ALERT: Winton Weydemeyer Wilderness Proposal

SAWS Action Alert

Please submit comments during the month of April.

This is in the Proposed Stages


There is a very large tract of land known as the Whitefish Range in northwest Montana.  This is part of the Flathead National Forest and is adjacent to the west side of Glacier National Park.

The Flathead-Kootenai chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association (MWA) has developed a proposal to the Forest Service to convert 171,000 acres of existing Wilderness Study Area and roadless area in the Whitefish Range to permanent wilderness designation.┬á The proposed wilderness is to be called the Winton Weydemeyer Wilderness, named after MWAÔÇÖs first vice president

MWA is lobbying Montana US Senator Conrad Burns hard.┬á They are trying to get him to do a fly over of the area.┬á They are also putting together a video that will include people using ANY mountain area for non-motorized recreation.┬á In other words, this video will not accurately represent use in the proposed wilderness area.┬á MWA has already pushed the Forest Service hard enough to convince them that this proposal should be considered as a ÔÇ£Desired ConditionÔÇØ, as evidenced on page two of the link above.┬á This is MWA’s highest priority in Montana right now and would be the first all out wilderness designation we have seen in Montana in quite awhile.

This proposal removes all use of the entire Trail System for the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club located in Eureka, Mt. This club has asked for snowmobilersÔÇÖ help throughout the west to defeat this proposal.┬á We need you to let your congressional leaders know that no more wilderness is needed. The National Forest Management Act requires that ÔÇ£an area recommended as suitable for potential wilderness must meet the tests of capability, availability, and needÔÇØ.┬á Is there really a need? The neighboring 1.4 million acre Glacier National Park is already closed to snowmobiling.┬á Montana currently has 3.4 million acres of designated wilderness, also closed to snowmobiling. This proposal would remove thousands more acres of multiple-use land from our use.

In addition to the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club, Montana State Senator Abynn Curtiss of the Whitefish Range area is also asking Montanans to help in stopping this new designation.  She is worried about how this designation would negatively impact the economy and  raise the fire hazard in her district.  She is very concerned about the recreational opportunities that would be lost for future generations in this great mountain range in northwest Montana.

For further information, please see these websites:

Map of Proposed Wilderness Area

My comments to the Montana US Senators and Representative

Montana Local Offices for Senator Burns, Senator Baucus and Representative Rehberg.

Here are links to lookup your U.S. Senators and Representatives:

Lookup your U.S. House Representative

Lookup your U.S. Senator

Craig Osterman
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

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