To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a four-part speaker series is planned in Kalispell starting Thursday.
Presentations will focus on the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (the crown jewel of the federal wilderness system) and the value of wild lands in Montana.
The presentations will be at the Flathead Valley Community College Arts and Technology Building Room 139. All lectures will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend.
q Jan. 23: “Wilderness Turns 50 — Who Cares?” by Rick Potts, manager of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
q Feb. 13: “Climate Change Effects on Landscapes and Ecosystems of Western Montana” by Bob Keane, research ecologist, U.S. Forest Service Missoula Fire Research Station.
q March 13: “Leaving a Legacy: Passing on Wilderness to the Next Generation.” This will be a panel discussion between elders and youth. Panelists include Roland Cheek, retired wilderness outfitter and writer; Dave Owen, retired Forest Service wilderness ranger; Frank Vitale, farrier and wilderness advocate; Rebecca Boslough, University of Montana student; and Jonson England, high school student and Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation summer intern.
q April 10: “Hair Raising Encounters with Wildlife in Wilderness” by Jonathan Klein, recently retired Forest Service Wilderness and Recreation manager on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Hear about Klein’s backcountry explorations since his retirement.
The series is sponsored by the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and Montana Wilderness Association.
For 17 years, the foundation has provided stewardship for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
Bob Marshall (the man) was instrumental in creating a public initiative for wilderness preservation and frequently hiked up to 30 miles in a day. The foundation named for him continues to carry out his passion for recreation and conservation by engaging volunteers in projects that maintain trails, conserving wildland ecology and instilling an appreciation of public lands. Visit www.bmwf.org for additional information.
The Montana Wilderness Association works with communities to protect Montana’s wilderness heritage, quiet beauty and outdoor traditions. Established in 1958 by Montanans who were instrumental in the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the association has since worked for the designation of virtually every wilderness area in the state, as well as Wild and Scenic designations for suitable stretches of the Flathead and Missouri rivers.
For additional information, visit www.wildmontana.org