Red Rock Lakes Wilderness


Red Rock Lakes Wilderness

Infobox_protected_area | name = Red Rock Lakes Wilderness
iucn_category = Ib



caption =
locator_x = 65
locator_y = 35
location = Montana, USA
nearest_city = Dillon, MT
lat_degrees = 44
lat_minutes = 37
lat_seconds =
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 111
long_minutes = 44
long_seconds =
long_direction = W
area = 32,350 acres
(130 km²)
established = 1976
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Red Rock Lakes Wilderness is within the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Montana, United States. The wilderness occupies more than 3/4 of the refuge and was set aside to enhance species preservation, especially for such waterfowl as the trumpeter swan. By the mid 1930's, there were an estimated 69 trumpeter swans remaining in the lower 48 states and more than half of them were found in the region that is now the wilderness. The creation of the Wildlife Refuge marks one of the earliest attempts to ensure protection for a fast disappearing species and the wilderness designation enhances this habitat's protection status.

U.S. Wilderness Areas do not allow motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas also allow hunting in season. However, due to the sensitivity and continued endangerment of the trumpeter Swan, no hunting is permitted within this wilderness.

Consisting of numerous lakes, marshes and other wetlands, a visitor is more likely to see sandhill cranes, great blue herons and ducks than the elusive trumpeter swan, even though their numbers have increased substantially. Moose, fox, porcupine and skunk are found year round while elk, mule deer and pronghorn also frequent the wilderness. Though less common, black bears are sometimes seen here.

On the western boundary of what is collectively known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the wilderness is also adjacent to Gallatin National Forest. No camping is permitted in this wilderness but there are two nearby campgrounds available in the refuge section not designated as wilderness. Hiking is permitted except in some areas during specific times of the year to protect wildlife.

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