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Dick Paulsen


Dick Paulsen

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By day and often by night, Joe Perry operates a dryland barley farm near Brady.  But when the grain is in the bin, Joe and his wife can often be found on the Rocky Mountain Front or volunteering in a campaign to protect the Front for future generations.  "We love Montana and the last wild places of this great state including the Rocky Mountain Front," Perry says.  "My family has a cabin on the Sun River and for decades we have loaded up the truck and headed to the cabin to hunt, fish, and to enjoy the beauty of the area. Every fall we pack into a hunting camp established by friends and family in 1956."

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Joe Perry, a farmer near Brady, worked with ranchers, outfitters, business leaders and conservationists to craft the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act
Joe Brady on his farm near Brady

Perry is among dozens of farmers, ranchers, outfitters, businessmen and wilderness advocates who together crafted the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which has been introduced as federal legislation in the U.S. Senate by Senator Max Baucus.

"The Rocky Mountain Front is very much a sportsman paradise," Perry says. "There are very few places where you have the opportunity to see and/or hunt the wide variety of birds and animals and fish we have on the Front. The Heritage Act will help maintain wildlife populations. It will help maintain ranching lifestyles and the outfitting lifestyles we have along the Front. It will help maintain a recreational space that is economically solid, good times and bad."

Perry's passion for wild places is not the only reason he participated in the long negotiations to write the Heritage Act. Wearing his farmer's hat, he applauds the Heritage Act's big emphasis on the prevention, eradication, and control of noxious weeds on the Rocky Mountain Front by requiring the federal land agencies to prioritize their efforts.  The Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front also is collaborating on ways to give counties more resources and tools to combat the problem. 

“I grow barley for a living but weeds hurt my bottom line," Perry says. "The Heritage Act will place a high priority on fighting and preventing their spread and help me protect my livelihood.”

A big raw-boned man who looks the part of Montana farmer, Perry doesn't hesitate to share his spiritual connection to Montana's wild country. His many hours of volunteer efforts on behalf of the Front are not strictly utilitarian on behalf of his farm and hunting lifestyle. To illustrate, he tells a story about a recent hunting trip:

"This past winter I was reminded how real and raw the Front actually is when my horse died unexpectedly in the backcountry while on an elk hunting trip and before we knew it a grizzly had moved in to take advantage of this last minute caloric windfall.  I swear that bear was as big as a bus. These wild places nourish our souls!  We will need more reminders like that this coming year as we try to convince Washington, DC to pass our made-in-Montana bill.

Take Action: Get Involved

The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act is a huge step forward for this Last Best Place. Become a citizen supporter by going to this link

Our Conservation Map


Contact Information

Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front


See Additional Contacts

Jeff Hagener

Montana Wildlife Federation

P.O. Box 1175

5530 N. Montana Ave.

Helena, MT 59624

Phone: 406-458-0227 ext 105

Toll-Free: 800-517-7256

Fax: 406-458-0373



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