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The Stevensville Ranger District on the Bitterroot National Forest has announced that crews will begin work next week on the Blodgett Pass Trail No. 310. The work is scheduled to begin July 31 and will last until mid-September. Crews are planning to begin the massive job of clearing a large rockslide from 2010 that blocked the trail near the top of the pass. Since the slide, the trail has been impassable to stock and difficult and dangerous for hikers to navigate. The slide is approximately 11 miles from the popular Blodgett Creek Trailhead.

The project will consist of crews moving huge rocks, some the size of pickup trucks, by hand, rigging, or blasting. The rock will then be used to rebuild portions of the trail including retaining walls, water bars and check dams. The Blodgett Pass Trail crosses from Montana into Idaho and provides access to many popular wilderness trails and high mountain lakes.

To provide for visitor safety, Blodgett Pass Trail will be closed during the project. The Blodgett Creek Trail No. 19 will remain open and hikers will still be able to access Blodgett Lake. However, forest officials are warning that there could be minimal delays near mile post 9, especially during blasting operations.

The work is being funded by the Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) which supports projects that benefit National Forest System lands and ecosystems in Ravalli County. The work is being done by a crew from the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC). Project partners also include Selway-Pintler Wilderness Backcountry Horsemen.

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For more information contact the West Fork Ranger District at (406) 821-3269.

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