McGrady helps kick off our Lewis and Clark Campaign

Last November 19, Sierra Club President Chuck McGrady flew to Missoula to help the Montana Chapter and the northwest region kick off our Lewis and Clark campaign.  Besides meeting with the news media, and holding some smaller sessions, he was our keynoter at a well-attended gathering for conservationists and at a later meeting for the general public.  The latter two were held at the Boone and Crockett Club on the bank of the Clark Fork River, most appropriate.

Our appreciation goes to Chuck for highlighting our new campaign, and to the many Missoula-area folks who worked hard to co-ordinate a successful event.

In the works since at least, last summer, the multi state campaign, to be staged over several years to coincide with the bicentennial observance of the landmark expedition, has several objectives:

  • To highlight the differences between what the explorers found and what we see today in the same places, in other words what we have lost.
  • To raise public awareness of, and enlarge the constituency for, the maintenance of still-wild places along their route.
  • To determine what places can be brought back to something like their “as discovered” conditions, under the umbrella of a “Corps of Recovery”
  • To secure designation of additional wilderness areas within the now-states traversed by the  L&C expedition.

For starters, each of those states' Chapters decided on several sites within their areas which deserve extra protection; these were highlighted in material made available to the media to coincide with our kick-off announcement.  For Montana, those areas are the Pryor Mountains, the Cabinet-Yaak area, the Selway-Bitterroots  (shared with Idaho), the Gallatin, and the Rocky Mountain Front/Badger-Two Medicine. These initial selections do not preclude others being added; the Missouri River Breaks, for example, might become another.

A Lewis and Clark Task Force has been in place since last summer, with representatives from the Dakotas, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington; it continues to plan subsequent events and strategies for achieving the campaign's objectives.  Watch for announcements of such happenings as outings to the selected areas, media events and cooperative efforts with other organizations.  And: your suggestions for innovative ways in which we can draw upon the national attention---and the expected huge visitor influx--are always welcome;  Click here for contact information.   (Sherm Janke, Bozeman)

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