Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument is a national monument protecting the Missouri Breaks of central Montana, United States. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Called "The Breaks" by locals, it is a series of badland areas characterized by rock outcroppings, steep bluffs and grassy plains. Created by Proclamation by President William J. Clinton on January 17, 2001, it encompasses 495,502 acres, most of which were managed by the U. S. government. The adjacent Missouri River was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 1976 and forms a western boundary while the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is to the east; the Breaks country was a model for many of the paintings done by painter Charles M. Russell. French trappers found the area in the late 18th century peopled by Native American tribes such as the Blackfoot, Northern Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Gros Ventre, Plains Cree and Plains Ojibwa; the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the Breaks in 1805 and were the first to document the region through notes and drawings, their sighting and documentation of bighorn sheep in the Breaks region was the first time this species was recorded in North America by white explorers.
Much of the Breaks region has remained as it was when Clark's party first saw it. "The confluence of the Judith and Missouri Rivers was the setting for important peace councils in 1846 and 1855. In 1877, the Nez Perce crossed the Missouri and entered the Breaks country in their attempt to escape to Canada; the Cow Island Skirmish occurred in the Breaks and was the last encounter prior to the Nez Perce's surrender to the U. S. Army at the Battle of Bear Paw just north of the monument." A full management plan is still under development due to various private inholdings and lease agreements between private citizens and the federal government. While conservationists would like to see some of the Breaks monument lands become designated as Wilderness, local ranchers and farmers under long standing lease agreements with the federal government, who graze upwards of 10,000 head of cattle annually within the new monument, are concerned that the monument status may adversely affect their livelihood and the economies of local towns.
Under the proposed management plan from the Department of the Interior, although the resources of the monument will be given better protection, "currently permitted livestock grazing, hunting and similar activities will not be affected, nor will private property and state land within the boundary of the proposed monument, as well as other valid existing rights."In 2013, the U. S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Bureau of Land Management's management plan violated historic site laws with their practices; the National Trust for Historic Preservation cited the site as one of ten historic sites saved in 2013. The Breaks is home to at least 60 mammal hundreds of bird species. Willows and shrubs are found along the Missouri River banks while sagebrush and short grass prairie are dominant elsewhere. Montana Wilderness Association "Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument". U. S. Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 2018-07-15. "Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument". The Wilderness Society. Archived from the original on 2006-07-10.
Retrieved 2006-08-13. "Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument". Montana Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 2011-08-11. Map Bureau of Land Management Friends of the Missouri Breaks
Pacific Northwest Trail
The Pacific Northwest Trail is a 1200-mile hiking trail running from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean on Washington’s Olympic Coast. Along the way, the PNT crosses three national parks, seven national forests, two other national scenic trails, against the grain of several mountain ranges, including the Continental Divide, Whitefish Divide, Selkirks, Kettles and Olympics; the Pacific Northwest Trail was designated as the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail by Congress in 2009. The route was first conceived by Ron Strickland in 1970. Between 1970 and 1976, extensive fieldwork was performed by Strickland and others, including early supporters along the PNT corridor who lent extensive knowledge of local trail systems to the effort. In that time, the Pacific Northwest Trail was cobbled together using preexisting trails and Forest Service roads. In 1977, Strickland founded the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, an organization responsible for education and information and advocacy for the PNT.
That same year, the first five successful thru-hikes of the Pacific Northwest Trail were completed. Two of those hikers would appear on the cover of Backpacker Magazine, in a 1979 issue which introduced the Pacific Northwest Trail to an international audience. In 1979, the first short guide for the PNT was published by Signpost Magazine, which would become Washington Trails Association; the guide consisted of two pages that described the route, came unaccompanied by maps. In 1983, Ron Strickland would hike the entire length of the PNT alongside the PNTA's first cartographer, Ted Hitzroth, they used the information collected on their journey to develop the first full-length guidebook for the PNT, published in 1984. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the trail gained in popularity. Regional volunteer groups emerged to help the PNTA maintain and improve the PNT in their areas, including SWITMO in the Puget Sound area, the Yaak Trail Club, who helped select and maintain the route through northwest Montana's Yaak Valley.
In 2000, the Pacific Northwest Trail received its first federal designation, when the Clinton administration designated the trail as a Millennium Trail. More federal recognition would come in the following years. In 2002, the North Cascades National Park / Ross Lake National Recreation Area segment was designated a National Recreation Trail; the Olympic National Park segment received this designation in 2003, the Glacier National Park segment received the same designation in 2005. In 2008, Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Maria Cantwell introduced Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail legislation to Congress; the marked up version of the legislation for the designation passed the full Natural Resource Committee of the US Senate on September 11, 2008, was inserted into the Public Lands Omnibus Bill. Congress passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 on March 25 of that year, the Pacific Northwest Trail became the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail with President Obama's signature on March 30.
The Public Lands Omnibus Act of 2009 placed the trail under the management of the Department of Agriculture, with the United States Forest Service serving as the trail administrator. A comprehensive management plan for the Pacific Northwest Trail is under development. In 2017, the Pacific Northwest Trail Association celebrated its 40th anniversary, as well as the 40th anniversary of the first five thru-hikes of the trail. Beginning at Chief Mountain Customs on the United States–Canada border in central Montana, the Pacific Northwest Trail traverses the high mountains and valleys of Glacier National Park, where it shares mileage with the Continental Divide Trail, it enters Flathead National Forest, travels across the Flathead River into Polebridge, Montana, up the Whitefish Divide, into Kootenai National Forest, through the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area and Ten Lakes Scenic Area on its way to the Idaho state line. In Idaho Panhandle National Forest, the PNT crosses the Moyie River Valley, winds its way through the forest lands and farmlands of the Kootenai River Valley, up Parker Ridge to the Selkirk Crest down Lions Head and over Lookout Mountain to Upper Priest Lake.
From there, the trail climbs toward the Washington state line. In Washington, the PNT enters Colville National Forest in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness crosses the Pend Oreille River on the Metaline Falls Bridge, before continuing over Abercrombie Mountain and reaching the Columbia River, in the town of Northport. Next, the trail wanders along the Kettle Crest, through Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and into the range lands and orchards of the Okanogan River Valley. From the city of Oroville, the PNT follows the Similkameen River to Palmer Lake, where the trail travels through Loomis State Forest, begins its ascent into the Pasayten Wilderness, where the PNT shares tread with the Pacific Crest Trail. After traversing the Pasayten, the trail crosses Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park; the trail exits the park via Hannegan Pass, continues through the Mt. Baker Wilderness. From Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the trail uses a mix of federal and private timber lands to reach the shores of Puget Sound.
Along the dikes and through the farmlands of Skagit County, the trail traverses Fidalgo Island, crosses the bridge at Deception Pass State Park and continues across Whidbey Island to the Washington State Ferry Terminal in Coupeville, Washington. After a thirty-minute ferry ride, the trail picks up in the quaint seaside community of Port Townsend and the confluence of three trails: the Larry Scott Trail, the Olymp
Flathead National Forest
The Flathead National Forest is a national forest in the western part of the U. S. state of Montana. The forest covers 2,404,935 acres, it is named after the Flathead Native Americans. The forest is located in the Rocky Mountains with elevations ranging from 4,500 to 8,500 feet; the forest provides habitat for 250 species of wildlife and 22 species of fish. This includes bald eagle, beaver, porcupine, moose, white-tailed deer, grizzly bear, timber wolf two species of fox, mountain goat, Canadian lynx, bighorn sheep and bull trout; the Flathead National Forest is bordered by Glacier National Park and Canada to the north, the Lewis and Clark National Forest and Glacier to the east, the Lolo National Forest to the south, the Kootenai National Forest to the west. The wilderness areas in the forest are the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Great Bear Wilderness Area, Mission Mountains Wilderness Area. Other specially-designated areas in the forest include Flathead Wild and Scenic River, Jewel Basin Hiking Area, the Coram Experimental Forest.
Some 270,000 acres of non-federal land are included in the boundaries drawn for the national forest. This includes private land, commercial forest and part or all of Swan River State Forest, Stillwater State Forest and Coal Creek State Forest. Commercial activities in the non-wilderness sections of the forest include timber harvesting, two downhill ski resorts and a small amount of cattle grazing. Individuals can pick less than 10 US gallons of berries without a permit. Larger amounts of berries and Christmas tree cutting, mushroom or mineral gathering in wilderness areas require permits; the forest contains 1,700 miles of roads, many of them primitive fire roads and 2,800 miles of hiking trails. 38 miles of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail are located within the Flathead National Forest. While camping is allowed anywhere within national forests without a permit, Flathead National Forest has 34 campgrounds with some facilities; the largest campground has only 40 sites and 2 campgrounds have only one site each.
Most campgrounds do not have running water. There are 11 cabins for rent in the forest; the forest lies in Flathead County, but smaller areas extend into five other counties. In descending order of land area they are Powell, Lake and Clark, Lincoln counties. Forest headquarters are located in Montana. There are local ranger district offices in Bigfork, Hungry Horse, Whitefish. List of Forests in Montana Media related to Flathead National Forest at Wikimedia Commons Official website Pacific Northwest Trail
Kootenai National Forest
The Kootenai National Forest is a national forest located in the far northwestern section of Montana and the northeasternmost lands in the Idaho panhandle in the United States, along the Canada–US border. Of the 2.2 million acres administered by the forest, less than 3 percent is located in the state of Idaho. Forest headquarters are located in Montana. There are local ranger district offices in Eureka, Libby, Trout Creek, Troy, Montana. About 53 percent of the 94,272-acre Cabinet Mountains Wilderness is located within the forest, with the balance lying in neighboring Kaniksu National Forest. Snowshoe Peak in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, at 8,738 feet, is the highest peak within the forest. Mountain ranges included in the forest include the Whitefish, Bitterroot and Cabinet ranges; the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail traverses the Forest. More than 90 miles of the 1,200-mile trail are within the Kootenai; the Kootenai and the Clark Fork rivers are the major rivers and are fed by abundant rainfall, more than double that amount found elsewhere in Montana.
Three major hydroelectric dams exist in the Kootenai National Forest. Libby Dam on the Kootenai River creates a 90-mile -long lake known as Lake Koocanusa, which extends into Canada; the shores of the lake are all forested with no private property easements. The lowest elevation in Montana is where the Kootenai River leaves the state, 1,832 feet above sea level. Other rivers in the forest include the Yaak, Fisher and Vermillion, with water flowing from over 100 lakes; the climate of the Kootenai has been described as "modified Pacific maritime" in character, meaning that compared to the remainder of Montana, this area's climate resembles that found along the Pacific coast. The character becomes "modified" by occasional intrusions of arctic air masses, more common elsewhere in Montana, which can bring winter temperatures down to −30 °F. Winters feature heavy snowfalls in the mountains. Access into the forest is via U. S. Highway 2, U. S. Highway 93, Montana State Highways 37, 56, 200, 508; the national forest is located overwhelmingly in Lincoln County, but extends into neighboring counties.
In descending order of forestland area, they are Flathead County in Montana and Boundary counties in Idaho, Sanders County in Montana. Gibralter Fire List of Forests in Montana "Kootenai National Forest". U. S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2006-07-08. "Pacific Northwest Trail". U. S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2013-11-19. "Cabinet Mountains Wilderness". The National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness.net. Retrieved 2006-07-08
Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,800-acre National Wildlife Refuge along the Bitterroot River in southwestern Montana, U. S. Established in 1964 as Ravalli NWR, it was renamed in 1978 in honor of the late Senator Lee Metcalf, a native of Montana; the refuge was set aside for the protection of migratory bird species. About 235 species of birds have been documented with over 100 nesting there. Additionally, 37 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians have been documented; the refuge's wildlife viewing area covers 160 acres of wetlands and riparian woodland. It includes two nature trails and a paved, wheelchair-accessible trail from the parking lot to the picnic area; the viewing area is equipped with a viewing and fishing structure, outdoor restroom facilities, an information kiosk. One of the nature trails, the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Viewing Trail, was designated as a National Recreation Trail. Media related to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge at Wikimedia Commons Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
Gallatin National Forest
Founded in 1899, Gallatin National Forest is located in south central Montana, United States. The forest comprises 1,819,515 acres and has portions of both the Absaroka-Beartooth and Lee Metcalf Wilderness areas within its boundaries. Gallatin National Forest borders Yellowstone National Park on the north and northwest and is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region which encompasses 20,000,000 acres; the forest is named after Albert Gallatin, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury and scholar of Native American languages and cultures. In descending order of land area the forest is located in parts of Park, Sweet Grass, Madison and Meagher counties. Since 2014, the Gallatin and Custer National Forests are managed together as the Custer–Gallatin National Forest with headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. There are local ranger district offices located in West Yellowstone and Gardiner in Montana for Gallatin, Ashland and Red Lodge in Montana, in Camp Crook in South Dakota for Custer. There are six separate mountain ranges within the forest including the Gallatin, Bridger, Crazy and Beartooth Ranges.
The Beartooth's are home to Granite Peak, which at 12,799 ft, is the highest point in Montana and in the forest. Quake Lake on the Madison River is the site of the 1959 earthquake and landslide which formed the lake. A separate section of the forest north of Livingston, Montana is located in the Crazy Mountains which rise over 7,000 ft above the great plains to the east; the forest includes the Absaroka -- Beartooth and the Lee Metcalf. While the lower elevations are covered in grasses and sagebrush, higher altitudes support Douglas fir, with several species of spruce and aspen being the dominant tree species. Of the 4,000 mi of streams and rivers there are major tributaries of the Yellowstone River, which bisects the western and eastern sections of the forest running through Paradise Valley; the Gallatin and Madison Rivers, major tributaries of the Missouri River are found in the forest. The habitat supports over 300 wildlife species, including the grizzly bear, bald eagle, peregrine falcon.
Many western North American species are represented in this climax ecosystem including elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, cougar, wolf packs and black bear. Various subspecies of trout are plentiful in the streams and they contribute to the forest being one of the preeminent fly fishing regions in the United States. Over 2,290 mi of hiking trails are located in the forest providing access into wilderness areas and interlinking with trails in Yellowstone National Park. There are 40 vehicle accessible campgrounds scattered throughout the forest, numerous picnic areas and cabins that can be rented for a nominal fee through the forest's district offices. West Yellowstone, Montana provides access both into the forest and to Yellowstone National Park and is a popular snowmobile center during the winter. Nighttime temperatures can be below freezing any time of the year and mosquitos in the late spring and early summer pose problems. Summertime high temperatures average in the 70s Fahrenheit and the wintertime lows can drop below −40 degrees.
Most of the precipitation falls in the form of snow with some places averaging over 33 ft annually. Access the forest off Interstate 90 south on U. S. Highway 89 from Livingston, Montana to Gardiner, Montana or south on U. S. 191 from Montana to West Yellowstone. The forest headquarters is located in Bozeman. List of Forests in Montana Custer-Gallatin National Forest - official site Gallatin County Emergency Management Gallatin National Forest FAQ, Facts and Deep Cuts
Pompeys Pillar National Monument
Pompeys Pillar National Monument is a rock formation located in south central Montana, United States. Designated a National Monument on January 17, 2001, managed by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, it consists of only 51 acres, making it one of the smallest National Monuments in the U. S, it was designated a National Historic Landmark on July 25, 1965. The new Pompeys Pillar Interpretive Center opened in 2006. Exhibits in the 5,700-square foot center relate the journey of Captain William Clark and his detachment, including Sacagawea and her son Pomp, down the Yellowstone River Valley in 1806; the pillar itself stands 150 feet above the Yellowstone River and consists of sandstone from the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, 75 – 66 million years ago. The base of the pillar is 1 acre; the pillar features an abundance of Native American petroglyphs, as well as the signature of William Clark, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark's inscription is the only remaining physical evidence found along the route, followed by the expedition.
The inscription consists of his signature and the date, July 25, 1806. Clark wrote that he climbed the sandstone pillar and "had a most extensive view in every direction on the Northerly Side of the river", he named the outcropping after Jean Baptiste Charbonneau—the son of expedition member Sacagawea—whom he nicknamed "Pompy". His original name for it was "Pompys Tower". Situated 25 miles northeast of Billings, along Interstate 94, the pillar gets 50,000 visitors annually. Archeological evidence suggests that the outcropping has been witness to 11,000 years of human involvement in the area. In addition to the pictographs and the signature of William Clark, hundreds of other people have carved their initials into the rock, including early pioneers to the area. Pompey's Pillar, Montana List of National Historic Landmarks in Montana National Register of Historic Places listings in Yellowstone County, Montana "Pompeys Pillar National Monument Official Website". U. S. Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
"Pompeys Pillar National Monument". National Landscape Conservation System. Retrieved 2006-08-13. "Pompeys Pillar National Monument". The Wilderness Society. Archived from the original on 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2006-08-13. "Pompeys Pillar National Monument". Pompeys Pillar Historical Association. Retrieved 2006-08-13