Montana Custer Gallatin Forest Use Commentary

kbroderick

Member
Mar 20, 2017
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Bump. Comments are due tonight at midnight, more info cross-posted from Montana:

Forest plan revision page:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/custergallatin/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd482956
Plan docs:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/custergallatin/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd567778

In the proposed action, sections that may be of particular interest:
p. 70, Roads & Trails
p. 74, Recreation
p. 92, Recommended Wilderness
p. 95, Wild & Scenic Rivers
p. 103, Recreation Emphasis Areas (Cooke is cited here, which is probably a good thing)

How to comment:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/custergallatin/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd567806

Note that commenting now is the best way to have standing should (when) the plan eventually gets litigated.

Please provide constructive comments with rationale and cite particular elements of the plan that you'd change; mine will focus on meeting the growing demand for motorized recreation (and "Semi-Primitive Motorized" areas as defined in the maps) as a way to keep people engaged with their forests and connected to nature, regardless of how they get there. Also, providing more motorized recreation infrastructure (roads and trails) spreads out the summer impact and thus reduces the point impact while maintaining the forest experience for visitors (perhaps not directly relevant to over-snow use, but definitely relevant to multi-use endeavors in general).
 

kbroderick

Member
Mar 20, 2017
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24
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This comment period runs into June. Might not be the exact same as above.


https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=50185
At first glance, it seems different from what I remember from the earlier documents, but I'm going to need a full evening and at least one frosty beverage to get through the whole thing versus just the summary.

Shockingly, it does look like there is a pro-access option listed in the alternatives, even if it's not the preferred alternative. Please, please, please take the time to read through the documents as best you can and submit meaningful comments via the USFS site. We're probably going to dislike some parts of the final plan, but the public-comment process does have impact on the outcome (not to mention possibly creating standing should the process get into the legal system).
 

boondocker97

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2008
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Billings MT
Last day to comment on which of the management plans we would like to see implemented for the next 20+ years. Comment now!

If you go to the documents page and read the executive summary you'll get a rough idea of what each option is about.
 

boondocker97

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2008
2,703
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Billings MT
Alternative E is my personal favorite as it actually rolls back wilderness study areas and gives the option for increased motorized recreation opportunities. Alternative A is probably a more realistic goal and keeps things more or less the same as they are now. So I'm supporting E with my secondary choice of A.

Also, the Hyalite area south of Bozeman was historically open to snowmobile travel for years before the decision to manage wilderness study areas as wilderness and enhancing wilderness characteristics became practice. Sleds were allowed through the 2006-2007 season and then forced out after that. The current area manager was unaware of this as she came to the area after that time frame. So I pushed for an option that would make that a possibility again. Specifically areas from the Hyalite Reservoir south. Alternative E has this area split between "recreational emphasis" and "backcountry area". "recreational emphasis" is also what Cooke City is classified as. Doesn't mean it's the same type of recreation, but it's a start.
 
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kbroderick

Member
Mar 20, 2017
56
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If you've got the time to spare, it's somewhat interesting to read through the comments (they're all posted in the "Reading Room"). A lot of ones that don't really make a whole lot of sense ("I like the forest! Keep it protected!"...uh, okay, so which alternative are you supporting? Protect it from what, marmots?), a fair number of ones that clearly don't understand what the forest service can and cannot do with respect to Wilderness (yes, capital W, Congressionally-designated Wilderness) and/or the process and stated intent for RWAs and WSAs.

Make sure to filter out form letters, though, or you end up seeing a lot of the same out-of-state form letters from people who (based on the viewpoint they're endorsing) don't sound like they understand the scale of the CGNF or the amount of already designated Wilderness.