|Current Protection||Management Agencies||Total Area|
|Proposed Wilderness||United States Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
The Pryor Mountains lie south of Billings and are primarily limestone. There are deep canyons and grassy ridgelines. The area is part of a larger roadless area that could contain lands managed by the BLM and NPS. The FS recommends a paltry 6,804 acres in Lost Water Canyon for wilderness. Wilderness in the Pryors could be expanded with the closure of a few tracks and dirt roads.
We support 13,000 acres in the Lost Water Crooked Creek area - not just the 10,421 acres that the Custer Gallatin National Forest inventoried as roadless. ALL of this area passed the U.S. house in Pat Williams’ Wilderness bill in 1994. (In 2015 BLM added 11,00 acres of Lands with Wilderness Character to their 22,000 acres of WSAs from the 1980s.)
In addition, there are three more roadless areas that should be protected as wilderness:
Punch Bowl / Dryhead Creek Canyons RWA (~8,500 acres): Incredible wild country. This will require converting at least a couple miles of unfortunate 4WD road to motor-free along the ridge between the two canyons.
Big Pryor RWA (12,000 acres): A couple of miles of little used “motorized trail” ought to be converted to motor-free to improve the integrity of the area.
Bear Canyon RWA (10,000 acres): This one should be a total “no-brainer" as there are no roads here.