Group holds information sessions to begin wilderness study area discussion


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Some Bozeman locals say they're optimistic the community can come up with a plan for the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area that takes a diverse set of interests into account.

A ninth circuit court ruled the US Forest Service violated the Wilderness Study Act of 1977, a law that protected areas of the Gallatin Range from development and motorized use.

Saturday's Bozeman workshop was the second of six information sessions about the Gallatin Range to learn more about the upcoming Gallatin Community Collaborative process.

According to gallatincollaborative.org, the Gallatin Community Collaborative aims to "achieve a broad, adaptive and durable resolution of all the interests involving the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area that can be implemented."

We talked to the mediator of Saturday's workshop, Jeff Goebel. He tells us the purpose of the workshops are to start movement towards the Gallatin Community Collaborative.
"We're getting people to come together and start building the relationships in the communities so people can work together. We're also looking at creating a common vision, a common direction for people, unifying where people can go and we're also working on building capacity," explains Goebel.

He says he was impressed with Saturday's Bozeman workshop and tells us people were really listening to each other in respectful ways.

"We got some good information, Saturday. I think people interacted, built some new friendships and that's perfect. What could be better than that?" says Goebel.

The next workshop is in Bozeman on Monday from 5:30p to 9:30p at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds but we're told spots are filling up fast.

There's another workshop on Tuesday in Livingston from 5:30p to 9:30p at the Park High School multi-purpose room and one in Emmigrant at the Emmigrant Community Hall on Wednesday from 5:30p to 9:30p.

Registration is required for all workshops. You can sign up here.

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