Friends of the Bitterroot’s mission is to preserve the wildlands and wildlife and to protect the forests and watersheds of our region as we work for a sustainable relationship with the environment.
In 1988 a group of concerned citizens came together in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana deeply troubled by the unsustainable logging that was occurring on the Bitterroot and surrounding national forests. Clear cutting, terracing and the building of thousands of miles of roads over many decades had taken a catastrophic toll on our public lands and our forests, soils, fisheries, wildlife, and water quality had suffered appalling losses.
This small group of committed people from different walks in life was determined to make a difference and none had any idea that their early achievements would lead to a ground swell of grassroots support among like-minded citizens in the Bitterroot valley and beyond. The group called themselves Friends of the Bitterroot and they quickly challenged and halted two large timber sales on the Bitterroot and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests, by bringing the best available science and our nation's environmental laws in support of their cause.
No one knew it at the time, but the tragic era of unrestricted industrial logging on the Bitterroot National Forest was over. For the next three decades FOB would analyze and comment on hundreds of Forest Service projects, always making sure that the agency was complying with environmental law and Forest Service rules and regulations. Amazingly, several of the founding members of FOB are still active on our Steering Committee 28 years later and our commitment is still unshakable, and our values, never to be compromised, are the sustaining principle of our organization.