Wild Word - August 2017

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Pine Creek Lake. Photo by Walker Stole

A banner thanking firefighters hangs from the Montana Wilderness Association main office in Helena.

As the fire season grows from bad to worse, Montanans across our beautiful state are steadily growing more alarmed. Entire communities have been evacuated, and it seems each day there’s a new neighborhood in the crosshairs of another conflagration.

Eye of the Needle in Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (photo by Eric Heidle)

Read the summer 2017 issues of Wild Montana, looking at the work we've done this year to protect the Upper Missouri River Breaks. 

Fishing in the Beartooths (photo by Jan MacKenzie)

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the report is that the old “economy versus conservation” dichotomy no longer applies. As this data shows, our economy actually depends on conservation of our public lands. 

Eye of the Needle in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (photo by Eric Heidle)

There are still 25 other national monuments across the country under review, and if the federal government shrinks or eliminates any one of them, it could set a precedent that puts all 157 national monuments in jeopardy, including the three we have in Montana – the Breaks, Pompeys Pillar, and Little Bighorn Battlefield.