The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled repeated claims by environmentalists seeking to stop a wildlife habitat project as “meritless.” As a result, the Johnny Crow Project will finally go forward in the Elkhorn Mountains of west-central Montana.
Crews will conduct prescribed burning operations and remove invasive conifers as a way to improve grasslands and sage brush habitat to rejuvenate forage for elk and other wildlife.
“We have seen time and time again that interference by environmental groups only thwarts efforts by wildlife habitat and forest managers to try to improve the condition of our forests and grasslands,” Kyle Weaver, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO, previously stated. “Such litigation only harms wildlife as litigants seek payouts in the form of taxpayer dollars to pad their bottom line.”
RMEF filed a brief in support of the Forest Service and other partners in January of 2019.
RMEF maintains active forest management benefits elk and a variety of other species as well as overall forest health.
Recent research also indicates prescribed fire and thinning benefit overall forest health.
(Photo source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)