MTPR

Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

A birds-eye view looking north into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Looking out on the Swan Range and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

Summer is prime time for visiting Montana’s biggest wilderness area, the Bob Marshall Complex - more than 2,300-square miles of roadless, wild, rugged country stretching between Glacier Park and Lincoln, and straddling the Continental Divide between Seeley Lake and Augusta. It’s so big, it’s hard to take in from the ground.

Absaroka Range
Courtesy Rick and Susie Graetz

After languishing for over two decades in the U.S. House, a sweeping wilderness bill now gets its first shot in the Senate.

New Campaign Touts Benefits Of Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
Courtesy Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

A coalition of Seeley Lake and Ovando-area residents say they’ve developed a plan to both protect and use local public lands. The group’s rebooted its public relations campaign to attract some congressional attention.

New Campaign Touts Benefits Of Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
Courtesy Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

Ten years ago people in the Seeley Lake area who were tired of constant fighting over logging and other uses of public lands in Montana got together to try to come up with a new, better way of resolving conflicts. They came up with something called the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, designed to improve the health of local forests, and at the same time keep local timber jobs. The agreement also got consensus on protecting additional land as Wilderness. Wednesday evening, members of the Project are getting together in Missoula to celebrate their accomplishments over the decade. We talked about it with Zack Porter, a field director for the Montana Wilderness Association.