Forest Service vies for access dispute solution

Photo by NATE HOWARD / Yellowstone Newspapers

The United States Forest Service needs you — that is, to give input on what the agency believes to be a solution to land access issues in the western part of the Crazy Mountains.

On March 7, forest service officials released a statement asking for public comment on a proposal that would connect the Porcupine Lowline Trail No. 267 at the Porcupine and Ibex recreational cabins. 

Public comment can be made up until March 31. If the proposal goes through, design of the new non-motorized trail could begin as early as this coming summer.

“This proposal creates an opportunity for a positive solution that respects landowner interests while providing a high quality trail opportunity and access to National Forest System lands,” said Mary Erickson, Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisor. “Through conversations and negotiations with landowners, access advocates, and recreationists this alternative route has been identified.”

A good portion of the trail at the northern end runs through private land. With the new trial, the forest service believes establishing easements for the trial and rerouting it through a majority of public land will help ease tensions between public and private landowners. 

While a date is still undetermined by the forest service, it’s believed the trail, which runs about eight miles south to north, originally meant to connect the two cabins. 

Actual construction and contract work would begin sometime in 2019, should the proposal be accepted. 

To give input, comments can be sent by mail, fax or in person to Mary Erickson Forest Supervisor, ATTN: Chad Benson, PO Box 130, Bozeman, MT 58771. 

Electronic comments can be sent to: