Gallatin Custer Forest Plan – Comment Today!

Reposting from something I shared with a local Bozeman listserv:

The local unit of the Forest Service has released its draft forest plan which will guide the administration and development of forests surrounding Bozeman, Big Sky, and Livingston for the next 10 – 15 years. The Forest Service is seeking comments from the public on this document as it begins developing planning scenarios. If you care about how our nearby forests are managed, I’d encourage you take a few minutes to share your opinion with the Forest Service.

The Proposed Revised Forest Plan document is available here:

If you have an opinion regarding the portion of our nearby forests designated as “primitive” (no motorized/mechanized travel), or for motorized versus non-motorized use, this is your “speak now or hold your peace for the next 15 years” moment.

Gallatin Valley’s population will increase by at least 50% between now and the next iteration of the forest plan. It’s important that this plan provide sound guidance for managing our forests as demand for recreational use increases (50%+ increase) commensurate with our population growth while preserving our forests and recreational opportunities for future generations.

The plan section describing the Forest Service’s “Recreational Opportunities Spectrum” for motorized and non-motorized uses across the whole of both Custer and Gallatin National Forests is on page 75. The motorized/non-motorized areas for the Bridgers, Bangtails, and Crazies are described on page 134, and for the Madison, Henrys Lake, and Gallatin areas on page 139.

The most useful comments will be those which can be directly incorporated into a planning scenario. E.g.:

  • “Create a scenario in which at least 66% of forest acreage in the Bridger/bangtail and Crazy Mountains Geographic Area is designated for non-motorized use.”
  • “Create a scenario in which the full extent of the Madison, Henrys Lake and Gallatin Mountains Geographic Area currently designated as Wilderness Study Area is Recommended Wilderness.”

Comments may be submitted here:

You can read more about the overall forest planning process here:

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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