order to maintain the biological integrity of the wild northern
Gallatin Range, and to maintain its critical role in the health
of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, we propose the following
Gallatin Range Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Area package:
- A 546,000 acre Gallatin Range Wilderness
in the Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National
Park, to be managed under provisions of the Wilderness Act
- A Gallatin Range Wildlife Conservation
Area (WCA) to be managed primarily for native wildlife species
and natural ecosystem processes:
- No motorized vehicles off National Forest system
- No new roads
- A mandated Forest Service study to assess road
- No large-scale commercial logging; small-scale
fuel-reduction and similar projects for local
- No logging of any kind in roadless areas of
1,000 acres or larger.
- Creation of a permanent fund to assist
landowners with property adjacent to or within one mile
of the Wilderness or WCA, in creating conservation easements
for their property.
- Full recontoring and reclamation of
the illegally built Rock Creek road extension, including
restoration of native ground cover, and trees at least as
large as those that are now growing on the roadbed. Reclamation
and re-seeding of illegal user-created vehicle trails in
places such as upper Rock Creek, Shoefelt Gulch (in Bear
Canyon), Swan Creek, and along the Hidden Lakes/Porcupine
divide (trail #66).
- For the 325,000 acre southern Gallatin
backcountry within Yellowstone National Park (and for the
rest of Yellowstone's backcountry), we believe that Wilderness
designation is essential. Indeed, National Park Service
personnel view the park backcountry as "de-facto Wilderness".
In the southern Gallatins, we also propose the immediate
removal of the power line corridor that fragments vital
habitat through the eastern fringe of the Gallatins above
Mammoth Hot Springs and south through otherwise wild backcountry
in and adjacent to Gardiner's Hole.