070316-mis-ter-trail-volunteers-08

North Fork Dupuyer Creek winds its way east out of the Rocky Mountain Front. Many of the volunteer crew members said they've been using trails in the Bob Marshall for years and were glad to give something back by helping clear trails.

The suggestions that resulted from a year’s worth of map-studying on the Rocky Mountain Front’s new wilderness additions are up for public review starting Thursday.

The Rocky Mountain Front Ranger District invited anyone interested to use interactive maps to pinpoint important trails, features or facilities in the mountains east of Choteau and Augusta that became designated wilderness or conservation management areas under the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.

“It helped us capture different ideas, like does this trail need water bars or tread improvement?” said Shelby Majors, the lead writer of the travel study for the ranger district. “This is not a decision document. It’s more of a way for the public to identify priority areas to work on.”

The public comment period on the draft Non-motorized Trail Improvement Study opens Thursday and lasts two weeks. The ranger district’s website has pages of maps and background information on the proposals.

The project does not change any of the decisions rendered in travel management plans of 2007 or 2009. It also doesn’t modify the rules of conservation management areas, which preserve existing motorized uses but don’t expand them.

Comments can be emailed to: comments-northern-lewisclark-rocky-mtn@fs.fed.us; or mailed to: Rocky Mountain Ranger District, PO Box 340, Choteau, MT 59422. Please note “Non-Motorized Trail Improvement Study” on the subject line for emails, and on any written comments submitted.

Comments will be most helpful in formulating the final study document if received by Thursday, November 24, 2016.

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Natural Resources & Environment Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter for The Missoulian.