Gallatin Wildlife


Wildlife Advocates for Southwestern Montana



Note to Membership:                                                                                                                     June 4, 2020


An update:


Even though restrictions and the stay at home order are being lifted across the state, GWA has not resumed our biweekly board meetings in the public arena. We see the status quo continuing for the foreseeable future, but please be aware we are monitoring the situation closely. All public meetings due to the outbreak of Covid-19 will be curtailed until we feel our board and members can meet safely. We also depend upon the full opening of our familar meeting locations. 
This does not mean, however, that we are not still working on behalf of wildlife. Look at the list below for proof of that. If there are any concerns or issues you have, we can communicate via email, text or phone. Also please refer to this website.  This is still the best way to keep informed of our activities. 
We will notify you when our world gets back to normal, however, it might be said, we will be looking at a new normal. Peace to all and be safe. Thank you.


Clinton Nagel, President
Gallatin Wildlife Association

The Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project:

Do Citizens of Gallatin County

really know what is at stake?


The Forest Service and the City of Bozeman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2005 "to establish a framework for cooperation between the parties to maintain (in the long term) a high quality, predictable water supply for Bozeman through cooperative efforts in part by implementing sustainable land management practices."  Those are the exact words as stated in this link:


What is the Stated Purpose?

According to  the MOU, there is this.



"The principal purpose of this project is to reduce the risk of severe and extensive wildfire on National Forest System lands within the Bozeman Municipal Watershed and thereby reduce the risk to life and property in and adjacent to the project area. More specifically, the purpose and need for the project is described below:" 


  • Protection of the municipal water supply for Bozeman:
  • Reduce fuels along road corridors to provide safer conditions for fire-fighting and evacuation in the event of a wildfire: 
  • Reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire spreading from National Forest System lands onto private lands that border these watersheds: 


Why we are opposed?

  • The value of Old Growth Forests in maintaining biodiversity,
  • The value of Old Growth Forests in fighting climate change,
  • The value of this section of the forest in providing habitat for a wildlife corridor to the north,
  • The harm that increased roads have on wildlife. This project would further increase wildlife habitat fragmentation.
  • The potential harm to endangered species habitat.
  • Logged and thinned forest causes adverse micro-climatic changes in humidity, sunlight, and wind. All making fires (when they do come) burn hotter.


We all know there are other ways, ecological friendly ways to maintain forest health.  Anyone who reads this website knows, we don't support logging or thinning as a best practice for forest health management. This is an old and outworn practice that has not served the U.S. public lands well. 


This photo and the one above were taken in the Kirk Hill area by Phil Knight. Notice the red markings on trees for the proposed cut.


Here is a map showcasing the lands that are at risk.



Why is timber harvesting the wrong approach?

According to a letter signed by over 600 scientists,


"Clearcutting and other even aged silvercultural practices and timber road construction have caused widespread forest ecosystem fragmentation and degradation. The result is species extinction, soil erosion, flooding, destabilizing climate change, the loss of ecological processes, declining water quality, diminishing commercial and sport fisheries, and recently mudslides in Oregon which killed American citizens."


This statement was from the letter to Congress itself signed by:


Dr. Peter Raven
Home Secretary,
National Academy of Sciences
Director, Missouri Botanical Gardens

Jane Goodall, C.B.E., Ph.D.
Director of Science and Research
The Jane Goodall Institute
(Silver Spring, MD)

Edward O. Wilson, Ph. D.
Pellegrino University Research Professor
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA


This letter can be found here at:



What you can do?

  1. Please email Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson at:


2020: Already a Busy Year:

Cozy Deer captured by Ruth Angeletti south of Bozeman.

As we begin the 6th month of year 2020, it is obvious the year has probably not turned out the way many of us would have thought.


Besides the obvious news stories of the day, threats upon our wildlife and environment are coming at us at a faster pace than ever before. And this seems to be even more true in the advent of COVID-19. Why do you suppose that is? Do you ever get tired of playing defense? We do. To state the obvious, we are in challenging times as we enter into this new year, even more so than we would have originally predicted. For those involved in the environmental community, that is an understatement. But that doesn’t mean we are helpless or hopeless. 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).


What We've Done So Far?


1. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter, and Western Watersheds Project concerning the Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan draft proposal 2019/2020 as sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


2. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter to Wyoming Game and Fish Department urging them to phase out elk feeding grounds in northwestern Wyoming. 


3. Provided Amicus Brief on behalf of GWA against the proposed timber sale as part of the North Bridger Forest Health Project.


4. Sent letters to and visited the offices of Senator Daines and Tester urging them to reconsider the public land give-away of the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana. This National Wildlife Refuge is being transferred into the dead of night to tribal lands of the CSKT. GWA is against this sale as we believe it sets bad precedent not to mention the loss of public bison, the science and the infrastructure that has been bought and paid for by the U.S. Government. Submitted Op-Ed letter to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper on the subject to try and inform the public.


5. Heavily involved and completed in the sponsoring of the 6th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival.


6. Submitted comments on NEPA changes as proposed by the Trump Adminstration.


7. GWA along with Montana Rivers and Cottonwood Environmental Law Firm filed a complaint in District Court against the Department of Environmental Quality to protect the Gallatin River from unwanted pollution from proposed discharge of treated waste water from the Big Sky community.


8.Have agreed with several other NGO(s) to bring suit against the Forest Service to curtail the bad precedent of the elk feeding grounds in Wyoming. Action soon to be coming.


9. Written comments on the Montana's Climate Solution Plan as drafted by the Climate Solution Council originated by Governor Steve Bullock.


10. Submitted comments on BLM's effort to weaken grazing regulations on public land. 


11. GWA originated a sign-on letter addressed to the U.S. Forest Service (Regional Offices) to not participate with the state of Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game to violate Federal Law in the management of the Gray Wolf in wilderness areas within the state.


12. GWA, eleven other conservation groups, and Footloose Montana along with two community leaders signed on to a letter requesting the Director and Commission of Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks to suspend all trapping on public lands during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.


13. GWA held their first ever "virtual" board and membership meeting on April 21, 2020 at 9:00am due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many topics were discussed and it was felt that this medium (Zoom) held great promise for future meetings.


14. On May 8, 2020, submitted comments to the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council over the idea of proposed hunting of grizzly bears as part of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks statewide's management plan on public land.


15. GWA submitted comments written by Dr. Jim Bailey to the Centers of Disease Control and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on the subject of removal of Brucella abortus from the select agent bioterror list. Comments submitted May 12, 2020.


16. GWA cosigned a letter along with several other NGOs sponsored by Western Watershed urging the U.S. Congress to include stimulus funding for protection of wildlife and public lands on May 12, 2020.


17. On May 30, GWA submitted original comments to the Montana Dept. of Transportation on the U.S. Hwy 191 Project Study, a study researching resources from Four Corners to the Junction of Beaver Creek Rd at Hwy 191 just south of Big Sky, MT. This highway cuts through prime wildlife habitat resulting in severe animal/vehicle collisions each year. If you would like to comment, here is the link.



And it is only the 2nd of June as I update this. This is not all. The work continues on. 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 forest system do we want? What kind of world do we want? 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



What Are We Working on Now?


While many of us are waiting on the final word from the Custer Gallatin National Forest concerning the Final Revised Forest Plan, there is still work to do. In relation to that, there is the Bozeman Municipal Watershed fuels reduction project. For more information, please see below.


Thank you!

COVID-19 and other diseases, Man’s insatiable

appetite to screw with Nature: A Commentary



“This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019(COVID -19).” Picture and statement from CDC website.


Surely we remember the old saying, the old cliché if you will: “We are our own worst enemy.” It has never been more timely to say that than now. After all, it seems fitting since we are in the midst of this horrific nightmare of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mankind has been a purveyor of sickness and disease (human and animal) ever since the beginning of time. If some think that is too harsh a statement, so be it, but it is true today with this pandemic. None of this had to happen, and even though the root cause of this disease outbreak may not be completely known or fully understood, the evidence does suggest this virus spread from the “wet markets” existing in the Wuhan area of China.


We bring this up because it is very relatable to how man has treated the world about him with little or no reverence, like his/her special playground. All we have to say is look how man has treated our forests, our wildlife and their habitat, the air, water and our atmosphere. We have decimated or interfered with the many natural processes that make this planet worth inhabiting. 


For more read, use this link.


CDC global map showcasing the outbreak of the coronavirus around the world as of 12pm ET, April 27, 2020.



This article now published in the Bozone on line edition:


Seeking Protection for the Gallatin:

Gallatin River taken by Clint Nagel on Aug. 21, 2015.


GWA continues to do the work that many organizations refuse to do. The case of the Gallatin River is a prime example. We are "Seeking Protection" as was stated in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's headline on Feb. 21, 2020. For your convenience, that link is provided here.


The Problem and the Solution:

If you prefer to learn more on this huge concern, and you should, please click on the link below. We're trying to get the Gallatin River protected and listed as an "Outstanding Resource Water" (ORW). Potential wastewater discharge from Big Sky with all of its known and unknown contaminants threaten that quality of water. It has been a long slog, but a fight we believe worth the effort. We have to ask ourselves, how much deterioation of water quality do we want in the Gallatin River? There are some groups who seem to state, they are willing to compromise some of that quality away. Our question, how do you do that? Why would you do that?


Sign the Petition:

We are asking anyone and everyone who is interested to protect the Gallatin River to sign the petition through Change.Org.


Designate the Gallatin River as an Outstanding Resource Water (ORW)


As you look at these pictures, how much contamination do you want to see on the Gallatin?




Be READY, We just got word that the Custer Gallatin National Revised Forest Plan will be released this early summer!

We Need to be Heard!


To View GWA's previous comments on the Custer Gallatin National Forest Revised Forest Plan, look here.



 1. The Link To GWA's Original Comments Can Be Found Here:



2. GWA Comments - Addendum to CGNF Draft Revised Forest Plan:



3. GWA Comments on Moose - Addendum to CGNF Draft Revised Forest Plan:


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