The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area is a congressionally designated wilderness located in western Montana in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the “Bob” extends for 60 miles along the Continental Divide and consists of 1,009,356 acres. As directed by the Wilderness Act of 1964, Wilderness remains roadless, with the only permanent structures being some old ranger stations and horse bridges.
The Bob is the fifth-largest wilderness in the lower 48 states and ranges in altitudes of 4,000 to over 9,000 feet. A long escarpment known as the Chinese Wall averages 1,000 feet high from its base and extends for 22 miles. Aside from numerous waterfalls, lakes, and dense forests, the wilderness is also prime grizzly habitat and is also home to many other large mammals such as moose, elk, black bear, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, wolverine, mountain lion, lynx, and wolf. Bald eagles, osprey, pelican, and trumpeter swan are just a few of the bird species found. The dense old growth forests are dominated by Douglas fir, larch, and spruce. Forest fires have changed large areas in the wilderness complex in recent years.
Trails are open to foot and stock use only, there is no motorized or mechanical equipment allowed; and the trails are open to foot and stock use only. Camping and fishing are allowed; fishing requires a state license; no roads are present and there is also no logging or mining in compliance with the Wilderness Act. Some administrative cabins constructed in the early 1920s afford refuge for trail crews and wilderness rangers.
Who was Bob Marshall??
Bob Marshall (1901-1939) was an explorer, forester & conservationist who was an advocate for the protection of wild lands and pristine landscapes. Trained as a forester, he served for some years at the Forest Service Experiment Station in Missoula. He used his energy, personal wealth, and organizational ability to establish the Wilderness Society in 1935. He was known to hike up to 40 miles in a single day, but sadly Marshall died at the early age of 38 from heart failure. Before his death, he had laid out the preliminary plans for the wilderness area. Not long after his death, 950,000 acres surrounding the South Fork of the Flathead, the Sun River, and the Pentagon area were designated as Primitive Areas which later became Congressionally Designated Wilderness Areas. It was officially named the Bob Marshall Wilderness on September 3, 1964, when Congress passed the “The Wilderness Act”. The “Bob” has a total of 1,009,352 acres. The entire wilderness is in Montana and is managed by the Spotted Bear and Rocky Mountain Ranger Districts.
Wikipedia, foresthistory.org, US Forest Service