Pronghorn antelope at Gardner entrance to Yellowstone National Park, MT.20160713 by Clint Nagel.



                  Gallatin Wildlife Association

                               Action Alerts:



                                 Help Protect Wolves:


The following verbiage was taken from an alert sponsored by Wilderness Watch:


On November 16, the U.S. House passed the so-called "Manage Our Wolves Act" (H.R 6784) on a vote of 196-180 (See how your Rep. voted).  This bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, and if passed would end protection for gray wolves in the lower 48 states by removing their Endangered Species Act (ESA) status. Please urge the Senate to oppose this bill!

Remember, wildlife knows no boundaries and wolves that use designated Wilderness for part, or all, of their range could be affected!

H.R. 6784 would grant the states full management control of gray wolves, despite their federal endangered species status in most of the lower 48 where they still only occupy a small portion of their original range. In states where gray wolves have already lost ESA protection, trophy hunters and trappers have already killed thousands–including deep within designated Wilderness areas.

H.R. 6784 undermines science by removing scientists from the ESA decision-making process and will jeopardize the continued recovery of gray wolves and the ecosystems that benefit from them. Also, as part of an alarming and growing trend, H.R. 6784 seeks to preclude judicial review and exclude the public from the process. It is undemocratic to block American citizens from holding their government accountable.

H.R. 6784 is a direct threat to the recovery of gray wolves, the integrity of the Endangered Species Act, the wildness of our Wilderness areas, and to our democracy.


                              Wilderness Under Threat

Signage of Lee Metcalf Wilderness.Gallatin Nat'l Forest.MT.20170630 by Clint Nagel.


There are probably no greater threats to wildlife than the threat to wilderness. The Gallatin Wildlife Association is probably more conscious and fights for more wilderness issues than many other large NGO(s) that proclaim to be "wilderness organizations". The reason: because wildlife are more likely to congregate and survive in those areas that are "roadless". But as this mailer from Wilderness Watch indicates, our existing and our WSA(s) are totally under the gun as far as viability and integrity are concerned. Several alerts from other organizations have been pulled together to form this list of "bad wilderness bills". This forward summarizes many of the proposed legislative bills in Congress that would harm wilderness areas.



Many of these same issues are also found singularly below on this GWA webpage providing more information. 


The following links in this section will take you to the Wilderness Watch website to petition our Congressional Delegation.


In order to assist with our efforts with Congress, we are calling on Wilderness supporters to urge their senators and representative to oppose the most egregious, anti-Wilderness bills!


As you know, the list of anti-Wilderness bills in Congress is long. We’re focusing on the following bills:


  • The so-called "Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act"(H.R. 3668) an NRA/Safari Club International-backed bill that is nothing more than a thinly disguised measure to gut the 1964 Wilderness Act and the protections afforded to every unit of America’s 110 million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System.


  • The “Wheels in Wilderness Bill” (H.R. 1349), which would amend and weaken the Wilderness Act to allow mountain bikes, strollers, wheelbarrows, game carts, survey wheels and measuring wheels in Wilderness.


  • A couple of terrible “Border Bills” that purportedly deal with border security, but would actually threaten all of America's Wilderness areas within 100 miles of the southern border with Mexico and within 100 miles of the northern border with Canada, including the border between Alaska and Canada.


  • The so-called “Protect Public use of Public Lands Act" (S. 2206), which would release 450,000 acres of America’s Wilderness Study Areas in Montana and potentially open up these wildlands to logging, mining, motorized recreation and road building.
  • Then of course we have Representative Gianforte's recent introductions of  H.R. 5148, H.R. 5149.

One of Rep. Gianforte’s bills (H.R. 5148) is a companion bill to Senator Steve Daines’ S. 2206, which would open up the Big Snowies, the Middle Fork Judith, West Pioneers, Sapphire, and Blue Joint wilderness study areas – a half-million acres in all – to hard-rock mining, oil and gas development, and expanded motorized use.


His other bill (H.R. 5149) would do the same to 24 more wilderness study areas, including the Terry Badlands, the Centennials, and six areas within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. According to a press release he issued last week, these areas comprise "over 240,000 acres ... that the Bureau of Land Management found not suitable for wilderness designation by 1980."


  • Any Senate companion bills to H.R. 3905 and H.R. 3115, two bills that promote new mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. H.R. 3905 and H.R. 3115, two bills that promote new mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. 




Please Act today!

                           Custer Gallatin National Forest 

                                     Forest Revision Plan

                                         Proposed Action

Photo taken up Hyalite Canyon by Clint Nagel.

We continue to move on through Phase II of the Custer Gallatin National Forest (CGNF) Revision Plan. While the public commenting period is over on the CGNF's Proposed Action (ending Mar.5th), the CGNF has released a varied list of alternatives for proposed wilderness. Alternative D is the alternative which proposes the most wilderness and the one which Gallatin Wildlife Association supports.




Alternative D is the alternative where we should start before any compromising commences. To do otherwise is simply undermining the resource as it is described in the Wilderness Act of 1964.


There is nothing that will be affecting the quality of wildlife or their habitat more than how federal lands, public lands are administered. For more information, you can click on the Forest Service links below. 


Here is the Plan itself: 



On the attached page, there are some notes provided by a friend of ours George Wuerthner. These specifically deal with wilderness. Please feel free to use if needed. To view please see the link above entitled "Notes on CGNF Proposed Action" or click:




Please send your comments to Senator Tester 


Senator Daines 


and Congressman Gianforte


Senate Bill 2206, the “Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act" needs to be defeated.

Crystal Lake, Big Snowy Mountains, Lewis and Clark NF, Montana by George Wuerthner


As if our natural world hasn’t been under enough attacks lately, Senator Daines has proposed one more in recent months. The Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA) would like to address the proposed “legislative deal” the Senator announced last month; his support for “The Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act” in lieu of legislation to remove wilderness study area (WSA) protections from 5 WSAs within the state of Montana. 


That legislation is known as Senate Bill 2206, the “Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act". In spite of what the name implies, the bill would actually remove protections from five (5) wilderness study areas. The five WSAs in question include the 151,000 acres of the West Pioneers, 94,000 acres of the Sapphire Mountains WSA, 81,000 acres from the Middle Fork Judith WSA, 32,500 acres of the Bitterroot’s Blue Joint WSA and 91,000 acres of the Big Snowies.


As a non-profit volunteer wildlife conservation organization, GWA cannot support such action. We represent hunters, anglers and other wildlife advocates in Southwest Montana and elsewhere. Our mission is to protect habitat and conserve fish and wildlife. The removal of wilderness study area protections from these 5 existing WSA(s) is in contradiction to that mission. We support the Montana constitution which states: “the opportunity to harvest wild game is a heritage that shall forever be preserved” and that “the legislature shall provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion of natural resources.” This proposal also contradicts that mission.


West Fork Rock Creek, Sapphire Mountains, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF, Montana George Wuerthner

It is GWA’s position that removing existing protections would only open up these lands for further exploitation and road building. This would increase the need for more management, more government, and more dollars spent. There is already a serious maintenance backlog on public lands which need the full attention of resources and financial dollars. His proposed legislation would exasperate the problem, but yield nothing in return which would increase the protection of public use. His past actions regarding public lands indicate emphasis on resource extraction and on local control largely for economic benefits, at the expense of diverse regional and national interests. We disagree with the expansion and prioritization of local controls on our federal lands. It is the conservative approach to downsize government; your proposal contradicts that effort. He should focus on other areas in government that could be used to streamline and make government more efficient. It is in this regard, GWA believes that all “inventoried roadless areas” need protection for it is those areas that are critical for wildlife habitat and minimizes the need for more government action.


Below is a link from the Billings Gazette. It is their guest opinion piece that states that these WSAs should be protected, not disbandoned.


We urge all members and non-members alike to write Senator Daines and tell him to support the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act with no strings attached. And in the same effort, he should pull his legislation S. 2206 from the Senate floor and use his leadership ability to work toward finalization and protection of these lands rather than open them up for future exploitation and resource extraction.


Hiker above Blue Joint drainage, Bitterroot National Forest, Montana George Wuerthner

The SHARE Act is a bad Bill:


If it seems like the Share Act has been around for a long time; it has. First announced and voted on in early 2016 of the 114th Congress, it was known as H.R. 2406. The bill was reintroduced in the fall of 2017, known as H.R. 3668 in the 115th Congress. Like many bills as of late, many bills introduced have appealing sounding names, but their names have the opposite effect. The SHARE ACT, otherwise known as the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, is no different. All that being said, the bill, the idea is devastating for wildlife. It also sets bad precedent for wilderness. 

The long list of devastation in which the SHARE Act offers includes provisions you see below:

  • Undermine the ESA and the rule of law by legislatively delisting wolves in the Great Lakes region and upholding a recent court decision to delist wolves in Wyoming while barring judicial review of these decisions;
  • Allow wildlife trapping for the first time on many U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands;
  • Interfere with federal agencies’ ability to protect marine and coastal wildlife habitat – including sea turtle and seabird nesting beaches; and
  • Open pristine wilderness to road construction, allowing for the construction of "temporary" roads in Wilderness Areas,
  • Remove Wilderness Act laws that prohibit motorized vehicles and other activities that would degrade essential wildlife habitat,
  • Give hunting and fishing resources priority over the protection of wilderness characteristics in these areas,
  • Exempt the above activities from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review


The SHARE Act’s avalanche of anti-wildlife, anti-ESA provisions are only “generous” in their unabashed attempts to undermine wildlife conservation.


Please contact both Senator Daines and Tester today and urge them to OPPOSE the SHARE ACT (H.R. 3668).


We must defeat the SHARE Act.

Protect the Smith:



 Tintina stumbles over first regulatory hurdle: Much more to come.

   While the DEQ has approved Tintina's application for a permit, the process is only beginning. Make your voice heard today.

   What can you do?

  1. Write the Governor by clicking the take action button below
  2. Post your support for the Smith on your social media channels, tagging Governor Steve Bullock, the Montana DEQ and Tintina.
  3. Donate to
Montana Trout Unlimited to help continue the effort to protect the Smith.
  4. Contact Colin Cooney,, for your free Smith River koozies and stickers.

Devastating Trump Forest Legislation Moving in Congress


The link below and alert was copied from our friends at Cascadia Wildlands. They are warning us of another in a long line of threats to our wildlands and ecosystem. It never hurts to write letters protecting what we love. We urge all of you to do the same.


The link to their website and to this article can be found here.



Your voice is urgently needed to protect old-growth and clean water in the Pacific Northwest.


Hi Cascadia Wildlands Supporter,



The horrible forest legislation that we have been anticipating from Congress after the election of Trump has arrived. The "Resilient Federal Forests Act" (HR 2936) has already passed a full House vote. It now moves to the U.S. Senate. The bill guts federal environmental protections for our beloved backyard forests and paves the way for rampant clearcutting.


Take action today to help us stop this reckless Trump bill.

If enacted, HR 2936 would immediately remove critical protections provided by the Endangered Species Act, National Forest Management Act, the Northwest Forest Plan, and the National Environmental Policy Act.  All existing forest plans that have sought to balance timber production and public values, including clean water, imperiled species habitat and recreation, will become advisory and unenforceable, and public opportunities to prevent illegal logging from moving forward are eliminated.


This is truly a horrible bill, certainly the worst since the notorious Salvage Rider of the 1990s, and it would have tremendous implications for forests, rivers, species and carbon stores in the Pacific Northwest. A tidal wave of public opposition is needed right now to prevent this bill from moving forward!

Please take a second to support our old-growth forests and urge your Senator to VOTE NO on HR 2936!


Please use the contact links on the home page to write your Senator.


Thank you for helping us keep it wild!


Picture above was provided by:


(Juvenile northern spotted owl
photo by James Johnston)

Threats to the Endangered Species Act


As you know public comment over the administration's attempt to alter the ESA has come to a close. We are in a waiting mode to see what happens as a result of those comments. But in addition to that, we still have this effort by Congress. In conjunction with the article below, the Gallatin Wildlife Association is proud to be one of 425 co-signers on a letter to the political leaders in Washington D.C. We urge all of you to contact our Congressional Delegation as well as those listed to show maximum support for the ESA. The thank you letter from the Endangered Species Coalition as well as the link to the actual letter sent to Washington D.C. is below. The letter was addressed to those 8 members of House and Senate who you see listed.



From: Endangered Species Coalition
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2017 8:01 AM
To: Gallatin Wildlife Association

Subject: Thank you for supporting the Endangered Species Act


Thank you to all of you who have signed on to this letter in support of the Endangered Species Act. With your support, we surpassed our goal of 200 signers and wrapped up the letter with a total of 425 groups representing all 50 states!


The release and letter are here:


The full letter to Senate and House leadership can be read here.


Please share on social media and with your networks as possible.


Thank you,


Tara Thornton
Program Director
Endangered Species Coalition



The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate


The Honorable Charles E. Schumer

Minority Leader

United States Senate


The Honorable John Barrasso


Environment and Public Works Committee


The Honorable Tom Carper

Ranking Member

Environment and Public Works Committee


The Honorable Paul Ryan


United States House of Representatives


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Democratic Leader

United States House of Representatives


The Honorable Rob Bishop


House Committee on Natural Resources


The Honorable Raúl Grijalva

Ranking Member

House Committee on Natural Resources


In February of this year, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works had conducted a hearing on proposed legislation called the "Oversight: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act". This hearing was chaired by Senate Chairman, Senator John Barasso of Wyoming.  His position is that “the Endangered Species Act ‘isn’t working today’ and it needs to be modernized, hence the name of the legislation. Modernization of this legislation is a code word for repeal and replace. In a few weeks, Senator John Barasso of Wyoming will most likely propose legislation which could very well gain wide spread support by the current administration and from anti-wildlife and anti-environmental groups.


It is safe to say that the Endangered Species Act has been and is our nation’s most effective law for protecting wildlife and plants in danger of extinction.  The ESA is the bedrock law protecting wildlife. Weakening of the ESA could threaten the existence of over 1,600 plants and animals under current protection. The ESA has been successful at keeping 99 percent of species listed from going extinct since its enactment. And without the ESA, it is estimated that 227 species would now be extinct. The Endangered Species Act is intensely popular by the majority of Americans as it represents the heart of all of our American principles. The Act’s effectiveness is reliant on a foundation of peer-reviewed, best available science in its listing; in its consultation, recovery and delisting decisions. It is the reliance on the understanding science of ecosystems and on the science of understanding wildlife, wildlife behavior and habitat that has helped ensure successful prevention of extinction.


Senator Barrasso’s effort to rewrite the ESA must be stopped. We need to tell him to drop his support for his legislation and tell our Senators not to support the “Oversight: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act”. Whatever happened to the promise we made to our children and grandchildren that we would pass our wildlife treasures on to future generations?



Threats Still Exists to Our National Monuments:


As you know, there has been a massive outpouring of support by the general public to protect our National Monuments and the Antiquities Act. A threat by the way as a result of an effort by this administration and the current Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke. Fortunately the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument seems to be spared by any changes, the same cannot be said for the other 26 monuments on the chopping block. Yesterday, the 24th of August, Secretary said that he had recommended that they downsize several national monuments. Although he did not specifically elaborate which ones, the Washington Post has reported on at least three of these national monuments to be altered are Utah's Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou national monuments. The thing is; an attack on one is an attack on all public lands.


It didn't seem to matter that 2.7 Million people have commented through the formal and proper channel to protect our National Monuments. And 9 out of 10 people have commented in favor of the Bears Ears National Monument.


Photo provided by Nancy Schultz.


Even though the official comment period is over as of July 10th, it does not hurt to voice your opposition to this change in public lands. Even though the Trump administration did not heed the voices of the American public, Congress needs to listen to the these same voices. We need to tell our Senators and Representatives to keep hands off from eliminating or altering in any way the boundaries of exisitng national monuments and not to weaken the Antiquities Act. Trump will need Congressional approval to do this horrible act. We can't let that happen.


1. Senator Daines can be contacted at this link.


Steve Daines' local office is 406-587-3446.


2. Senator Tester is strongly in favor of protection, but it does not hurt to reinforce his opinion and thank him for supporting our National Monuments and the Antiquities Act. His email link is:


Jon Tester's local office is  406-586-4450 .



3. Greg Gianforte can be contacted at this link.


       Greg Gianforte's DC office is 202-225-3211.




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