Last Refuge Campaign
The Native Forest Network's Last Refuge Campaign exists to
document and expose the negative impacts of motorized recreation
and other forms of industrialization, in order to defend and
restore public lands in the Northern Rocky Mountains and elsewhere.
Working year-round on public lands and in local communities,
Last Refuge staff and volunteers are dedicated to protecting
the land we live on and the places we love.
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Roadless Lands Still Under the Gun
What do you envision when you picture a roadless place? An
inaccessible wasteland, or a precious fragment of a once-great
By definition, roadless public lands (as opposed to Wilderness
Areas, which enjoy maximum legal protection) are in limbo,
their fate undecided. Despite President Clinton's much-vaunted
Roadless Rule, our last roadless public lands remain in deep
danger and in need of attention and defense. These vestiges
of wild America - no mere abstractions but real, tangible
landscapes which can be located on a map and experienced directly
- need chaperones to guide them and protect them through the
maze of threats which lie ahead.
As of October 2003, the Roadless Rule - which is supposed
to safeguard 58 milllion acres of National Forest roadless
lands from logging and road building - is under an injunction
from a Wyoming judge, which means business as usual under
Bush: Planning for these lands' development. An appeal is
pending which may reinstate the Roadless Rule. But nothing
is guaranteed in the twisted world of abstract legal interpretations.
Back to basics, and let's dig into reality. You know these
places, you have heard about them and maybe even been to them.
They are real, and they are in peril, and they need your help.
The roadless areas we describe here offer examples of the
fate of all roadless public lands. These "Last Refuges"
are incredibly important and fragile places where the land
is still relatively intact, wildlife still find some refuge
and humans are but fleeting visitors.
However, time is running out for these refugia. The Gallatin
Range, the Crazy Mountains, the Tobacco Roots, the Great Burn,
the North Lochsa Face and many other areas are being overrun
with off-road "recreational" vehicles such as motorcycles,
four wheelers and snowmobiles. Mining and oil and gas exploration
could soon explode on parts of the Rocky Mountain Front. Timber
sales and road building proposals are very possible in Pot
Mountain and Weitas-Bighorn on the Clearwater, one of America's
ten most endangered national forests. A remnant population
of grizzly bears are facing extinction in the Granby drainage
of southern B.C. due to logging and road building.
The Native Forest Network's Last Refuge Campaign seeks permanent
protection for these remote and little-known public wildlands.
But to achieve lasting protection, many people must get involved
and speak out for protection of our threatened roadless lands.
NFN Last Refuge Campaign
c/o NFN Yellowstone
Bozeman, MT 59771
Ph: (406) 586-3885