Wildlife Advocates for Southwestern Montana
A Letter from the President: Happy New Year 2021
January 9, 2021
Dear Fellow Wildlife Advocates:
Most of us are likely glad 2020 has come and gone. Where we once had such bright hopes in the beginning of last year, quickly changed over time. Now we’re entering another new year, where we once again have hopes for 2021. Covid-19 has definitely left its impact on last year, and it certainly looks like it will be with us for a good portion of the new year, yet we still have hope, hope that next year will be better.
The Gallatin Wildlife Association has been as engaged, perhaps as we’ve never been, working on a whole host of issues affecting wildlife and their habitat. Organizationally, we made advancements such as: our first introductory video, our first active Facebook page, a new logo and a new mission statement. We made progress. But where we really want to make progress is for wildlife.
As we enter a new year, the threats to wildlife and their habitat won’t cease even with a change of administrations (federal or state). In fact, we expect more threats to take place on the state level. We will need help. And in that regard, I will once again make an appeal on their behalf. We like to say we speak for them, but in doing so, the more voices the better. The more support the better, which is why we need you to join GWA. The old saying “that many hands make light work” is never more true than right now, especially when you participate in an all-volunteer organization such as GWA.
In order to meet that need, we need to remind you, now is the time to renew your membership for the upcoming year. And for those of you who are not yet members, perhaps you will consider becoming a member. It is only $20.00/year for general membership and $10.00/year for seniors or students. But membership costs aren’t enough to make us fiscally viable. To do the work which needs to be done, additional contributions will be even more appreciated. Please consider making a donation or becoming a member in the new year of 2021.
Clinton Nagel, President
Gallatin Wildlife Association
Podcast: Wildlife and Wilderness on KGVM - take a listen!
After Christmas of last year (Dec. 30, 2020) Clint Nagel of GWA was fortunate enough to be interviewed by J. Shell, host of the program Wilderness and Wildlife on KGVM, 95.9 on the radio dial.
This half-hour show discussed all sorts of issues pertaining to wildlife and wilderness issues in southwestern Montana and the role that GWA is playing in their protection.
Good News/Bad News
The Good -
Martens have been released in the Little Belts!
Look for the article in the Billings Gazette paper dated January 10, 2021 entitled: "Martens reintroduced to Little Belt Mountains". Found in Section C of the Billings Gazette paper.
The Bad -
Wolf legislation in the Montana House needs action.
More Bad and the Ugly-
New Threats to the ESA - Needs Help Now!!!!
Will 2021 be any better?
Gosh, we certainly hope so! Consistency, unity, advocacy and passion are necessary to combat the overwhelming threats that seem to be imposed upon our wildlife and their habitat today. It is much easier to fight the good fight with the help of others striving for the same cause, whether you are with an organization or as an individual, we invite you to join the Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA).
Early on this year, many of the threats that wildlife face are a result of what is happening in our own state legislature. Sad, but true. So far this year, GWA has responded to many of them. Please see the actions of 2021, as the case load seems to increase over time.
1. This will provide you a scope of the threats that wildlife face as a result of our legislative session in Helena, 2021. GWA has or is in the process of commenting on those listed below and others to come.
House Legislative Session
Senate Legislative Session
2. In mid-January, GWA commented on the proposed scoping notice for helicopter skiing operation on the Caribou Targhee National Forest in the Centenninal Mountains.
3. On January 23, GWA commented to the Federal Register on Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
4. In early February. GWA commented during the scoping process to award grant funding through the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to mitigate wildand fire risk from Sourdough Watershed near Bozeman. GWA opposses the process of tree harvesting and thinning as a mechanism to prevent wildfires.
What Are We Working on Now?
It is the beginning of February, 2021 and while we wait on the results of the CGNF Objection process, we are working on developing contacts within our community to protect wildlife along the Gallatin Front. But there is always more to do, more to come. This reminds me of Sen Ted's Kenned.y's speech at the Democratic National Convention of 1980.
"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dreams shall never die."
We have to remember, such as it is in the work of environmental protection. The work continues on, the cause surely endures, and we must have hope for we are not just doing this for ourselves, but for other inhabitants of the world. I could ramble on, but time, space and your attention, probably say “no”. But let me leave you with a couple of questions. What kind of world do you want? Empty and stark where biodiversity and biological integrity are a thing of the past, or a world full of wonderment and amazement where we can coexist with other lifeforms who have as much purpose here as we do. We at the Gallatin Wildlife Association, say we want one that protects the “wild” in wildlife. If you agree, again please join us.
Clint Nagel, President
Gallatin Wildlife Association