"Wilderness itself is the basis of all our civilization. I wonder if we have enough reverence for life to concede to wilderness the right to live on?"
- Mardy Murie
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Wilderness Potential in the B-T
The BTNF holds the highest possibility for newly designated Wilderness of any forest in Wyoming with 87 percent of roadless areas possessing high wilderness potential!
Roadless areas were identified during the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation II (RARE II) analysis conducted in 1978 and re-evaluated in 1983 to include all areas of at least 5,000 acres without developments that were substantially natural in character. The RARE II and subsequent roadless area inventories identified 20 roadless areas in the forest.
In 1984, with the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act, the Gros Ventre roadless area became the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Area. At the same time, another roadless area became the Palisades Wilderness Study Area, a treasured landscape that is one of WWA's key focus areas.
Natural areas without roads or developments contribute to the BTNF‘s niche character and sense of place, and the state of “roadlessness” is valuable for recreation as well as clean water and healthy watersheds, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity, among other attributes.
It is WWA's sincere hope that the Palisades and Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Areas be recommended for Wilderness designation by Congress. However, areas not recommended may still be managed under forest plan direction as roadless backcountry, and we will persistently advocate for at least this level of protection.
About the Bridger-Teton
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is located in western Wyoming and consists of a total of 3.4 million acres, making it the second largest National Forest, following Alaska.
The BTNF stretches from Yellowstone National Park, between the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park and the western slope of the Continental Divide, to the southern end of the Wind River Range. It also encompasses the Salt River Range and Wyoming Range near the Idaho border. Located within the forest are the Gros Ventre, Bridger and Teton Wilderness areas totaling 1.3 million acres.
In 2008, the Bridger-Teton National Forest completed its “Evaluation of Areas with Wilderness Potential” and found that 87 percent of BTNF roadless areas contained great potential for wilderness recommendations.
More than 1.5 million acres of the BTNF qualified as roadless areas, and forest officials designated 458,030 acres with high potential and 880,395 acres with very high potential to be recommended for wilderness protection.
Citizen involvement is paramount to bringing the highest amount of these roadless acres to wilderness recommendations in the final forest plan revision process, set to occur in 2021.
Stand up for the B-T
Want to get involved in the protection of the Bridger-Teton?
Sign up to receive email news and action alerts about the B-T in your inbox
Attend WWA outings and events in your area
Volunteer your time for WWA events and stewardship outings
For more information, contact Bridger-Teton Community Organizer, Peggie dePasquale.
685 S. Cache Street
PO Box 848
Jackson, WY 83001
WWA photo | Josh Metten
WWA photo | Kevin Moe
Kevin Moe Photography
WWA photo | Kevin Moe