National Public Lands Day
We’ve had quite a busy fall so far! An enthusiastic crew of our volunteers showed up to support the Monument on National Public Lands Day (NPLD) – a national day of volunteer work to improve America’s amazing system of national public lands. Nationally, the event, which took place on September 27, drew over 175,000 volunteers to more than 2,000 sites in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico! Check out these impressive national stats from the National Public Lands Day webpage:
In 2014, NPLD volunteers:
- Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
- Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
- Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
- Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places
- Contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country.
Friends volunteers pitched in locally and helped improve the walkways and prune the shelter belt at Coal Banks Landing – one of the Missouri’s most popular campsites. Be sure to check our events page this spring for our listing of 2015 events, including NPLD next September!
Thanks, volunteers, for braving the rain and helping spiff up Coal Banks for the season! (Photo Friends).
Public lands supporters join forces at state capitol
The Friends and other groups such as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Montana Wilderness Association joined forces to rally at Montana’s state capitol building on September 27 against the terrible idea of transferring federally-managed public lands to state control.
Over 300 people braved the rain to hear Senator Jon Tester speak about why we need to keep public lands in public hands. Check out the Independent Record coverage of the event here. And, check out this well-written editorial by Mary Sexton, former Director of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, regarding how a public lands transfer would result in hardships and less access to public lands for ranchers, sawyers, outfitters, tourists, hunters, anglers, and other recreationists.
A huge thanks to those of you who turned out to support public lands like your Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument!
Jon Tester emphasized the important role public lands play for Montanans in forming our identities and criticized attempts to use sale of federal lands to make up for budget shortfalls. (Photo Friends).
Wild and Scenic Film Fest success
The Friends saw a lively and diverse crowd turn out for our first-ever hosting of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour in Lewistown on October 10. The festival originated in Nevada City, CA by the South Yuba River Citizen’s League and has since grown into the largest environmental film fest of its kind – taking place in over 100 U.S. locations this year alone. As a sponsoring organization, we showed nine films, which highlighted a variety of topics including long-distance hiking in Oregon’s sagebrush-steppe, fly fishing in the Pacific northwest, alternative energy development, climate change, ranching in Montana, kids and the outdoors, and searching for glaciers in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains.
“Overall, it was a great way to bring people together and raise awareness of the Wild and Scenic Missouri River and the great work the Friends are doing,” said Sara Meloy, Friends’ Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator.
Sara Meloy addresses the film fest crowd at the Yogo Inn in Lewistown. (Photo Friends).
Thanks to those of you who came out for a fun and inspiring evening! Be sure to keep tabs on our events page for future opportunities to join us for volunteering and other fun events.