Opinion: Support Bad Rock WMA

Editor | November 11, 2020 7:00 AM

Bad Rock WMA

Bad Rock WMA

Bad Rock WMA

The public scoping period has started for the Bad Rock Canyon wildlife Management Area, just east of the river in Columbia Falls.

I spent a solid two weeks or so filming in the evenings there with permission and put together a little video you can watch on YouTube or the Hungry Horse Facebook page.

So as you can imagine, I completely endorse the creation of the wildlife management area. With some modest trail improvements, I can easily see it becoming a great place for school educational field trips and simply a place for folks to unwind a little bit closer to home.

The WMA, believe it or not, is sort of noisy. You don’t realize how noisy it is until you start recording video.

All those ambient sounds that your brain sorta filters out in real life are all too real on video. One day I was happy as a peach that I got a video of a squirrel chattering in a tree, only to get home to find out that there was a train tooting its horn in the background, well, not actually the background, the foreground. I’m not sure which was louder, the squirrel or the train. Thing is, I don’t remember the train at all.

Like I said, filters.

The WMA has the acoustical squeeze put on it. The highway is on one side and the railroad on the other and that sound bounces off the surrounding hills and sometimes it sounds like you’ve got ahold of the hips of the greasy guy on the Harley even though he’s a good two miles away.

Shooting video has other challenges. In one instance in particular, I shot nine minutes of little tweety birds flitting around in the bush.

When I cut it all down to something I could actually use, it amounted to 15 seconds or so. Maybe a little less.

Still, I absolutely enjoy the challenge, more than I have of anything I’ve ever done in life.

I can’t think of anything more fun than making motion pictures, particularly of a subject that is usually 100% uncooperative.

So watch the video and if you like what you see, don’t give me a thumbs up, give the project a thumbs up by sending off a quick email or note to FWP habitat biologist Kris Tempel at: Kris Tempel, Habitat Conservation Biologist; Re: Proposed Wildlife Management Area; 490 N. Meridian Road; Kalispell, MT 59901, or ktempel@mt.gov.

Chris Peterson is teh editor of the Hungry Horse News.