Magnificent Seven: Rocky Mountain Front

Rocky Mountain Front forest and lakes
Flikr: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust
The Rocky Mountain Front is a pristine area of the Crown of the Continent landscape that needs protection.

Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front is one of the best areas in the United States for hunting and outdoor recreation. It has the second largest migratory elk herd in the United States and the largest band of bighorn sheep in the state. The Rocky Mountain Front is part of the Crown of the Continent, an important landscape The Wilderness Society is working to protect.

See also:

Crown of the Continent

About the Rocky Mountain Front

The Rocky Mountain Front contains the top one percent of wildlife habitat remaining in the lower 48 states, with unmatched native plant and animal diversity. Its dramatic vistas include rolling prairies dotted with potholes, glaciated wetlands, jagged limestone reefs and breath-taking alpine landscapes. It is the only spot on earth where grizzly bears still wander out from the mountains onto the plains. It is a land that has changed very little since Lewis and Clark hunted there during the summer of 1805.

The Rocky Mountain Front is a land that has changed very little since Lewis and Clark hunted there during the summer of 1805.

The pristine wildlands of the Rocky Mountain Front are vital to the wildlife that live there. However, anti-wilderness legislation threatens the landscape, its wildlife and the people who depend on it.

Threats to the Rocky Mountain Front

The most imminent threat to the Rocky Mountain Front is an anti-wilderness bill — the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505).

This "Border Bill" would give the U.S. Border Patrol “operational control” over the Rocky Mountain Front and other wildlands within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders. It would take away the rights of local land managers. It also would exempt the Border Patrol from dozens of environmental, public land management and religious freedom statutes.

The "Border Bill" is so radical that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol oppose it. It could restrict recreational access and harm both the landscape and the people, hunters, anglers and hikers who depend on it.

Protecting the Rocky Mountain Front

At wilderness, we are working with sportsmen’s groups and other public lands groups to make sure the "Border Bill" does not become law.

We also are supporting the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, introduced by Montana Senator Max Baucus in 2011. The act is a locally crafted piece of legislation designed by local ranchers, sportsmen and conservation leaders that would protect wild landscapes, fight noxious weeds and protect land access and traditional uses. 

At Wilderness, we believe there is a clear choice facing Congress:

  • DO: Work with people on the ground to protect the Rocky Mountain Front for future generations.
  • DON'T: Work with special interests to road the Rocky Mountain Front, fence it and gut its protections.

You can help

You can help ensure that the Rocky Mountain Front and the Magnificent Seven wildlands remain part of our natural heritage. Help save this iconic American landscape by making a donation today.