The new grant awarded to Five Valleys by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust will help Five Valleys fill a position aimed at securing gifts and other contributions left by advocates of open space, public lands and conservation.
The act would add about 78,000 acres of wilderness to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Mission Mountains wilderness areas and create two recreation management areas for snowmobiling and mountain biking.
"We have all seen time and again, the devastation of a species leaving the landscape forever, and turning our back on this chance to prevent that due to an overzealous reading of the paper definition of Wilderness, does not protect the real, long-term character of wilderness at all."
With the final purchase of 2,500 acres, Five Valleys Land Trust has not only preserved the majority of Mount Dean Stone for future generations, but it also created only the fourth community forest in the state.
Helena Edelson writes, "While we acknowledge there will be some hunting of carnivores, what’s going on in the Northern Rockies isn’t fair chase or ethical – it’s persecution intended to drive these species population sizes down to arbitrarily minimum numbers."