Bozeman, MT- July 6, 2022 – The recent rain on snow event caused devasting flooding across south-central Montana communities and on the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Significant impacts have been felt. The Forest is a gateway to Yellowstone National Park on the west, north and northeast entrances serving a vital role and hosting 175 Outfitters and Guides. Approximately 80 of these Outfitters and Guides are within the impacted flood area and the Forest is directly working with our partner permittees as one of our top flood recovery priorities. Additionally, the Forest has been working with federal and state partners, Yellowstone National Park and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to understand their displaced outfitter and guiding community needs.
“The Forest is a vital component to the communities that surround it. We recognize the significant impact to livelihoods, homes, property, utilities, and local economies that this devastating flood has taken,” said Mary Erickson, Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor. The National Forest System lands are key to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and support jobs and opportunities for families, workers, tourists, and industry professionals. “As part of our efforts with Yellowstone National Park and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, our intent is to create short-term support for directly displaced Outfitters and Guides through our Emergency Determination option, providing support and a hand to our partners as we balance the long-term needs of the public and protection of the Forest’s natural resources,” Erickson continued.
The Forest will consider emergency accommodation for current Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Yellowstone National Park; or Bureau of Land Management permittees that are displaced by the flooding event. Temporary use will run July 1 – September 5, 2022 (Labor Day weekend) and is solely for displayed guides due to the flood and will not be extended beyond this event. Limited outfitter and guiding activities will be considered including generally low-risk, low-impact activities:
- day-use hiking, nature walks
- day-use wade fishing
- wildlife viewing
Opportunities considered a higher risk such as stock and river boat trips will need to contact their district permit administrator to discuss limited, temporary options. Additional permitted use in the Absaroka Beartooth and Lee Metcalf Wilderness or Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area are not available. Outfitters and Guides need to provide a copy of the current permit via email indicating status and operating area as well as identify the requested type of use and locations on forest. Emails is preferred to expedite processing. For questions or permit administrators contact your respective local Ranger District.