News and Links

Articles, Editorials,Guest Opinions Etc.:

• A Pryor Mountain / Bighorn Canyon National Monument ?? Opportunity for Billings in protecting Pryor Mountains George Wuerthner. Billings Gazette, November 10, 2018

Caves in the Pryors.

Caves can be very dangerous for people without proper equipment and expertise.
Geological and biological features of caves are extremely fragile, vulnerable and irreplaceable.
Damage (intentional or accidental) is forever.

Exploring the cool confines of lower Big Ice Cave Brett French. Billings Gazette, August 30, 2018.

Summer caving interns explore Pryor Mountains Brett French. Billings Gazette, August 30, 2018.

• The Pryor Mountains: One of “25 Best Things to Do in Billings, Montana

Let’s Unite to Manage Sacred, Scenic Pryor Mountains. Carolyn Pease-Lopez. Billings Gazette, April 14, 2016

Remembering a Close Friend in the Pryor Mountains. Charlie Smillie’s Blog about an October 2015 hike in the south Pryors. He captures much of the spirit and value of the wild Pryors.

Billings man, 82, working to eliminate Noxious Weeds Pryor Mountains, by Clair Johnson, Billings Gazette, September 13, 2015.

Sage Creek Road (also called Pryor Mountain Road) Closed across Crow Reservation. – Billings Gazette, September 10, 2015
Also see “Update” on Pryor Mountain Road driving directions.

Crow tribal members plan to close road. – Billings Gazette, September 3, 2015.
Also see “Update” on Pryor Mountain Road driving directions.

Drivers warned about lack of easement on Pryor Mountain Road. – Billings Gazette, July 31, 2015.
Also see “Update” on Pryor Mountain Road driving directions.

Jurassic Starfish in Pryors – Rare starfish fossils found in the Pryors. Billings Gazette, July 5, 2015

Upper Layout Creek Trail Upgrade and Volunteer Opportunity – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Billings Gazette, July 13, 2014

Fossil site near Pryor Mountains reveals dinosaur die-off, By Brett French, Billings Gazette, November 20, 2012. Also see Pryor Mountain Geology Tour road log, mile 5.6: Morrison Formation.

New Bighorn Canyon interpretive trail features tepee rings, By Lorna Thackeray, Billings Gazette, October 18, 2012

BioBlitz in the Pryors: More than 700 Species Found, By Cal Cumin, The Billings Outpost, July 20, 2012

BioBlitz finds 710 species in Pryor Mountains, By Mary Pickett, The Billings Gazette, July 15, 2012

Forest Service Eyes New Route to Pryor Mountains, Brett French, Billings Gazette, April 3, 2012

Grizzly Tales: Pryor Mountains provide possible habitat , Brett French, Billings Gazette, December 11, 2011.

Restoration of Historic Sage Creek Ranger Station, Brett French, Billings Gazette, December 8, 2011.

Cold-blooded lizards warm hearts of MSU Billings biology students, Mary Pickett, Billings Gazette, August 21, 2011. Study of short-horned lizards in the plains southwest of the Pryor Mountains – part of the Pryor Ecosystem.

BLM Road Closures due to Spring Rain and Floods (2011)»

Mountains of Mystery: Journey into Pryors is journey to ‘Edenic past’, Sharie Pyke – for the Billings Outpost, December 30, 2010.

Students on path to cultural discovery, Lorna Thackeray, Billings Gazette, July 12, 2010. Crow archeology students get a glimpse into their ancestral past while mapping, studying teepee sites in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation on eastern edge of Pryor Mountains.

•  Destructive OHVers give sport black eye, Brett French, Billings Gazette, May 29, 2008

•  D.C. stalemate limits forest funding for travel plan, Gazette Opinion, Billings Gazette, December 16, 2007

•  Foresters try to find balance in travel plan, Brett French, Billings Gazette, November 10, 2007

•  We should strike a better balance between quiet, ORV use in Pryors, Guest Opinion by Bernard Rose, Billings Gazette, October 6, 2007

•  Red Lodge Hiking Club attracts retirees with passion for outdoors, by Keriann Lynch, Billings Gazette, August 2, 2007

•  Burgeoning Ravalli County grapples with outlaw ATV riders, Perry Backus, Billings Gazette, June 24, 2007

•  Pryors vision — Toward roads less traveled, Guest Opinion by Paul Sneed, Billings Gazette, May 1, 2004

Many letters to the editor were published in the Billings Gazette while Custer National Forest was developing its Travel Plan for the Pryors.  All the letters published during November and December 2007 are available here – including letters both supporting and opposing the Pryors Coalition.  Although the letters focus on the Travel Plan, they clearly demonstrate public passion for the Pryors. Unfortunately Custer National Forest’s final decision strongly emphasizing motorized use was not consistent with the overwhelming majority of these letters.

Letters to the Editor in Billings Gazette»

Recommended Organizations:

•  Wildlands CPR

•  Rangers for Responsible Recreation

•  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

•  Concerned Families for ATV Safety

•  Western Environmental Law Center

Unusually heavy spring rains and resulting floods washed out several roads in the Pryors. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has closed Stockman Trail, the east fork of Bear Canyon Road, and part of the Sykes Ridge Road. See BLM Press Release.

These routes remain open to non-motorized use such as hiking
“Roads are open for foot traffic.” – Jim Sparks, Field Manager, BLM – Billings Field Office

Photos below show some of the barriers and signs which have been installed.

Alternative C promotes balance in Pryors (pdf), Ryan Sparhawk: December 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryors travel plan should protect resources (pdf), Jennifer C. Lyman: December 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Illegal roads causing damage to Pryors (pdf), Grant Barnard: December 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Too many roads causing harm to Pryor Mountains (pdf), Mike Penfold: December 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryors Coalition backs balanced plan (pdf), Mamie Wilson: December 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Unbalanced plan wouldn’t allow diverse forest use (pdf), Ron Tabaczka: December 11, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Custer forest plan aims to appease motor users (pdf), Ron Nusbaum: December 11, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Want to destroy land? Don’t do it in the Pryors (pdf), Scott Frasier: December 9, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryors should have balanced management (pdf), Connie M. Landis: December 9, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryor coalition seeks balance of uses (pdf), Pamela J. Bruton: December 2, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

No signs of land abuse in Pryor Mountains (pdf), Phil Lambert: December 2, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryor Mountains good for more than hiking (pdf), Brian Casteel: December 2, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Wilderness advocates oppose reasonable ideas (pdf), Carol Reimann, December 2, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Tell Forest Service to keep trails open (pdf), Duane Johannsen: November 25, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryor travel plan must protect wild horses (pdf), Donald H. Heinze, November 25, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Regulate, don’t outlaw off-road vehicles (pdf), Jeff Parrott: November 25, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

More trails needed for motorized use (pdf), Larry Brewster: November 19, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Punish bad ATV users, not all of them (pdf), Don Stephens: November 18, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Timeless principles apply in Pryor Mountains (pdf), Dave Klarich: November 18, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Coalition exaggerates damage ATVs cause (pdf), Anthony Miller: November 18, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Don’t let Pryor Mountains get chewed up by ATVs (pdf), Marian Lyman: November 16, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Increasing vehicle use ruining Pryor Mountains (pdf), Teddy Roe: November 15, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Balance, not elimination of vehicles in Pryors (pdf), Cristi Hunnes: November 15, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Demand balanced management of Pryors (pdf), Sig Ross: November 14, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Pryors’ unique habitat deserves protection (pdf), Mark Taylor: November 11, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Speak up for the Pryor Mountains (pdf), Susan Newell: November 11, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Balance in Pryors means fewer ATVs (pdf), Margaret Webster: November 7, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Correction_ Pryors Coalition address (pdf), November 6, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Speak up on Pryors travel plan by Nov. 19 (pdf), Dick Walton: November 3, 2007 (Link to Gazette)

Those who love Pryors are promoting them (pdf), Dave Klarich: September 5, 2007 (Link to Gazette)