The Power of Partnerships

  • March 21, 2016
  • Posted by MCC

The U.S. Forest Service looks to a new model to decide where trail maintenance funding will go, which could result in dramatically reduced funding on public lands in more rural states like Montana. This new model will place more weight on the number of people who use the trail system versus the miles of trail requiring maintenance, which means that trails nearer to urban populations will see the most money. As the U.S. Forest Service begins using this new funding model, more public land management agencies will rely on their partnerships to get the work done and continue to provide the public the opportunity to explore the Montana wild, despite limited funding.

Many forests partner with non-profit organizations to leverage their funding available for trail maintenance. As Tod McKay, spokesman for the Bitterroot National Forest explains, “Partnerships are everything to us. The MCC (Montana Conservation Corps) crews save us every year. Partnerships are the wave of the future to get a lot of this important work accomplished. There’s no question about that.”

Individuals who cherish Montana’s beautiful backcountry hope to develop a coalition to push back against these proposed budget cuts. Just because us Montanans don’t live near big cities doesn’t mean our access to public lands is any less important than anyone else’s.

Read the full article here.


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