Media Contact: Marna Daley, 406-570-5526
Trail Closures South of Bozeman Begin November 16th
Closures on Sourdough Canyon and Leverich Canyon Trails
Bozeman, MT (November 14, 2023)
Management activities continue for the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project, located south of Bozeman in portions of the Hyalite and Bozeman Creek watersheds in the wildland urban interface. People in the area can expect to see equipment and workers in the area and associated noise while work is ongoing.
The Sourdough Canyon/Bozeman Creek and Leverich Canyon Trails are currently open, but starting November 16th closures will go into effect to address human safety concerns resulting from equipment and helicopters working in and flying over the area. The week-long closures will be in effect until operations are complete for the season. Future closures in the spring or summer of 2024 could also be needed. The week-long (7 days a week) closures will be in effect until operations are complete for the season. Future closures in the spring or summer of 2024 could also be needed. However, the trails will be open for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday).
“This helicopter work is an important component of the broader BMW project” said Bozeman District Ranger Corey Lewellen. “Thinning of trees adjacent to the City of Bozeman’s water intake structure on Bozeman Creek will aid in protecting this critical infrastructure in the event of a wildfire in the watershed and protect the City of Bozeman’s drinking water. We fully recognize this is an inconvenience to the public and that there will be temporary impacts to users. We understand these trails are highly recreated in the wintertime when groomed for skiing, however this management work is critical in helping meet the goals and objectives of the project and to protect the municipal watershed for City of Bozeman residents. We are working with our partner, Bridger Ski Foundation, to minimize the impacts as much as possible.”
The Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project is a partnership between the City of Bozeman and the Custer Gallatin National Forest is in Bozeman’s High Risk Fireshed. Because this area provides over 80% of Bozeman’s drinking water, limiting the amount of sediment and ash entering the water treatment facility in the event of a wildfire is extremely important. This Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Project is also a collaborative effort with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to implement the Wildfire Crisis Strategy – a 10-year strategy to increase the scale and pace of our wildfire prevention efforts while restoring the health of forests, watersheds, and habitats across juridical boundaries.
Learn more about the project, implementation activities, and progress at Bozeman Municipal Watershed and Custer Gallatin National Forest on Facebook. For additional information on the Wildfire Crisis Strategy, please see Confronting the Wildfire Crisis | US Forest Service (usda.gov). For more information, please call the Bozeman Ranger District at 406-522-2520.
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