Revisions to the Custer Gallatin management plan.
Wow, that was a commitment, wasn’t it? Over 100 public meetings and webinars, massive documents, technical details, recommended Wilderness areas, recreational emphasis areas, backcountry areas, key linkage areas, inventoried roadless areas, recreation opportunity spectrums, alphabet soup, and more.
The Custer Gallatin National Forest wants to extend a huge thank-you to the communities surrounding the forest that call this place home. Like you, we love exploring our vast and diverse back yard, and we look forward to implementing a plan stitched together by public input.
We had thousands of comments, many petitions, and a vast array of public thought and perspective displayed in a passionate, forthright, and respectful manner. On the forest, we appreciate and love everything the Custer Gallatin holds: from being a critical part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem habitat for bison ranging just outside of Yellowstone, to the varied and spacious landscapes of the Pryors and the Ashland and Sioux Ranger Districts. The area is a crucial wildlife corridor and has broadened our thinking of connectivity for the many wide-ranging species it supports.
The plan is now in the objections phase of revision. This step allows for commenters to voice concerns and offer resolutions on specific parts of the plan. The formal objection period runs from July 9 – September 8, and objection-resolution meetings are conducted thereafter. We anticipate hosting late-fall and early-winter objection-resolution meetings, with dates and topics TBD. The current status of the plan can be tracked via the website at fs.usda.gov/custergallatin.
In the early portion of 2021, the land-management decision will be finalized. On the ground, given the preferred alternative, there would be no loss of motorized trail access, minimal loss of mechanized access (on trails rarely visited by bikes due to terrain or access), and additional areas of recommended wilderness. The ideal plan will strike a unified vision across the forest that recognizes the importance of a wide variety of contributions to the social and economic way of life in the area from recreation to timber to guiding, grazing, and mineral extraction operations.
A robust and comprehensive land-management plan could not have been possible without the continued support and involvement of those that live around this forest, and that benefit in a variety of ways—tangible and intangible—from these public lands. Through our four-plus-year process on the Custer Gallatin, we have made a stronger and more inclusive forest plan for the next 10-15 years, and we have you to thank for it.
More information and final documents can be found online at fs.usda.gov/custergallatin; click on Forest Plan Revision.