The Crazy Mountains
EcoFlight flew conservationists, tribal members, wildlife scientists and reporters over the Crazy Mountains to better understand public/private land access issues and the impacts to recreation and wildlife.
The Crazy Mountains are an island range and remote alpine ecosystem in southwest Montana. Surrounded by large working ranches, the Crazies remain relatively undeveloped compared to other ranges in the region. These mountains are significant to the Crow Nation, provide critical wildlife habitat for several endangered species and are enjoyed by hunters and recreationists.
But the Crazies face an uncertain future.
The Crazies fell victim to our history of checkerboard land ownership in the West, resulting in private landowners owning significant parcels of land within the Forest Service boundary. National Forest lands interspersed with private lands are challenging to manage, but also to access, and this has led to significant conflict between landowners, hunters and other recreationists. The Forest Service has been working to resolve these disputes for decades, unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, development and recreational pressures continue to increase.
Our partners at Park County Environmental Council we are working proactively to protect the wild character of the Crazy Mountains. They are collaborating with the community to resolve trail access issues and work through land ownership challenges with landowners, hunters, recreationists, and conservationists.