Save Montana's Rarest Grizzlies: Reroute the Pacific Northwest Trail
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The Yaak Valley in Northwest Montana is home to one of the smallest populations of grizzly bears in the United States (approximately 22 as of 2012).
A proposed addition to the Pacific Northwest Trail would introduce a high traffic corridor of thousands of hikers through the heart of the grizzly's habitat. This northern route trail is highly problematic; 68 miles of the proposed PNT route currently pass through grizzly bear habitat in the Yaak, 44 of these miles are designated as grizzly bear core habitat.
Slating the trail through the Yaak would be dangerous to both bears and hikers, and would be detrimental to the grizzlies and their critical habitat.
A 1980 congressional study resolved that the northern route of the PNT would have a significant impact on grizzly bears and the sensitive high elevation habitat through which it would pass. However, in 2009, the out-of-state club added the northern route on to rider of a must-pass bill, meaning it now requires an act of congress to reverse. Since, they have begun building the trail without further review of the environmental impact.
Multiple proposals exist that would reroute the trail, allowing hikers to still experience the region but not impact the core grizzly habitat.
More information on the PNT and the Yaak can be found at: http://yaakvalley.org/programs/pacific-northwest-trail-route/
Or, contact the Yaak Valley Forest Council directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your voices are critical to saving Yaak's grizzlies--please make them heard. Please sign and share this petition, and add your comments to urge legislators to reroute the PNT to run along the southern route option and keep these most critical habitats intact and the bears' and hikers best interest in mind.
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