Don't be fooled. The three major so called "conservation" organizations, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Montana Wilderness Association and the Wilderness Society would have us believe that the proposed Alternative C in the Custer Gallatin Forest Plan offers the best protection for the Gallatin Range.

Not so, the devil is in the details. It proposes unconnected patches of new wilderness and lauds a designation called wildlife management areas, which are strictly administrative designations that can be changed on a whim. Nowhere does it mention the drastic elimination of much of the existing Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn WSA. Nowhere does their proposed Alternation C provide for the existing statutory protection of highly sensitive wildlife species in the Hyalite Porcupine area now provided by the WSA.

Wildlife require contiguous areas and migration corridors in order to survive especially in the face of global warming. The only true protection for the Gallatin Range, wildlife species, watershed and the other ecological benefits we enjoy in our backyard is permanent wilderness protection in the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn area.

Mary Lee Reese