July 1, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Plum Creek Timber Company
Five Valleys Land Trust
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
U.S. Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
50th Anniversary Participants
On behalf of the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area Citizens Advisory Council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who made the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area 50th Anniversary Celebration a success. When Mike Thompson first brought up the fact that the Boyd Ranch was purchased in November 1948, creating the BWMCA and asked us for ideas on how to celebrate this anniversary, our initial discussions centered around whether 1998-99 was the 50th or the 51st anniversary. Once that was set aside the agreement to hold a celebration was easy. The focus of the celebration was in doubt until a suggestion that celebrating the legacy of the original purchase should also be an attempt to leave a legacy for the future.
Since the current Advisory Council was organized around the management issues involved with the purchase of the Dreyer Ranch and its inclusion into the BWMCA, we have been involved in discussions on the policies and practices now utilized in management. We have neither the personnel nor the resources to orchestrate a major project. It is due to the efforts of DFWP and the willingness of groups such as yours to cooperate that a project of this magnitude could be initiated. The fact that the vision generated one short year ago is now being realized is a testament to the cooperative efforts of all involved.
As we watch the urbanization of wildlife habitat across the state and country, it is reassuring to know that the various landholders can cooperate to provide a win-win situation for wildlife and people, insuring habitat and recreational opportunities while assisting with agricultural endeavors. Without this willingness to provide for the future of wildlife we all loose a portion of that lifestyle that makes Montana unique.
The ability of a public entity such as Fish, Wildlife and Parks to secure lands is limited by budget restraints and statewide programs. The cooperation of groups such as the Five Valleys Land Trust and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in fundraising to provided the needed financial support for this project can serve as a model for future conservation efforts. Your efforts in providing publicity for the anniversary celebration and fundraising for the continuation and eventual completion of all phases of the land purchase and exchange have made the project successful.
Again, thank you for your willingness to assist the wildlife that rely on the BWMCA for sustenance, the area ranches who must co-exist with the wildlife, and to the people of the State of Montana who will have the opportunities to enjoy the benefits of secure wildlife habitat.
Art Sikkink, President
Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area Citizens Advisory Council