News & Notes

2020 Custer Gallatin National Forest Plan Released

On July 9 the US Forest Service released the final plan for the Custer Gallatin National Forest. This is very significant as the plan will guide actions and activities in the forest for many years.

The plan has been in preparation for more than 4 years and there have been multiple opportunities for public comment. The final plan seems to make no one happy so it’s probably a true comprise. There is a ton of information available from the USFS about the 2020 Custer Gallatin Forest Plan

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If you have questions Forest Plan Revision core team specialists will be conducting a webinar on Thursday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m., 3:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. (All times MST) – log-on to: (mobile device compatible) 

Although this is the final plan there is still an opportunity to object to the plan. For the next 60 days objections can be filed at

The plan is long overdue as the lands were being managed under two different forest plans. The Custer Forest Plan which was adopted in 1986 and the Gallatin Forest Plan which was implemented in 1987( the two forests were merged in 2014). The 247 page plan is comprehensive and it is obvious how much work went into its preparation.

As might be expected, the plan provides for a host of activities that most hikers don’t participate in but the plan does call for:
7 New Wilderness Areas (126,657 acres)
13 Backcountry Areas (208,960 acres)
10 Recreation Emphasis Areas (224,610 acres)