Forest Service fire crews on the west side of the forest will be starting to burn debris piles as the season transitions from fall to winter. These activities may start as soon as the week of October 23rd and are anticipated to continue throughout the winter months. Piles consist of numerous small hand piles and larger machine-created piles from vegetation management activities. Forest Service crews will be accessing piles via roads and trails, lighting piles with handheld ignition devices. The fire operation may be visible throughout the Gallatin Valley during this time.
Project Update August 2023
Small diameter thinning and hand piling work is complete. Watch for burning of hand piles this fall during suitable weather conditions.
Project Update July 2023
Starting July 8th and over the following weeks, crews will be working in the area. Note you will encounter chainsaw noise and you may see occasional vehicles on the road.
Project Update November 2022
The City of Bozeman and U.S. Forest Service fire crews anticipate burning some of the large debris piles in Sourdough Drainage near the Sourdough Trail the week of November 28, 2022. The Sourdough Trail will be closed for public and firefighter safety while burning efforts are underway.
Burning will only take place when weather conditions are conducive for safe operations. Fire officials work directly with the National Weather Service for site specific forecasts to ensure weather conditions are favorable prior to burning.
It is likely that smoke and potentially flames will be visible during the operations. These large piles may actively burn for several days and produce small amounts of smoke for more extended periods.
If you have any questions call 406.522.2531 for the Custer Gallatin National Forest and 406.582.2273 for the City of Bozeman.
Slashing of damaged residuals from commercial timber harvest
Small diameter tree thinning and piling in Moser Creek and Leverich Gulch
Hauling of log decks from last winter down Moser Creek and Hyalite Canyon
Skyline yarding activities will resume in the fall
Tree layout, marking and contract preparation for future helicopter treatments
Project Update June 2022
Pre-haul road maintenance on the Moser Roads will occur this summer
Skyline yarding will occur in Moser area into July
Small diameter tree thinning and piling in Moser Creek and Leverich Gulch
All ground-based tractor logging units are complete
More than 400 acres of small diameter thinning is currently occurring, and will be implemented throughout the summer. This work is completed by hand-crews, leaving small piles throughout the under story. The piles will then be treated with prescribed fire during the winter months.
Log decks from last winter and from the skyline logging will be hauled out this summer
Additional tree marking and contract preparation for future helicopter treatments will be occurring this summer
Project Update May 2022
Small diameter tree thinning with chainsaws in Leverich Gulch
Small diameter tree thinning in Moser Creek and Leverich Gulch will continue into the summer/fall
Thinned woody material will be piled in select areas away from trails
Piles will be burned next year in the late fall/winter, when conditions allow
Project Update March 29, 2022
Please watch and note the following ongoing activities:
Logging operations are very active in the Moser area including both tractor based and skyline logging.
Timber hauling via log truck on FS roads #6210, #6213, and down Hyalite Canyon.
Heavy equipment has been used to fell, skid, and process timber.
Closure at lower Moser ridge area above Kirk Hill at the FS boundary (closed effective January 26th) is lifted as of April 1, 2022.
Skyline logging activities will resume June 1, 2022.
Temporary roads will be rehabbed after all logging is complete in the area.
BMW Winter Update and Q&A
Wednesday February 23, 2022 from 12pm-1pm
Virtual community engagement scheduled for February 23rd, 12:00-1:00pm. Come hear about the Bozeman Municipal Watershed (BMW) project, including updates from both the City of Bozeman and the US Forest Service. Join us here: tinyurl.com/2s4kbhtm
January 26, 2022 the lower Moser Ridge area above Kirk Hill is closed
Starting January 26, 2022 the lower Moser Ridge area above Kirk Hill is closed to all uses, including foot traffic. The closure area includes trail #428, which starts at the FS boundary approx. 0.5 mile from the Kirk Hill Trailhead, trail #429 along Hodgman Canyon and a portion of FS road #6210. The closure area excludes MSU foundation land (Kirk Hill Natural Area), and the trail system managed by Gallatin Valley Land Trust. The area is closed for public safety while ground based and skyline logging and hauling activities occur. The closure will begin January 26 and will be closed 7 days a week until logging and hauling activities are complete in the area.
Sourdough Trail open and city work wraps up for the year, work continues on Forest Service lands in Moser Creek. This will likely be our last update for calendar year. We are excited to say that work on the city’s lands and impacts to the Sourdough Trail area are complete for now! The trail is also freshly bladed and looking great for all your winter uses.
Sourdough Canyon Trail opens tomorrow, short three day closure anticipated for next week. Thanks to everyone who joined us at our live virtual update on the Bozeman Municipal Watershed! The event was recorded and is available to watch on YouTube. The whole thing is about 20 minutes long so it’s worth just playing it in the background while you catch up on other tasks! (Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/oEtrbWuHufY)
Work is continuing to progress on the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project! A huge THANK YOU to all the community members who are so patiently observing the closures and practicing kindness if they find themselves at a closed trailhead.
As a part of the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project, a joint effort between the City of Bozeman and the Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, the city will be doing work to remove forest fuels from the area around Sourdough Canyon trail this fall.
Most impactful to the public will be a closure of the Sourdough Canyon Trail for approximately four weeks, anticipated to start October 11th.
During the trail closure both the trail and the project area will be closed to the public. Area users who enter the public lands near the project area will not be able to exit through the trail and project area, and should plan for alternate routes to return.
Crews will be removing trees from the project area using a helicopter and will be flying the fuels overhead, causing a serious safety concern. Members of the public are expected to abide by the closure and watch for signage.
Join us for an information meeting with updates on anticipated trail closures and updates on the work completed so far on both the City lands and National Forest System lands as a part of the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project.
Work is underway with weather and conditions dictating what and where the work is being done. If you are in the watershed area, watch for signs such as this or notices about work being done in the area.
Join us as we continue the conversation about the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project. The Custer Gallatin Forest Service team will talk about implementation and we’ll provide the detail on how Sourdough Fuels reduction will happen as a part of the project.
Following our open house and survey from March, the City of Bozeman be coming back with a “What We Heard” open house . This will be a shorter meeting to share out the results of the survey, identify the option that will be implemented, and talk about next steps.
The meeting will be recorded and shared on this website for those that can’t attend. Register via WebEx and provide your name and email.
March 25, 2021
Accessing the Sourdough Trailhead Area
Make your voice heard on Sourdough Trailhead access! Take Survey
Prescribed burning efforts begin if weather conditions allow
Fuel reduction activities begin – Mechanical/logging treatments in the Moser Ridge Area and City of Bozeman lands near the Bozeman Creek intake structure. Non-mechanical treatments in the Leverich Gulch area Moser Rider area.