Protect your Wild Backyard, the Custer Gallatin National Forest

Your wild backyard, the Custer Gallatin National Forest, is one reason living in Southwest Montana is so special. Right now, the National Forest Service is revising its management plan, which will shape the forest for the next generation.

The Gallatin Mountains are the last unprotected range connected to Yellowstone, and a key focus is the new management plan that will protect your values and resources. The range is also next door to Bozeman, putting it under growing pressure from booming populations. This new plan is our chance to ensure all of us, people and wildlife alike, have the lands, water, and wild places we need to thrive.

The National Forest Service is accepting comments for the next several weeks. This web page is designed to help you make a difference. Read on to learn what’s at stake, what the Greater Yellowstone Coalition is doing about it, and how you can help. The comment period ends June 5th, so make sure to submit your comments by then!


What’s at Stake

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

water

The headwater streams that flow from the Gallatin Mountains provide clean drinking water. They also shelter spawning trout and create some of the most valuable habitat in the ecosystem for migrating wildlife. Healthy water depends on healthy forests, making the new Forest Plan critical.

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

wilderness

This is your single best chance to secure new wilderness protections for wildlife and people alike. So, we are pushing for more wilderness than has ever been proposed here - about 130,000 acres. The majority of that would protect 100,000 acres of land in the heart of the Gallatin Range.

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

RECREATION

It’s no secret we all love the great outdoors. But as more and more people live and recreate here, the environment bears the cost. That’s why we need to secure access for the many ways we play outside, while keeping our footprint from doing too much damage. This plan can be a huge step in that direction.

Photo: Cindy Goeddel Photography

Photo: Cindy Goeddel Photography

wILDLIFE

Grizzlies, bighorn sheep, elk, and more call these mountains home. The Gallatins connect Yellowstone National Park to the rest of the Northern Rockies and beyond for wildlife. Our treasured wildlife depends on how well we protect habitat and migration routes.

Photo: Ocean Media Institute

Photo: Ocean Media Institute

cLIMATE CHANGE

Whether it’s larger wildfires, warmer temperatures, or more invasive species, our forests are changing. The ways we manage them need to change too. The new forest plan is a critical opportunity to get ahead of climate change through new science and techniques to manage natural cycles.

fire.jpg

fOREST FIRES

Throughout the 20th century, fire suppression has built up fuel and shifted the natural progression of landscapes in the ecosystem. By restoring natural fire cycles, we can create healthier wildlife habitat while protecting our communities across southwest Montana.


questions? reach out to our montana conservation organizer ryan cruz at rcruz@greateryellowstone.org. we’re happy to help you understand this important yet complicated process! You’re also welcome to check out our faqs via the button below.


The Gallatin Forest Partnership

 

To see the forest’s new plan done right, we’ve joined with local conservationists, hunters, anglers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and more to form the Gallatin Forest Partnership. Together, we spent years hammering out exactly what we need to see protected in the Gallatin and Madison ranges.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition supports the full incorporation of the Gallatin Forest Partnership Agreement into the plan. While one of the draft plan’s alternative incorporates part of the agreement, it does not adequately reflect the Gallatin Forest Partnership’s recommendations for wildlife protections, recreation monitoring, or enforceable components.


Upcoming Events

Forest Service Public Meetings

April 3 | Bozeman, MT (Hilton Garden Inn) | 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

April 4 | West Yellowstone, MT (West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce) | 5:30 - 7:30 P.M.

April 8 | Ashland, MT (TRECO Inc.) | 5:30 - 7:00 P.M.

April 9 | Camp Crook, SD (Camp Crook Community Center) | 5:30 - 7:30 P.M.

April 10 | Billings, MT (Bighorn Resort Broso) | 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

April 11 | Red Lodge, MT (Roosevelt Center Community Room) | 5:30 - 7:30 P.M.

April 22 | Big Timber, MT (Sweet Grass County Extension Office) | 10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

April 22 | Livingston, MT (Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge) | 5:30 - 7:00 P.M.

April 23 | Cooke City, MT (Cooke City Chamber of Commerce) | 10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

April 23 | Gardiner, MT (Gardiner Community Center) | 5:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.

GYC Events