EcoFlight’s flyovers highlight the spectacular alpine peaks, glacial valleys, high mountain lakes and meadows that make up the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the area is home to an abundance of wildlife, including crucial grizzly habitat.
The “Summer of Lee” is a celebration of this wilderness area, which is also the most recent wilderness to be designated in Montana. And yes, it is thirty years since we have last seen wilderness created in Montana.
Metcalf initially set out to protect one contiguous area, but by the mid-1970’s suburban development was the order of the day in southwestern Montana. The Lee Metcalf Wilderness was finally established as four separate units in November 1983. The Madison River, a headwater tributary of the Missouri River, is classified as a blue ribbon fishery and a plethora of brown trout, rainbow trout and mountain whitefish.
Lee Warren Metcalf was an American lawyer, judge and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator from Montana. A respected statesman, and known for his fiery temper, he was known for taking care of working Montanans. Metcalf was reputed to have the ability to bring people together. The “Summer of Lee” will entice people to explore the 300 miles of trail and 28 trailheads that provide access to the Lee Metcalf wilderness, and educate visitors on the history of the wilderness and its namesake.
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