Montanans have been protecting bits and pieces of the Rocky Mountain Front for 100 years. Starting in 1913, with the creation of the Sun River Game Preserve, the 1940s and the creation of the Sun River Game Range, the permanent withdrawal of oil and gas leasing along the Front in 2007 and now, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.
The Front has been wildlife rich for eons. The Salish-Kootenia tribes traveled across the spine of the continent to hunt bison. Bighorn sheep across Montana and the United States are back in historic ranges due to the sheep of the Rocky Mountain Front. Elk hunters clamor for bull tags in districts along the Front and the mule deer of the Teton and Sun Rivers are still engaged in their rut activity thanks to the efforts of hunters and landowners to ensure that the Front will always be prime ground for wildlife.
Only by working together for a common cause—keeping the Front the way it is—have we been able to ensure the continued viability of wildlife habitat while maintaining traditional agricultural and livestock related industries.
It was hunters and ranchers who sat down with other parties to ensure that the Heritage Act reflected their needs and desires. Together, the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front and Sen. Max Baucus put forward a bill that would do just what the postcards say: Keep the Front the way it is for future generations.
Job well done, Sen. Baucus. Count this hunter as another supporter of a bill that really is made in Montana.