Gallatin Wildlife Association

Wildlife Advocates for Southwestern Montana

 

The Privatelization of Public Lands

 

 

Events Yet to Come:

 

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Emerson Theater - February 16 at 06:00pm

 

Wild and Scenic Film Festival February 16th Free Event for the Bozeman Community

 

In conjunction with the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, the Gallatin Wildlife Association is pleased to bring back this annual event!

 

 

GWA is proud to once again be associated with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club to host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Emerson Theater in Bozeman on Saturday, February 16th, at 6 PM. The festival features environmental films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities, groups and individuals are doing to protect the places and wildlife we love.

 

Doors open at 5 PM. We will have information tables and representatives of the local conservation groups there to give information and discuss issues. There will be free beer, and pizza. The event is free, so please come and feel free to invite all those who are interested. We also have some great raffle prizes from local businesses! All proceeds from the raffle go to benefit Gallatin Wildlife Association, an organization that promotes restoration, maintenance and perpetuation of wildlife and their habitat.  We hope to see you February16th at the Emerson!

 

For more information contact: Nancy Schultz nancyanaconda@msn.com

 Present Action:

 

Gallatin Wildlife Association

is Working to Protect the Gallatin:

 

 

The Gallatin Wildlife Association is working along side Cottonwood Environmental Law Center to help keep the Gallatin as pure as it should be, as clear and fresh as a mountain stream. The problem? Developers want to dump waste from the Big Sky community into the Gallatin River. But we had a setback. The latest message from John Meyer of Cottonwood Enviroinmental Law Center.

 

"Bozeman,
 
The Montana Board of Environmental Review denied Cottonwood and Gallatin Wildlife Association’s Petition this morning to permanently protect the Gallatin River from discharge of treated waste water. The Board offered the rationale that GYC is collaborating with developers. 
 
Cottonwood will be hiring another attorney. 
 
If you know a small business or person that values clean water over mansions and has a small shed near downtown that we can work out of please pass along my contact info. 
 
Thank you."

 

John Meyer

 

Executive Director & General Counsel 
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center

P.O. Box 412 Bozeman, MT 59771

 

For more information about our efforts, please contact John Meyer at Cottonwood Environmental Law Center.

 

John@cottonwoodlaw.org

 

Events of Recent Past:

 

 

Our Talk on Wildlife and Migration Corridors in SW Montana was a success.

Monday January 14th  Bozeman Library 6:00 pm

 

We can say that because in terms of new information, new faces and an evening of interest, hopefully all of us learned just a little bit more of what is necessary to protect our important wildlife corridor along the Gallatin Range and Bridger Ridge. Lance hit a homerun in his talk concerning the impacts that human activity has had on wildlife behavior and connectivity. Clint highlighted a beautiful film about efforts in Washington State to prevent wildlife/human collisions on I-90. The same needs to be done here, right here in our backyard. To view the video, just scroll down to the youtube video, the last thing you see on this webpage.

 

The importance of the Gravelly Range, Centennials and

Tobacco Root Mountains for bighorn sheep and grizzly bears.

 

In case you didn't know, Gallatin Wildlife Association has gone to court to protect bighorn sheep from disease transmission by domestic sheep.  MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks says it would reintroduce Bighorn sheep into the Gravelly Mountains of Southwest Montana if domestic sheep were not grazed there.
 
Bighorn sheep have been found dead where the domestic sheep are grazed. Grizzly bears, black bears, and wolf packs have been killed because of domestic sheep. Gallatin has partnered with Cottonwood Environmental Law Center in asking the court to remove the domestic sheep and allow wildlife to use over 55,000 acres of public land in the Gravelly Mountains. 
 
That has led to this exchange on MPR on Dec. 19, 2018.
 
 

The Science of our Argument:

To back our position on the future management of bighorn sheep and other wildlife, we rely on the science as it is known to exists. We will cite Brock et al 2006 paper, "Brock, B.L., E.C. Atkinson, C. Groves, A. Toivola, T. Olenicki and L. Craighead. 2006. Executive Summary for the Report "A wildlife conservation assessment of the Madison Valley, Montana." Wildlife Conservation Society, Greater Yellowstone Program, Bozeman, MT."                                       

For additional citations and discussions, please check out this link. It is also located at the top of the home page.

 

http://www.gallatinwildlifeassociation.com/home/additional-bighorn-sheep-science/

 

Page 9-

"Domestic Sheep: Sheep create unique wildlife conservation challenges because of their potential to spread disease and their vulnerability to predation. Native bighorn sheep and domestic sheep cannot be managed in the same area because domestic sheep carry several diseases that are lethal to native bighorns. In addition, domestic sheep are relatively small and defenseless and thus are more prone to predation by large carnivores such as bears and wolves than are larger species of livestock. Several contiguous sheep allotments in the Gravelly Mountains are located within high quality potential bighorn sheep habitat as well as within an area currently being recolonized by grizzly bears. These allotments should be retired or relocated to allow the establishment of a native bighorn herd in the area and to reduce potential conflicts with recovering grizzlies."

 

Page 13-

"Bighorn Sheep: There are several opportunities to improve the long-term viability of bighorn sheep in the Madison Valley.

  • There remain three significant blocks of habitat that are currently unoccupied and may support reintroduced populations of sheep. The Tobacco Roots appear to offer extensive areas of high quality habitat and do not contain domestic sheep allotments. The Gravelly and Centennial Mountains contain significant amounts of potential habitat that historically were occupied. However, domestic sheep grazing in those areas would need to be mitigated before their value for bighorn sheep could be realized.
  • Connectivity between isolated patches of habitat needs to be maintained to allow bighorn to naturally re-colonize patches where sheep have disappeared. Fragmented populations typically experience periodic local extinctions within isolated habitat patches. Restoring bighorn to as many suitable patches as possible and maintaining connectivity between patches will help to maintain a robust meta-population without the expense and uncertainty associated with artificial relocation programs. A priority of immediate concern should be to maintain connectivity across Jack Creek to allow expansion of the Spanish Peaks herd into the Fan Mountain area. A long-term priority should be to restore bighorn to the Gravelly and Centennial Mountains, which could provide complete meta-population connectivity among all bighorn herds within the Madison assessment area."

 

Page 17

Grizzly Bear: 

'Domestic sheep allotments in the Gravelly Mountains where grizzly bears are already beginning to recover should be retired or relocated to avoid conflicts. As previously mentioned in this report, those areas also occur in potential bighorn sheep range so the removal of these allotments would have multiple wildlife benefits."

 

For more information on GWA's position, please check out both of these links:

 

http://www.gallatinwildlifeassociation.com/our-strategy-on-big-horn-sheep/

 

 

 

 

Sadly our Christmas Party has become part of Christmas Past:

 

No Bah-humbug here! How quickly things become and move from Events Yet to Come to Events of the Past. GWA Christmas's Party has come and gone. It was a success with close to 25 GWA members in attendance. We want to thank Nancy Ostlie and her husband and her family who graciously opened up her home. It was Gallatin Wildlife Association's social event of the year. 

 

A great time was had by all. Thank you all who attended. 

 

 

 

 

 

GWA's Connection with MSWP:

 

Gov. Bullock addressing MSWP Summit, Helena, MT. Carrol College, 20181204.

For those who yet do not know, GWA is proud to be a member of the Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage, an organization that is fighting to protect and keep wildlife connectivity and allow for safe passage of wildlife across the landscape. GWA is just one among several conservation organizations and citizen advocates that are involved in this work. As a result, GWA members Clint Nagel and John Shellenberger attended the first Annual Summit on the campus of Carrol College in Helena this past Dec. 4 and 5th. It was a remarkable good turnout with all invited guests and participants from private organizations and from both state and federal governmental agencies. 

 

As you can see from the pictures shown, Governor Bullock was in attendance, Director of Montana Dept. of Transportation, Mike Tooley, and Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Martha Williams. All said the right things, but now we have to make sure that there is follow through on all sides. One of GWA's first priorities is too establish a right of passage of wildlife through the I-90 corridor between Bozeman and Livingston. GWA is working within the process trying to make things happen. For more information, please contact Clint Nagel at clint_nagel@yahoo.com. All pictures in this segment were taken by Clint Nagel on Dec. 4th, 2018 at Carroll College in Helena, MT.

One of Our (GWA) Goals: A Wildlife Crossing over I-90 at Bozeman Pass

 

Examples of Habitat and Corridor Fragmentation:

Pictures taken along the Gallatin Front and Bridger/Bangtail/Gallatin Complex

 

We view one of our most pressing needs is to help facilitate a wildlife crossing over I-90 at or near the vicinity of Bozeman Pass between Bozeman and Livingston. We would like to protect the existing use of a wildlife corridor that is present; perhaps allowing this to become a permeable barrier (rather than an impermeable barrier) to wildlife. That terminology of a permeable barrier is key to use when we write our comments on the Custer Gallatin National Forest Revision Plan. The existing Gallatin-Bridger Connectivity Corridor is one and is part of the totality of wildlife corridors which exists between the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

 

One of the highlights of the summit in December was the presentation of a 30 min film on the history and construction of the project near Snoqualimie Pass in Washington State. That film can be found on YouTube but we also will present that here for you to view. This will provide a better understanding of what has to be done, the scope of the work, time tables, etc.  The video is below.

 

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