Senator introduces new protections for Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front

Ryan Wilson

Montana's Rocky Mountain Front

Ryan Wilson

On Oct. 28, at a sporting goods store in Helena, Mont., a crowd of supporters (many in cowboy hats or hunter orange) gathered to hear Sen. Max Baucus announce his introduction of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.

Over four years in the making, this proposal for the east side of the Crown of the Continent would designate an additional 67,000 acres as part of the Bob Marshall or Scapegoat Wilderness, and protect an adjacent 208,000 acres as a “Conservation Management Area,” which prevents any new motorized use and curtails almost all road building. The Act will also establish a new noxious weed program covering over 400,000 acres.

The Heritage Act takes a landscape approach in designating every acre of federal land here and is built on past successes that benefited from your support.  In the past, you pushed for an oil and gas legislative withdrawal and for  a very protective travel plans for the national forest lands on the Front. The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act builds on those victories and will help protect an area that’s home to some of the best wildlife habitat in the nation.

Developing the locally crafted Heritage Act and then having it move forward as legislation has been the focus of a coordinated campaign for the past several years. While there is a strong and diverse coalition behind this effort, The Wilderness Society continues to play a lead role, helping lead the campaign strategy, policy, communications, and fundraising efforts. And we cannot do that effectively without your ongoing engagement and support.

There is, of course, lots more work to do to get this bill passed, but for now TWS supporters should be proud of this outcome—a good example of what we can achieve when we take a landscape approach, focus a campaign, and bring our many strengths together.

Please thank Sen. Baucus by leaving him a personal note on his website (click here). Scroll down and tell the senator what the Rocky Mountain Front means to you, and congratulate him for his leadership.

If you want to receive updates on the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, sign up on the coalition’s  website: