Thank You for Making 2019 a Success
A message from our executive director
Updates from Executive Director
Another year is (almost) on the books, and I’m so thankful for all of your contributions in 2019.
Your passion, commitment, and dedication to our mission are the reasons that Montana Wilderness Association continues to be one of the leading state-based conservation organizations in the country, and I’m truly, deeply grateful for everything you do to protect Montana’s wild places.
This time last year, we were kicking off the 2019 Montana Legislative Session with 2,000 of you at the Rally for Public Lands. This passionate gathering set the tone for a session that saw Montana legislators pass sorely needed public lands funding bills and defeat numerous bills that would have had deeply negative consequences for our public lands.
In February, the Forest Service announced that it was officially recommending nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness in the Flathead National Forest, a direct outcome of the diligent work MWA supporters had been doing for almost a decade.
In June, thanks to your tireless support, Sen. Tester reintroduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which would add nearly 80,000 acres to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Mission Mountains Wilderness Areas.
In October, we were proud to support our tribal partners and see the retirement of one of the two remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine, a wild area sacred to the Niitsitapi (Blackfeet).
It was also a banner year for our volunteer trail crew. During the summer, nearly 270 volunteers worked over 5,500 hours on 63 miles of trail, including a project along the North Fork of the Blackfoot, an area that will be designated wilderness when the BCSA passes.
You’ve written comments, attended public meetings, and sent letters to your local papers. You’ve called legislators, dug new trails, and put in thousands of hours of work to help us make 2019 a year of major milestones for Montana’s wild places. I can’t thank you enough.
Before the calendar officially flips to a new decade, I hope there’s one more thing you can do to ensure the protection of Montana's wild public lands for the next ten years and beyond: make a donation to MWA.
Your support is crucial to our success, and I hope you’ll take a moment now to support our work into 2020 and beyond. We really, truly can’t do it without you.
Thank you, and have a wonderful new year. I wish you and yours all the best in 2020.
– Ben Gabriel, executive director
Ben develops MWA's organizational strategy and works with our grassroots community, partners, and board of directors to achieve MWA's mission and ensure our long-term health and effectiveness. He spends his time connecting to Montana's wild places and rivers by hiking, kayaking, and skiing with his wife, daughter, and dogs.