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Collection 982 - National Forest Preservation Group records, 1970-1972

Creator: National Forest Preservation Group

Provenance Note: Positive photocopies of correspondence, reports, and legal documents created or collected by the National Forest Preservation Group were donated to Montana State University by Franklin D. Culver in the autumn of 1972.

Historical Note: Veteran newscaster and Montana native Chet Huntley envisioned building a ski resort community in the rugged mountain terrain straddling the Gallatin and Madison county line in 1970. Partnering with the Chrysler Corporation, Huntely began negotiating with the National Forest Service and the Burlington Northern Railroad for land swaps in the area to consolidate acreage for the development. A group of concerned Bozeman and Gallatin County residents, organized by Montana State University veterinary research associate Russell L. Berg, began legal proceedings to halt the project. Claiming a membership of over 1,500, the National Forest Preservation Group initially petitioned the Forest Board of Appeals in 1970, and followed up their unsuccessful attempt to halt the Big Sky project with a lawsuit in the U. S. District Court in Montana. The National Forest Preservation Group filed for non-profit corporation status with the Montana Secretary of State on January 20, 1972, and after their lawsuit failed on appeal in May, 1972, the group continued in existence until March, 1982. They were classified as inactive by the Montana Secretary of State on August 26, 1982.

Content Description Note: The National Forest Preservation Group records consist of positive photocopies of correspondence, petitions, legal briefs, and summary essays documenting the group's various legal actions in their attempts to halt the Big Sky project. Included are briefs from the court cases heard at the U. S. District Court in Butte, and the appeal heard at the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Updated: 2/14/13