Protect your Wild Backyard, the Custer Gallatin National Forest

The 2019 comment period is officially over. THANK YOU for making your voice heard!! Together, we submitted thousands of comments to the Forest Service advocating for the protection of the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

So, what’s next?

Spring/Fall/Winter 2019 - the Forest Service will analyze the submitted comments

Spring 2020 - the Forest Service will release the final plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Custer Gallatin National Forest

Spring 2020 - objections can be make to the final plan and EIS

Summer 2020 - the Forest Service will release the final, confirmed plan and begin implementation

how can i help right now?

You can endorse 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.


What’s at Stake

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

Photo: Louise Johns Photography


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


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


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


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


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.



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 we’re happy to help you understand this important yet complicated process!