South Crazy Mountains Land Exchange Draft Decision Released December 10, 2020

South Crazy Mountains Land Exchange Draft Decision Released December 10, 2020

 

Bozeman, MT-After more than a decade in the works, the Custer Gallatin National Forest will release the final environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact and draft decision notice for the South Crazy Mountains Land Exchange on December 10, 2020.  The Crazy Mountains are located northeast of Livingston, Montana and northwest of Big Timber, Montana. This decision will exchange approximately 1,920 acres of National Forest System Lands for 1877.5 acres of private lands owned by Wild Eagle Mountain Ranch (WEMR) and Rock Creek Ranch (RCR).  Immediately following the publishing of the legal notice, a 45-day objection period will be open for those who previously submitted official comments during the initial public comment period. 

 

In the fall of 2019, the Custer Gallatin National Forest released a draft environmental assessment proposing a land exchange between the Forest Service and three separate landowners in the southern Crazy Mountains: Crazy Mountain Ranch (CMR), WEMR and RCR.  These three ranches were evaluated together for environmental analysis purposes, though the proposal also outlined that the parcels could each be considered individually.

 

The Forest Service heard feedback on the draft proposal during a public meeting in Livingston as well as throughout the official 45-day public comment period.  “What we heard from people was tremendous passion and a strong sense of place for these areas in the Crazy Mountains,” says Forest Supervisor, Mary Erickson.  This robust public input demonstrated that while there was general support for the WEMR and RCR portions of the proposal, there were many concerns and questions regarding the CMR exchange component. The released draft decision moves forward with the WEMR and RCR exchanges but will not make a decision on the CMR exchange component at this time.  Forest officials determined that more time and consideration are needed regarding the CMR exchange before making a decision on that exchange.

  

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, express delivery, or messenger service: (to Objection Reviewing Officer, USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT  59804); FAX to (406) 329-3411; email to appeals-northern-regional-office@usda.gov or by hand-delivery Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays at USDA Forest Service, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT  59804. Formats that will be accepted for electronically submitted comments are: Word, PDF, and/or Excel. The objection period ends at COB on Monday, January 25, 2021.

 

The environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, draft decision notice, and supporting documentation are available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56687Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from: Dee Closson, Realty Specialist, 406-599-7752, or dee.closson@usda.gov.

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