One of the most beautiful places

To the Editor,  

The East Rosebud valley is one of the most beautiful places in Montana. I remember being astounded when I rolled into this part of the Beartooth Mountains for the first time as a teenager. In the past couple years, controversy erupted in that valley after a Bozeman-based company filed for permits with FERC to put a hydroelectric dam in both the East Rosebud and in its sister stream, the West Rosebud. Locals on the East Rosebud turned out in surprising numbers to fight a dam in their neighborhood and the project was dropped.

The East Rosebud Creek is actually one of several stretches of rivers in Montana that is eligible for Wild and Scenic protection – a federal designation that preserves special rivers from degradation, including damming. The idea was actually born in Montana. The Craighead twins – famous for their Yellowstone Grizzly studies in the 70’s--came up with the idea when the Army Corps of Engineers was planning on putting a dam in the middle fork of the Flathead River near Glacier Park in the 50’s.

The idea was not that development of dams were bad, but that they needed to be balanced with setting aside and protecting the best free-flowing rivers. In 1976, the Missouri River breaks and the three forks of the Flathead were officially designated as Wild and Scenic. But Montana has apparently forgotten about this idea since then and has not added a single stream, despite its incredible heritage of rivers. This is a shame. Fortunately, this spring Senator Walsh introduced a bill to designate 20 miles of East Rosebud as Wild & Scenic. Whether the bill comes from Walsh, Tester, or Daines, the truth is that protecting Montana’s free-flowing rivers is not a partisan issue.

It’s no accident that a state that produced A River Runs Through It also produced the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. It’s time to remember that and bring the act home to Montana.    

Joel Harris

33 Alderson Ave

Billings, MT 59102

joel.harris@myfight.org

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 (All day)
    The Red Lodge Carnegie Library will be closed, Feb. 20 in observance of Presidents' Day. It will reopen, Feb. 21.
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 5:30pm
    Red Lodge Call to Action (RLCTA) meets the third week of each month from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Honey's Cafe. Non-partisan and open to all, the purpose of the group is to empower our community to be effective activists on local, state and national issues. The next meeting will be Feb. 20.
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 10:00am
    An Overeaters Anonymous group will meet every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Grace Fellowship Church, Absarokee.