UM Home | UM A-Z | UM Search

Quarterly News from Aerie Backcountry Medicine

College of Forestry and Conservation

What's New

Wilderness Photography Workshop, Glacier National Park
In October, the Wilderness Institute held its annual Wilderness Photography Workshop in Glacier National Park. Led by David, Marx, this course is funded by a generous donation in memory of John G. Batchelder. Students learned the intricacies of wilderness photography among Glacier's glorious fall colors. To see the 2012 students' photos, click here.

Montana 50th Anniversary Planning Coalition Convenes This Winter
Like in other states, Montana will soon convene a coalition to plan local events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and the Wilderness Institute will be a lead participant. The coalition will bring together state and federal public land management agencies, the University of Montana, and a plethora of environmental non-profits, many of which operate out of Missoula. During 2014, events across Montana including walks for wilderness, visitor center and museum displays, speaker forums, wilderness stewardship projects, and much more will commemorate the genesis of our nation's wilderness system. We are lucky, here in Montana, to have such a rich wilderness legacy as part of our history, culture, and even our university system.

Groups or individuals interested in participating in the initial meetings should contact Steve Kimball, Forest Service Regional Wilderness Program Manager, Online resources planning 50th anniversary wilderness events can be found here.

Citizen Science Update
The Wilderness Institute’s citizen monitoring program has now completed initial monitoring work across all of Montana’s congressionally designated Wilderness Study Areas.  In the summer of 2012, volunteer-powered field crews monitored the Middle Fork Judith River and the Big Snowy Mountains Wilderness Study Areas on the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Sixty-four community volunteers donated over 1700 hours of their time to help field leaders conduct monitoring and restoration work across these Wilderness Study Areas. Since the project’s inception in 2005, over 300 community volunteers have joined field crews in the Selway-Bitterroot, Anaconda Pintler, Cabinet Mountains, Rattlesnake, Welcome Creek, Gates of the Mountains, and Gospel Hump Wilderness Areas, and the Sapphire, Blue Joint, West Pioneers, Ten Lakes, Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn, Big Snowy Mountains and Middle Fork Judith River Wilderness Study Areas.

In 2013 our field leaders will take volunteers into the back-country of the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness Area to re-visit sites monitored previously, and to collect additional measures of wilderness character needed to inform stewardship.
For more info and to volunteer>>

Wilderness Character Monitoring
Over the past 4 years, the Wilderness Institute has piloted citizen-friendly protocols for monitoring select measures of wilderness character in all seven of Montana’s congressionally designated Wilderness Study Areas. Additionally, Wilderness Institute staff participated in local and regional efforts to develop and implement a cost-efficient framework for wilderness character monitoring that includes multiple data sources and provides direction, reliability and accountability for wilderness stewardship.  As part of this effort, and in collaboration with the Gallatin National Forest, citizen-collected field data was combined with pre-existing agency data to generate a comprehensive report on wilderness character for the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. The report from this combined effort is now available for download. More information on wilderness character monitoring is also available from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and at

Past News - Click links for more information

August 2008 Climb for Climate

June 2007 Nicky Phear teaches UM Course, Cycle Montana: Energy Alternatives for a New Century


Bob Marshall Wilderness, one of the original 54 Wildernesses designated in 1964 under the Wilderness Act.



Volunteers use GIS to Map Weeds


Llamas and Missoulians Participate in Walk for Wildernss



Cycling Course Participants Riding in Line, en route to a Rancher's House