Loved to Death? Balancing Backcountry User Impact and Stewardship

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Montana State University will present “Loved to Death? Balancing Backcountry User Impact and Stewardship” at an April 8 Friday Forum. The event will be delivered online via Zoom from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The Greater Yellowstone area’s outdoor recreational opportunities are a significant attraction for visitors and new, prospective, and longtime residents. Pandemic cabin fever and restrictions on indoor gatherings have added even greater user pressure on the lakes, rivers, parks and trails that make our community so attractive. Are area trails and backcountry being loved to death?

A panel will discuss what happens when trails and backcountry areas become too popular. Some problems like trail degradation are obvious. However, other issues are harder to control and enforce, such as overflowing parking, trash, dog waste, and the inappropriate burial or removal of human waste. The panel will address the immediate and long-term impacts of the overuse of trails and other recreation areas, including environmental impacts, management strategies, and the burdens on government and private stewards. They will also discuss what the public can do to help.

Panelists include Patrick Cross, executive director of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation, Pat Doyle, marketing director at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Alex Sinkiewicz, district ranger for the Yellowstone District of the U.S. Forest Service.

Participants must register in advance and no later than 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8. For more information or registration, please visit the OLLI at MSU website at or call 994-6550. Upon registration confirmation, participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and instructions to join the program.

Calendar   Community Events
Location Online via Zoom
Date Friday, April 8, 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Duration   1h
Repeats? No