I am glad to know that they are doing the same thing there to support the forests. It is so important!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  23. Was totally unaware of this type of thing going on in the first place. Your photos were a sure eye opener.

    Like

    Comment by Preston Surface — October 8, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    • In the northwestern states there is a strong carryover from the frontier attitude of capitalizing on the natural resources. The citizens of the western states have the idea that because the forests are here, they are to be exploited by the residents without understanding that they are National forests, owned by all of the citizens of the country. There is a constant struggle between those who want to preserve the natural land and those who want to make money from it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  24. Another wonderful post with amazing shots !

    Like

    Comment by Inspired and pretty — October 8, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    • Thanks! The roadless areas are amazing places. I wish more folks could visit them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

  25. I can’t get my head around the sheer scale of your wilderness, 59 million acres is an immense area. It’s kind of depressing that so many folk see it solely as a source of revenue and simultaneously uplifting that so many more see it for what it is.

    Like

    Comment by Finn Holding — October 16, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    • Unfortunately, no can define exactly how much wild country is absolutely necessary to sustain human life on this earth, I’m afraid that those who are exploiting it will cross that magic line before we really understand it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 16, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  26. I saw your photos a while back of the logs you bring in for fire wood. I would imagine you are pretty careful about where those logs come from!

    Like

    Comment by Margie — October 24, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    • Oh yes! This load came from a private landowner who was logging some of his land. The Lolo National Forest is open for cutting of firewood for personal use with a permit and there are rules that must be followed. They usually open a few of the usually gated roads for firewood cutting, which is a good thing. It clears out quite a few of the trees that died due to beetles or fire.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2012 @ 9:49 pm


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