Montana Recognizes Women’s History Month

Governor Greg Gianforte today proclaimed March 2022 as Women’s History Month in Montana to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of women to the state’s history.

In 1987, U.S. Congress passed a resolution designating the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month. The month has since been recognized every year.

The governor’s proclamation can be viewed below.

“WHEREAS, Americans come together each March to celebrate Women’s History Month and showcase the contributions of women leaders to our Nation and State’s culture, economy, religious life, and history; and

WHEREAS, the history of Montana cannot be fully understood without appreciating the role of women, from the days of the pioneers and prospectors to today’s trailblazers in ag, high-tech, and business; and

WHEREAS, Montana women, including Missoula’s own Jeannette Rankin, played a foundational role in securing voting rights for women in Montana, inspiring a movement across the country; and

WHEREAS, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress; Mary Ronan, a notable historian of early Montana; Sarah Bickford, an African-American woman who was born a slave but eventually moved to Montana after the Civil War, and owned the Virginia City Water Company; and Alma Snell, a Native American author, historian, and advocate for Apsáalooke culture; among others shaped our state’s rich history and inspire Montanans to this day;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Gianforte, Governor of the State of Montana, do hereby proclaim March 2022”

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH  in Montana to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of women to our state’s history.


Submitted by Brooke Stroyke,

Office of the Governor

Yaak Valley Forest Council, Kootenai Stakeholders Intervention in Ripley Project

As a founding member of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholder’s Coalition (KFSC), the Yaak Valley Forest Council (YVFC) wants to make it publicly clear that we do not support KFSC’s intervention in the Ripley Project, and that YVFC is stepping back from association with the coalition. We will continue to attend KFSC meetings as an interested party.

A healthy ecosystem, like a healthy coalition thrives on diversity; however, we feel that our values and goals are sufficiently divergent from those of the other Stakeholders that we cannot be represented by KFSC. Paramount among these values is the preservation of grizzly bear habitat. The Ripley Project would destroy habitat connectivity between the Northern Continental Divide and Cabinet/Yaak grizzly bear populations.

U.S Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), in a 5-year review published in 2021, found that road density in the Cabinet/Yaak Ecosystem is already too high, and that the Cabinet/Yaak grizzly bear population remains threatened due to motorized access, human caused mortality, and a lack of connectivity. Yet the Ripley Project proposes to bulldoze 13 miles of new logging roads, add 11 miles of existing “illegal” roads to inventory, and maintain 93 miles of existing roads. FWS noted in its 1993 Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan that “…roads probably pose the most imminent threat to grizzly habitat today.”

The Ripley Project also proposes 5 square miles of “regeneration cuts” (described by the U.S Forest Service USFS as varieties of clearcuts). Although some continue to believe that clearcutting is an effective strategy for preventing forest fires, Forest Service studies conclude that heavy harvest can actually increase adjacent fire severity. And according to Dr. Timothy Ingalsbee, executive director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE) and senior wildland fire ecologist certified by the Association for Fire Ecology, “Studies show that forests that have been degraded by past commercial logging, livestock grazing, or fire suppression typically burn more severely than native forests that have not been subjected to these past land abuses and are more resilient to fire.”

Many would be surprised to learn that according to the Ripley Environmental Assessment, the Project actually loses money: $643,000 to be exact. We suggest that the money saved from halting this project and others could better be used to conduct scientific wildfire risk assessments across the Kootenai National Forest.

Despite removing ourselves formally from a group that was born of the best intentions but now consistently votes against grizzly bears and in favor of clearcuts, YVFC will continue to attend KFSC meetings as we have for decades, and participate in these hard and necessary discussions. We are confident that, working with disparate partners, our collective voices could effectively lobby Congress to fund a plan for concentrating fuels treatment in a scientifically delineated wildland urban interface, while protecting our largest, oldest trees and forests beyond that interface.


Submitted byThe Yaak Valley Forest Council.