Gallatin Wildlife Association

Wildlife Advocates for Southwestern Montana

 

 

 

End the Assault on Wilderness

Even though this photo was not taken in designated wilderness, the Gravellies do possess wilderness characteristics. Indian Paintbrush as seen from Gravelly Range Road, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, MT. Photo taken by Clint Nagel on July 28, 2018.

 

The Custer Gallatin National Forest will soon release their draft environmental impact statement concerning the revised forest plan. We urge all members and non-members alike to watch this space as they say! We urge the support for Alternative D in the Draft EIS.

 

What's Going on in our State Legislature:

 

The Bad:

 

GWA opposes HB. 132 - Clarify definition of bison

Status: This bill passed the House and had a hearing in Senate Committee Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation on Feb. 21, 2019.

 

GWA opposes HB.279 - Allow for wolf trapper expense reimbursement

Status: Scheduled for 2nd reading on Feb. 22, 2019.

 

The Good:

The Good was that Mike Phillips sponsored these two bills in the Montana Senate.

 

GWA supports SB. 186 - Prohibit contests for predatory animals

GWA supports SB. 187 - Prohibit vehicular injury of predatory animals

 

 

The Ugly:

The Ugly was that both bills were tabled in committee:

 

GWA supports SB. 186 - Prohibit contests for predatory animals

Status: This bill was tabled in committee on Feb. 21, 2019.

GWA supports SB. 187 - Prohibit vehicular injury of predatory animals

Status: This bill was also tabled in committee on Feb. 21, 2019.

 

 

Activities of the 2018 Year: Gallatin Wildlife Association

 

If you want to know what GWA does, this will provide you some insight.

  • GWA is a non-profit volunteer wildlife conservation organization representing hunters and anglers in Southwest Montana and elsewhere.  Our mission is simply to protect habitat and conserve fish and wildlife.  GWA supports sustainable management of fish and wildlife populations through fair chase public hunting and fishing opportunities that will ensure these traditions are passed on for future generations to enjoy. 
  • Our efforts benefit the community by continuing to focus on wildlife issues through emails, newsletters and outreach events.
  • Jan. 2, submitted on GWA's behalf was a supplemental comment to the Bozeman Ranger District of Custer Gallatin National Forest, comments pertaining to the North Bridger’s Forest Health Project.
  • Feb. 22 GWA cohosted the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, a free event for the community. Here we bring together local grassroots groups to share their efforts for conservation
  • Mar. 3, a 59-page comment on behalf of GWA was submitted to the Custer Gallatin National Forest concerning the Custer Gallatin National Forest Revision Plan.
  • Apr. 6, submitted comments and concerns to Sec. Zinke on the management status of the National Bison Range in Moise, Montana. We were urging them to complete the necessary documentation and actions including the revising of the Notice of Intent, preparing a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
  • Apr. 10, comments were provided on behalf of GWA on the Emigrant Crevice Mineral Withdrawal Draft Environmental Assessment to the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
  • GWA hosted a community event on June 28th on Wilderness, Wildlife and the Gallatin Range.
  • July 28th GWA did a Lighthawk flight to photo document conditions in the Gallatin and Bridger Ranges and generated a power point program which was presented to the community
  • Sponsored a community presentation on Oct 24th, giving the history and importance of the Gallatin Range
  • On Oct. 28, GWA provided a 24-page commentary to the Montana Department Natural Resources and Conservation concerning the Limestone West Timber Sale Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Began our involvement with Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage including the attending of the 2018 Summit in Helena, Montana on Dec. 4,5.
  • December 4th community presentation: What Future for the Gallatin Range?
  • January 14th , 2019 community presentation about wildlife corridors, connectivity and MSWP info
  • GWA supported development of the Montana Wild Bison Restoration Coalition as a separate grass-roots organization.
  • GWA promoted the application of science to Fish, Wildlife & Parks and their Commission, especially regarding management of small populations such as bighorn sheep. 
  • GWA opposed on economic and ecological grounds to use the Centennial Mountains by research/domestic sheep from the research stat ion in DuBois, Idaho.  
  • GWA petitioned the Forest Service to reevaluate domestic sheep grazing in the Gravelly Range, regarding its effective elimination of developing any self-sustaining bighorn herds on the Beaverhead/Deerlodge Forest.  
  • We attend numerous meetings and report back to members and an interested public about actions/management decisions that affect wildlife and their habitat.
  • GWA regularly communicates with the public through our website, please check us out; gallatinwildlifeassociation.com
  • Communications include sending talking points so more citizens can effectively communicate with decision makers.
  • When we host or cohost an event, the goals of GWA are to raise awareness about conservation issues, raise money to continue our work and to add and empower more citizens to understand issues that affect wildlife so they can advocate for wildlife 

 

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival

 

The 2019 Wild and Scenic Film Festival 

- a continued success.

 

Once again, GWA was proud to associate itself with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club in hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Emerson Theater in Bozeman this last Saturday, February 16th. The festival featured environmental films which illustrated 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.

 

It is estimated that 350 were in attendance at the Emerson Theater. A raffle and silent auction were held along with free beer and pizza. If you couldn't make it this year, there is always next. Stay tuned.

Photo of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Emerson Theater, Bozeman, MT. Photo taken by Clint Nagel on Feb. 16, 2019.
Photo of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Emerson Theater, Bozeman, MT. Photo taken by Clint Nagel on Feb. 16, 2019.

 

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

 

 

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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