For Immediate Release, March 12, 2021

Contact:

Andrea Zaccardi, (303) 854-7748, azaccardi@biologicaldiversity.org

Forest Service Denies Heliskiing Permit Application in Centennial Mountains

Victory for Grizzly Bears, Other Wildlife In Southwest Montana, Idaho

BOZEMAN, Mont.— The U.S. Forest Service denied a permit application today for heliskiing in the Centennial Mountains, an important wildlife corridor for grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife in southwest Montana and Idaho.

“Noisy, disruptive heliskiing has no place in the Centennials, and we’re thrilled that the Forest Service blocked this permit,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is a significant victory for grizzly bears, wolverines and other wildlife that call these unique lands home.”

In denying the permit, the Forest Service noted that biologists have documented grizzly bear dens in the area, stating that “helicopter use would likely cause injury to denning females and possible mortality of cubs.”

The Forest Service also noted that some of the areas proposed for skiing are avalanche-prone areas that could risk public safety, and that the applicant could use non-Forest Service lands.

The agency received the permit application last December. In their objections to it, the Center, Sierra Club and other conservation organizations emphasized impacts to the region’s endangered wildlife. If the permit had been approved, helicopters would have been landing in the Centennial Mountains to deposit skiers from Jan. 1 to March 1 each year.

GrizzlyBear_Yellowstone_NPS_FPWC.jpg
A female grizzly. Photo courtesy of Terry Tollefsbol, NPS. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.