April 21, 2012 Choteau MT
My name is Greg Munther and I am the Chairman of Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Some hunters and anglers are happy shooting a deer from their pickup in an alfalfa field. Some fisherman are happy catching newly planted trout from a pond.
But Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are different. For us backcountry folks, our love of the Front means getting deep inside it. The most pristine parts of the Front are the attraction to us and further back is better.
For us, the Backcountry Experience is as important or more important than the filling a tag or a creel full of trout.
We like to sweat, climb a ridge or wade a stream until we are fall-down tired. The harder it is the better we like it.
Hiking the ridges, smelling fresh elk sign or stepping in the tracks of the griz.
Hearing bighorn rams butt heads and seeing the trails of migrating elk in the fading afternoon light. Or fishing a gurgling, crystal clear stream without having road dust settle over us.
We understand the close tie between good habitat and all the wildlife and fish we love and pursue. We know that with 98% of the the lower 48 is within a mile of a motorized route, so we Treasure the Front as a very rare landscape. We know if man keeps dissecting this habitat with more roads and motorized trails wildlife, fish and the backcountry experiences pay the price
Fortunately as backcountry hunters and anglers, we can still experience the backcountry of the Front much the same as those who enjoyed it a hundred years ago.
And that is the point.
This Act is needed, not to change anything, but to keep the Front Intact
We Americans seem more willing to squander our natural resources than protect them. The Washington way seems to be to look to what we can exploit for money in the next 5 years, not what we will leave for our kids and grandkids.
This time we want to leave something richer than money….. Protect the Front.