Monthly Archives: September 2014

Happy Birthday Wilderness Act!

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” -The definition of Wilderness as stated in the 1964 Wilderness Act

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks visiting family and friends in the Northeast. Explaining what I do tends to be a little more involved in the Northeast because most people don’t have as thorough an understanding of federal land management as they do in the Rocky Mountain West. When I say I make maps of Wilderness areas I usually have to explain how a Wilderness area (capital “W”) is different than a National Park and usually contained within National Forest. The scale can be hard for people to wrap their heads around- some of the areas we are making maps of in Montana are bigger than the smaller New England states!

My explanation usually goes something like this: Wilderness is land within other public land that is set aside to remain “untrammeled.” The use of mechanized vehicles including bicycles is forbidden and the trails and infrastructure are maintained with traditional hand tools. In Montana most Wilderness areas are within National Forest Land and managed by the National Forests but they can also be managed by other agencies. Portions of many National Parks are managed as Wilderness but Wilderness areas are not managed like National Parks.

This week is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and all summer long events and articles have celebrated the anniversary. We are big proponents of any type of designation that protects wild places but our biggest loves are the huge Wilderness areas in western Montana. We are celebrating the anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the release of our newest map by offering 20% off all of our maps for this week only. So stock up!

North Half of the Selway Bitterroot: A New Map!

We are so excited to announce the release of our fifth map- The North Half of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness! This map straddles the Montana-Idaho border and covers well over half of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness.  This is a spectacular area and we had some amazing experiences while we were out gathering data for this map. Grab a copy and head out there!

Included on the map:

  • Highway 12 from Lolo, Montana to Lowell, Idaho
  • Highway 93 from Lolo, Montana to the Lost Horse Road
  • The Bitterroot Range from Lolo Peak South to the Twin Lakes Trailhead and the Lost Horse area
  • Bitterroot Canyons between Hamilton and Lolo Including Blodgett and Kootenai Creeks
  • The Selway Road from Highway 12 in Lowell to Race Creek Trailhead
  • The Selway River from the Confluence with the Clearwater upstream to Moose Creek
  • Moose Creek Ranger Station
  • Elk Summit area
  • Jerry Johnson, Stanley and Weir hot springs
Map Sample
Area Covered
A hike down the Selway River trail #4 is not to be missed!