Implementation work continues in the North Bridgers Forest Health Project, located 13 miles northeast of Bozeman, Montana. The project situated just north of the Bridger Bowl Ski area, is in the wildland urban interface (WUI) on the Bozeman Ranger District, Custer Gallatin National Forest. This current phase of work – temporary road construction, and logging and hauling operations – is expected to run through spring of 2022.
Beginning September 22, 2021, a section of FS Trail #500 will be closed Monday – Friday to all uses (including foot traffic) due to safety concerns while logging and hauling activities occur on the trail. Specifically, the Trail closure will run from State Hwy 86 at the Battle Ridge Trailhead (across from the Battle Ridge Campground), to the junction with the Ross Creek/South Bracket Trailhead (FS Trail # 526). The trail will open to the public on weekends, from Friday at 5:00pm-Sunday at 12:00am. Battle Ridge Campground will remain open, however there will be equipment working and hauling activities occurring in the area.
“We ask that everyone remain vigilant and use extreme caution when in this area,” said Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District Ranger. “If you are enjoying the component of the Trail that remains open during the week or spending some time camping at Battle Ridge Campground please be aware of the equipment in the area and take necessary safety precautions. We do apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but this short-term closure is needed for public health and safety, which is always our top priority.”
The Forest Service will post trail closure signs at access points to the FS #500 Trail in advance for public awareness. Once logging activities are completed in these areas, the Forest Service will notify the public of when trail access will reopen.
With this project, the Forest Service aims to address several issues including reducing the susceptibility of vegetation to insect and disease; minimizing tree mortality contributing to fuel loading; decreasing fuel build-up that can lead to high intensity wildfire; and supplying forest products to support local economies and industries.
To keep informed on the progress of this project, follow the Custer Gallatin National Forest on Facebook. For questions or additional information, please call the Bozeman Ranger District at 406-522-2520. A Decision Memo for the project was signed in 2018 and is available online at: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48493.