Date: March 31, 2016 at 4:03:32 PM MDT
Cc: Mary Erickson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please see the attached letter regarding the Gallatin Community Collaborative and our recommendation for the Gallatin Range Wilderness. The letter is being provided on behalf of 14 organizations and 4 individuals.
March 29, 2016
RE: Gallatin Community Collaborative process
To Whom It May Concern:
We the undersigned organizations and citizens object to the Gallatin Community Collaborative (GCC) process. It is undemocratic and allows a small select group of locals to exert undue influence over Federal land management policy. We object to these efforts to exert local control over public lands that belong to all Americans. While local citizens will almost always have more opportunity to influence public land decision- making than do citizens living thousands or even hundreds of miles away, local-control groups like the GCC ensure the vast majority of citizens will be excluded from decisions made about their lands. Such “user group” driven processes lose sight of the fact that most Americans cherish their public lands for the benefits these lands provide to wildlife, plants, and ecosystem processes, rather than the desires of those who care mostly about their particular use or activities.
We support wilderness designation for the entire 229,000 acres roadless portion of the Gallatin Range that lies north of Yellowstone National Park on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. The Gallatin Range is one of the premier unprotected national forest roadless areas in the nation and is a vital component of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wildland complex. It may be the best remaining unprotected wildlife habitat in the entire national forest system. Half of the range north of Yellowstone is already “roaded and developed” and the remaining wildland should not be further fragmented or reduced in size in order to satisfy vested local interests. These lands belong to all Americans and all Americans should have equal opportunity to weigh in on their future.
Click here for a discussion about concerns with the Gallatin Community Collaborative debated previously on this blog.