Wilderness Study Areas Rhetoric Hurting Our Ability to Work Together

By Russ Ehnes, Vice President, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and President, Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association.

From the Great Falls Tribune, February 28, 2018

Recently much attention has been given to those opposed to Senator Daines’ effort to remove these WSA designations. Unfortunately, much of it has been based on misinformation and false statements.

Montana’s wilderness study areas (WSAs) are exceptional places to find what all of us in Montana love: the rugged outdoors, abundant wildlife and a place to get away. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ bill to remove the WSA designation from five U.S. Forest Service areas in Montana does nothing to change that or how these areas are currently managed.

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Fire Funding Fix in Omnibus Finance

From Bob Walker, Chair, Montana Trails Coalition, April 9, 2018

The Montana Trails Coalition (MTC) is comprised of a broad spectrum of recreation interests including hikers, mountain and road bicyclists, OHV riders, skiers, snowmobilers, and equestrians.  Our vision is to work collaboratively as user groups to advocate for establishing sustainable trails funding and outdoor recreation opportunities in Montana while supporting the public land management agencies responsible for keeping well-maintained trails open for public use.

We’re seeking sustainable funding for trails because trails are essential components of Montana’s 7.2 billion outdoor recreation economy and because current federal and state appropriations for trails are entirely inadequate to meet the needs of communities across the state and visitors from around the country.

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Department of the Interior Reorganization (DOI)

From Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) Washington Newsletter, September 2017

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke is apparently giving serious thought to moving the headquarters of three DOI agencies out of Washington and closer to the public lands they manage.  Denver seems to be the likely site for the relocation.  The Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation are the agencies affected.  There is already some opposition being generated against this move though Zinke will likely maintain that this is a part of an overall effort to streamline and make the department more efficient and effective in fulfilling its responsibilities.  We are awaiting a final decision from the Secretary on this reorganization plan.  Depending upon the scope, it’s possible the Congress will get involved before the plan can be implemented.

Bringing Montana’s Trails Community Together!

By Bob Walker, Editor, Montana Trails Rider News and Member, Montana Trails Coalition

The Montana Trails Coalition (MTC) sprung from discussions by the Montana’s State Trails Advisory Committee (STAC). The STAC advises Fish, Wildlife & Parks primarily on the expenditures of Recreational Trails Program Funds.  However, members saw a need to for an organization that brings statewide trails organizations together to address trails issues and work together for the common good.

Read more: Bringing Montana’s Trails...

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