Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
radical "Wildlands" Project" legislation pushed by Alliance
For Wild Rockies COMES TO LIFE AGAIN AS H.R. 980 in
the 111th Congress. This bill has been brought up in each of the last
NINE congressional sessions. The people behind this are determined
to keep pushing it until it passes. We, who desire to preserve our
access to public lands, must be as diligent and as perseverant as they
are to prevent this portion of the wildlands project from ever becoming
The Subcommittee Hearing Was Held on May 5,
As of May 5, no further action has been scheduled
but they could decide to vote on NREPA with short notice. You
can find a list of committee members with contact information at www.savethewest.net/takeAction.htm
Ask them to vote against HR 980
This legislation implements a large part of the
Wildlands Project agenda for the North American continent. It designates
25 million acres of new wilderness and defacto wilderness -
21 million actual
wilderness, including 5 million acres in corridors, with an additional 4 million acres of
defacto wilderness from recovery areas and corridors. This
does NOT include 3 million acres of Yellowstone and Glacier
National Parks that are also designated as wilderness. The act ties up over 1 million acres in recovery areas
which when recovered will be slated for wilderness study and probable
inclusion. NREPA creates biological corridors that connect wilderness
areas. These corridors are made up of wilderness and non-willderness
federal lands that will be managed as
wilderness. NREPA designates 2056 miles of river on 64 rivers and creeks as
National Scenic, Recreation or Wild Rivers with the attendant restrictions on
usage public and private those designations require.
Most of this massive lockout of the people in
favor of animals, plants, rocks and government biologists will occur in just 3
of the 50 states: Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, which presently contain 14
million acres of wilderness and National Park lands. NREPA
represents an increase
of wilderness in these states of almost 200%. Some new wilderness
will also be created in the eastern third of Oregon and
The entire nation has 10,000
miles of river designated Wild and Scenic. The new designations in
just three states represent a 20% increase for the entire
There are almost 50 million acres of
wilderness in the federal system outside of Alaska. This bill which affects only
five states will increase the federal wilderness acreage in the lower 48
states by 50%
On Flathead and Kootenai Forests this bill would
The Flathead NF will convert appoximately
447,000 acres of multiple
use forest to wilderness. Affected areas are: Swan front, Swan crest,
Limestone Caves/Lost Jack, the Middle Fork, the South Fork, the Missions,
LeBeau, and Mt Hefty/Tuchuck/Thompson-Seton. All of the inventoried
roadless areas on the Flathead will be converted to wilderness.
The Kootenai will have approximately 350,000 acres converted. The
areas are too numerous to list but the principal ones are: The Cabinets
(100,000), Saddle Mtn, Galena Cr., Northwest Peaks, Roderick and Mt Henry.
Studying the map obtained from Alliance for the Wild
Rockies, it appears that most of the Yaak will be put into wilderness,
wild land recovery or biological corridor, designations which prohibit
virtually all use by man.
The acreage figures given above do not
include hundreds of thousands of defacto wilderness in recovery and
corridor areas newly created from multiple use forest.
Wild land recovery areas
NREPA mandates the purpose of management in these
area is to "restore, as much as possible, such lands to their
natural condition as existed prior to their entry and development." After
restoration is complete the area will be evaluated for "...suitability
of such component for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation
On the Flathead, 215,107 acres will be converted from
multiple use to a wildland recovery designation. The South Fork is the
primary area selected for restoration to wilderness status - 204,981
acres. On the map it would appear that this would include the entire South
Fork. We are not sure what they intend to do with Hungry Horse Dam.
99,591 acres will be converted in the Kootenai. This is
all in the Yaak and constitutes roughly one third of that area.
Wild and Scenic Rivers
The following rivers and streams will be designated
Wild, Scenic, or Recreational with attendant federal restrictions on
public and private use: most of the Yaak - recreational and wild,
most of the free flowing Kootenai - recreational, most of the Bull -
recreational, and most of the Vermillion - recreational. The forks of the
Flathead are already designated.
The purpose of the corridors is to provide animals
free passage from wilderness to wilderness and they will be managed as
much like wilderness as possible. Approximately 2,900,000 acres of
non-wilderness will be set aside for corridors in addition to
approximately 5,000,000 acres of wilderness in corridors.
"(a) ROADLESS LANDS
DESIGNATED AS WILDERNESS- The roadless areas identified as part of the
biological connecting corridors on the maps referred to in section 202 and
the areas described on such maps as wilderness are hereby designated as
wilderness and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation
(b) SPECIAL CORRIDOR MANAGEMENT AREAS- Those portions of the biological
connecting corridors identified on the maps referred to in 202 that are
not covered by subsection (a) are hereby designated as special corridor
management areas. The portions shall be managed in the following manner:
(1) The practice of even-aged silvicultural management and timber
harvesting is hereby prohibited on the portions.
(2) Mining, oil, and gas exploration and development and new road
construction or reconstruction is hereby prohibited with regard to the
(3) The Federal land management agencies responsible for the portions
shall take immediate steps to ensure that road densities within the
biological connecting corridors approach, as nearly as possible, zero
miles of road per square mile of land area. Such road density shall not
exceed 0.25 miles per square mile, using the method known as the ‘moving
The federal lands affected in this area would be
69,506 acres on the Kootenai NF. This would be part of a corridor
extending from the North Fork/Tuchuck to the Cabinets. 100+ miles perhaps?
It will cross both US 93 and US 2 as well as thousands of private acres in
the Fortine/Trego and Libby/Troy areas.
After three years a panel will report to congress
on the implementation of NREPA
"The report shall be produced by a panel of
independent scientists appointed by the National Academy of Sciences, in
consultation with the Society for Conservation Biology."
Society for Conservation Biology
Reed Noss, Michael Soule and others. These are
the folks who put together the pseudo-science of conservation biology
which is supposed to justify the Wildlands Project.
THE PANEL will have sole authority to select
NEW areas in addition to those designated by NREPA from the 5 states of WA, OR, MT, ID, AND WY for inclusion into the
wilderness system. The only requirements for these areas are that they be
within the 5 states; that they be at least 1000 acres in size and that
they be part of the National Forest System. The panel will make their
recommendations - to someone??. Until and unless Congress enacts
legislation to the contrary these lands, selected by non-elected
bureaucrats who were recommended by a private organization, will remain
roadless and unavailable for anything "which impairs the natural
and roadless qualities of these lands...."
There are many thousands of areas like this
that must be studied and will be locked up until the studies are
complete. There is not limitation on shape so that these
areas could be drawn like gerry mandered political districts
with no regard for usage or common sense. Long twisted
areas with cutouts for high use roads would be common.
Current definitions of roadless allow for old roads that are not
in use and even for recently obliterated roads. This
section of the bill by itself will eliminate virtually all
multiple use including mining, timber harvest, oil and gas, and
motorized recreation on the national forests in these five
This small mention of THE PANEL innocently
tucked away in a seemingly unimportant small section towards the end of
the HR 980 would give Reed Noss, the man who would like to
lock humanity out of 95% North America, acting through SCB the power to lock up potentially millions of acres in 5 western
NREPA IS REAL; IT IS A NIGHTMARE; IT
MUST BE STOPPED
MFMU Alert Page
Map of NREPA Flathead
portion of NREPA
These maps are from previous versions of NREPA . More land
has been added to wilderness in the Flathead than is shown on
this map. Go to Save
The West for more accurate maps.
Click on maps to enlarge
NREPA is presently before the House Resources Committee.
Send your comments to the Dept
of Interior and the members of this
committee as well as your own
congressman. Go to our Bill
Watch -List for links to the committee, the bill text, bill
status and our summary of the bill.
Go to SAVE THE WEST at http://www.savethewest.net
for even more information including contact information for
Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act - Designates the following
lands in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as wilderness and
components of the National Wilderness Preservation System (System): (1)
Greater Glacier/Northern Continental Divide ecosystem; (2) Greater
Yellowstone ecosystem; (3) Greater Salmon/Selway ecosystem; (4) Greater
Cabinet/Yaak/Selkirk ecosystem; (5) Islands in the Sky Wilderness; and (6)
Designates: (1) specified wild land areas as Biological Connecting
Corridors to protect the life flow of the Northern Rockies Bioregion; (2)
the inventoried roadless areas identified as part of the Corridors as
components of the System; and (3) certain biological connecting corridors
as special corridor management areas.
Amends the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of
specified rivers and creeks in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as components
of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Establishes the National Wildland Restoration and Recovery System and
the National Wildland Recovery Corps.
Establishes a panel to examine all unroaded areas 1000 acres
and larger on all national forests in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming,
Oregon and Washington to determine if they should be included in
the inventoried roadless inventory. No timber harvest or
road building in these areas until decision is made.
Requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to assure
nonexclusive access to the specified areas and corridors designated by
this Act by Native Americans for traditional cultural and religious