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Author Topic: Bear Canyon, Bozeman area  (Read 3877 times)
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« on: October 11, 2010, 04:51:05 PM »

USDA United States Forest Gallatin National Forest Bozeman Ranger District
Department of Service 3710 FaUon St., Ste C
Agriculture Bozeman, MT 59718
File Code: 1950
Date: October 7,201 0
Dear Travel Plan Participant,
Tfre pnrpuse uf%is letter istoinbrm you of apr@~hmge tothe travel plan ( G m -- - -
National Forest Travel Plan 2006) and to give you the opportunity to provide comments if you
wish. The Gallatin National Forest is proposing to modify its travel plan on the Bear Canyon
Trail #440. The approved season of use for summer motorized vehicles (motorcycles and
ATV's) would be extended from an open season of July 16 - October 14 each year to an open
season of July 16 - December 1 each year. All other approved uses and seasons would remain
the same for this trail.
Why is this change warranted and timely?
Water quality in Bear Creek has long been of concern due to both natural and man-made factors.
As a result, motorized and mechanized travel on the Bear Canyon Trail #440 was seasonally
restricted during the spring and fall when the trail in its previous condition was more subject to
erosion and damage.
Since 2006 two important developments have occurred that will ultimately significantly improve
water quality, reduce potential for sedimentation and stabilize the transportation system.
First, the trail location is being changed and stabilized, moving it to the drier, north side of the
creek and eliminating several unmanaged stream crossings. This will create a trail tread that is
_- n z 1 ? c h l e s s s . m q ~ ~ s i aonnd slmping. The histic raute-hasbea radaimgdaeatLy _ _.
improving the sediment impacts to Bear Creek and reducing water quality concerns in the
drainage. Second, claims to the historic route across State and National Forest land along the
bottom of Bear Creek will be resolved under an agreement between Gallatin County, the
Montana DNRC and the Forest Service, thus ensuring a long term recovery of the highly erosive
and land slide prone portion of the previous transportation system. The period of spring breakup
is still a sensitive time for the trail system due to deep moisture and frost leaving the ground.
Therefore, the trail opening dates will remain the same.
The travel plan decision very clearly emphasizes opportunities for motorized and mountain bike
use on this trail. It was a basic premise of the travel plan decision to offer the widest range and
amount of travel and recreation opportunities within resource and social constraints. The
watershed and soil resource conditions in Bear Creek have greatly improved and will continue to
stabilize once a final agreement for management is reached between Gallatin County, Montana
Caring for the Land and Serving People Printed on Recycled Paper 8
DNRC and the Gallatin National Forest. Extending the motorized season of use is part of this
overall agreement that would ultimately resolve any future claims on the previously used route
by Gallatin County. For these reasons, there is opportunity for an increased motorized season of
use on the trail without impacting resource conditions.
I invite you to review this proposal and submit comments you may have. Please send comments
to me, Lisa Stoeffler, at the Bozeman Ranger District, 3710 Fallon St, Suite C, Bozeman, MT,
59718. Your comments are always welcome, but will be most helpful if submitted by November
Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who
comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be
available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and
wnsi-, however,&wse who-submit anonymous ~ormnentsw ill no&t -
the subsequent decision under 36 CFR Parts 215 or 21 7 (if applicable). Additionally, pursuant to
7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may request the agency to withhold a submission fi-om the public
record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such coddentiality.
Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under the FOIA, confidentiality
may be granted in only very limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest
Service will inform the requester of the agency's decision regarding the request for
confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the agency will return the submission and notify
the requester that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within 14
Acting District Ranger
cc: Elizabeth A McFarland, Steve Christiansen, Gallatin County Commissioners, Craig -- -- -- - - -
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