Montana National Forest Proposes Protecting 278 Miles of Streams

The Custer Gallatin National Forest, stretching from Southwest Montana to South Dakota released a proposed action that would protect 278 miles of Wild and Scenic eligible streams.

Taylor Fork River | Mike Fiebig

The Custer Gallatin National Forest, stretching from Southwest Montana to South Dakota, is midway through a four-year process of revising its forest plan. In January 2018, the forest released its “Proposed Action,” which among other things would administratively protect 31 rivers that were found to be eligible for designation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: streams that are (1) free-flowing, and (2) possess at least one outstanding value like scenery or recreation. If these rivers make it into the final plan, 278 miles of free-flowing river in the forest would be administratively protected from projects that would alter their free flow nature or outstanding values.

National Forests are required to inventory and protect the Wild and Scenic eligible rivers in the forest when they revise their forest plans – approximately every 20 years – giving people a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to weigh in. Please submit a comment supporting these 31 Wild and Scenic eligible streams by March 5, 2018, at: [email protected] with subject line “Comment – draft plan – CGNF” Please recommend that they add the Taylor Fork River (pictured above) as well – it deserves it!

The Custer Gallatin National Forest Plan Revision is just one of many such processes that American Rivers is engaged in to protect wild rivers in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018. With our partners, we plan to protect 5,000 miles of wild rivers and collect 5,000 stories. Visit the 5,000 Miles of Wild website to read some of the stories that we have gathered, explore the regions that we are trying to protect, and maybe even share a story of your own. Hopefully you’ll come away inspired to help us celebrate the 50th birthday of the strongest river protection designation in the world.

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