MWF Calls for Answers, Access in Crazy Mountains

Loco Mountain in Crazy Mountains Montana. Photo by Mike Cline.
Loco Mountain in Crazy Mountains Montana. Photo by Mike Cline.

The Montana Wildlife Federation recently sent letters to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell as well as Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, and Congressman Greg Gianforte, asking for clarification of facts surrounding the reassignment of a district ranger working to improve public trail access to public land in the Crazy Mountains.

Large swaths of public land in the Crazy Mountains are inaccessible to the public.  Yellowstone District Ranger Alex Siekienwicz has been working for years with landowners, hunters, and other stakeholders to defend and improve public access.  The Forest Service recently removed Sienkiewicz from his position and started an investigation into his activities. MWF is seeking more information on how long  Sienkiewicz will be kept out of his position, how the public will be kept informed of the investigation, and how the Forest Service intends to continue defending public access to public land on public roads and trails.

The reassignment of Mr. Siekienwicz is particularly troubling in light of deep cuts proposed for the US Forest Service’s budget.  The Trump Administration’s proposed budget for 2018 cuts $1 billion from the Forest Service’s budget and proposes to eliminate 1,800 positions.  Managing public access will be even more difficult if the agency is understaffed and underfunded.

See the letters here:

MWF Tidwell letter Crazy Mountains public access

MWF Congressional Delegation letter on Crazy Mountains public access

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Alec Underwood

Federal Conservation Campaigns Director

Alec is responsible for developing and implementing MWF’s federal conservation advocacy and policy campaigns to protect Montana’s fish and wildlife. He spends most of his free time hunting big game and fly fishing Montana’s cherished trout rivers. He also enjoys backpacking, skiing, photography, and woodworking.