Bitterroot National Forest
Bitterroot National Forest comprises 1.587 million acres in west-central Montana and eastern Idaho, of the United States. It is located in Ravalli County, but has acreage in Idaho County and Missoula County, Montana. Founded in 1898, the forest is located in the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains with elevations ranging from 2,200 feet along the Salmon River in Idaho to 10,157 foot Trapper Peak. Half the forest make up part or all of three distinct Wilderness areas; these areas include the Anaconda-Pintler, Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church River of No Return Wildernesses. The distinction is that in wilderness areas, no roads, mining or other construction is permitted and all access must be done either on foot or horseback. Hunting, however is allowed forest-wide including wilderness areas; the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through parts of what are now forest lands in 1805. After the discovery of gold in Idaho and Montana in the 1860s, numerous mining towns were built, some of which today are ghost towns.
The Nez Perce National Historic Trail passes through a portion of the forest, following the route of the retreating Nez Perce on their historic path that led from Idaho to north central Montana in 1877. Heavy logging and other resource depletion beginning in the 1880s led conservationists to push for the preservation of the forest; the Bitter Root Forest Reserve was established by the General Land Office on March 1, 1898 with 4,147,200 acres. It was transferred to the U. S. Forest Service in 1906. On July 1, 1908 the name was changed to Bitterroot National Forest, with lands added from Big Hole National Forest and Hell Gate National Forest. Other lands were transferred from Bitterroot to Beaverhead, Nez Perce and Salmon National Forests. On October 29, 1934 part of Selway National Forest was added. In August 2016, a wildfire burnt down fourteen houses; the forest is home to many species of wildlife species including mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, gopher, a variety of chipmunks, porcupine, rabbits, a variety of squirrels, black bear, cougar in addition to many varieties of birds.
The forest is a combination of both forested zones. Grazing rights are leased to private landowners in the lower altitudes where grasses and shrublands are dominant. Higher up, Douglas fir and lodgepole pine give way to Engelmann Spruce and whitebark pine as the altitude increases. Above the treeline at 8,000 feet the trees abruptly grasses are found. A small grizzly bear population is located in the wilderness zones of the forest with black bear, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and moose found all over this forest. An active effort to reintroduce the grizzly bear to the region concluded in 2000 with a plan to release 25 bears into the wilderness zones over a five-year period beginning in 2003. There are 1,600 mi of 18 improved campgrounds within the forest. Outstanding fishing is found in the dozens of streams and lakes; the forest headquarters is located in Montana. There are local ranger district offices in Darby and Sula; the largest nearby city is Montana. The scenic Blodgett Canyon is but one of many steep canyons located in the forest.
U. S. Highway 93 passes through portions of the forest. There are three designated wilderness areas in Bitterroot National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. All of them, lie in neighboring National Forests, as indicated. Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Much of the forest outside of designated wilderness areas is still roadless and undeveloped. In addition to roadless acreage adjacent to designated wildernesses, a large roadless area 164,000 acres in size and straddling the Montana-Idaho state line exists just west of Lost Trail Pass; this area, named for 9,154' Allan Mountain, lies in Montana and is critical to the migration of wildlife between the wildlands of central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Allan Mountain area is a lower-elevation part of the Bitterroot Range that features extensive coniferous forests, steep canyons, pockets of old-growth ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir.
Within the area is Overwhich Falls, a popular attraction. Elk, black bear, mountain goat, pine marten, pileated woodpecker are residents. Swanson, Frederick H; the Bitterroot and Mr. Brandborg: Clearcutting and the Struggle for Sustainable Forestry in the Northern Rockies. ISBN 978-1-60781-101-5 2000–2001 fires in the Western United States 2016 Nevada wildfire Bitterroot Mountains List of Forests in Montana Bitterroot National Forest - U. S. Forest Service USGS Gird Point Topo Map - TopoQuest.com Bitterroot National Forest Recreation
Flathead National Forest
The Flathead National Forest is a national forest in the western part of the U. S. state of Montana. The forest covers 2,404,935 acres, it is named after the Flathead Native Americans. The forest is located in the Rocky Mountains with elevations ranging from 4,500 to 8,500 feet; the forest provides habitat for 250 species of wildlife and 22 species of fish. This includes bald eagle, beaver, porcupine, moose, white-tailed deer, grizzly bear, timber wolf two species of fox, mountain goat, Canadian lynx, bighorn sheep and bull trout; the Flathead National Forest is bordered by Glacier National Park and Canada to the north, the Lewis and Clark National Forest and Glacier to the east, the Lolo National Forest to the south, the Kootenai National Forest to the west. The wilderness areas in the forest are the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Great Bear Wilderness Area, Mission Mountains Wilderness Area. Other specially-designated areas in the forest include Flathead Wild and Scenic River, Jewel Basin Hiking Area, the Coram Experimental Forest.
Some 270,000 acres of non-federal land are included in the boundaries drawn for the national forest. This includes private land, commercial forest and part or all of Swan River State Forest, Stillwater State Forest and Coal Creek State Forest. Commercial activities in the non-wilderness sections of the forest include timber harvesting, two downhill ski resorts and a small amount of cattle grazing. Individuals can pick less than 10 US gallons of berries without a permit. Larger amounts of berries and Christmas tree cutting, mushroom or mineral gathering in wilderness areas require permits; the forest contains 1,700 miles of roads, many of them primitive fire roads and 2,800 miles of hiking trails. 38 miles of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail are located within the Flathead National Forest. While camping is allowed anywhere within national forests without a permit, Flathead National Forest has 34 campgrounds with some facilities; the largest campground has only 40 sites and 2 campgrounds have only one site each.
Most campgrounds do not have running water. There are 11 cabins for rent in the forest; the forest lies in Flathead County, but smaller areas extend into five other counties. In descending order of land area they are Powell, Lake and Clark, Lincoln counties. Forest headquarters are located in Montana. There are local ranger district offices in Bigfork, Hungry Horse, Whitefish. List of Forests in Montana Media related to Flathead National Forest at Wikimedia Commons Official website Pacific Northwest Trail
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres. Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System and Private Forestry, Business Operations, the Research and Development branch. Managing 25% of federal lands, it is the only major national land agency, outside the U. S. Department of the Interior; the concept of the National Forests was born from Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation group and Crockett Club, due to concerns regarding Yellowstone National Park beginning as early as 1875. In 1876, Congress formed the office of Special Agent in the Department of Agriculture to assess the quality and conditions of forests in the United States. Franklin B. Hough was appointed the head of the office. In 1881, the office was expanded into the newly formed Division of Forestry; the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized withdrawing land from the public domain as "forest reserves," managed by the Department of the Interior.
In 1901, the Division of Forestry was renamed the Bureau of Forestry. The Transfer Act of 1905 transferred the management of forest reserves from the General Land Office of the Interior Department to the Bureau of Forestry, henceforth known as the United States Forest Service. Gifford Pinchot was the first United States Chief Forester in the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Significant federal legislation affecting the Forest Service includes the Weeks Act of 1911, the Multiple Use – Sustained Yield Act of 1960, P. L. 86-517. L. 88-577. L. 94-588. L. 91-190. L. 95-313. L. 95-307. In February 2009, the Government Accountability Office evaluated whether the Forest Service should be moved from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, managing some 438,000,000 acres of public land; as of 2009, the Forest Service has a total budget authority of $5.5 billion, of which 42% is spent fighting fires.
The Forest Service employs 34,250 employees in 750 locations, including 10,050 firefighters, 737 law enforcement personnel, 500 scientists. The mission of the Forest Service is "To sustain the health and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations." Its motto is "Caring for the land and serving people." As the lead federal agency in natural resource conservation, the US Forest Service provides leadership in the protection and use of the nation's forest and aquatic ecosystems. The agency's ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current and future needs. Through implementation of land and resource management plans, the agency ensures sustainable ecosystems by restoring and maintaining species diversity and ecological productivity that helps provide recreation, timber, fish, wildlife and aesthetic values for current and future generations of people.
The everyday work of the Forest Service balances resource extraction, resource protection, providing recreation. The work includes managing 193,000,000 acres of national forest and grasslands, including 59,000,000 acres of roadless areas. Further, the Forest Service fought fires on 2,996,000 acres of land in 2007; the Forest Service organization includes ranger districts, national forests, research stations and research work units and the Northeastern Area Office for State and Private Forestry. Each level has responsibility for a variety of functions; the Chief of the Forest Service is a career federal employee. The Chief reports to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, an appointee of the President confirmed by the Senate; the Chief's staff provides broad policy and direction for the agency, works with the Administration to develop a budget to submit to Congress, provides information to Congress on accomplishments, monitors activities of the agency.
There are five deputy chiefs for the following areas: National Forest System and Private Forestry and Development, Business Operations, Finance. The Forest Service Research and Development deputy area includes five research stations, the Forest Products Laboratory, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, in Puerto Rico. Station directors, like regional foresters, report to the Chief. Research stations include Northern, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Southern. There are 92 research work units located at 67 sites throughout the United States. There are 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges that have been established progressively since 1908; the system provides places for long-term science and management studies in major vegetation types of the 195 million acres of public land administered by the Forest Service. Individual sites range from 47 to 22,500 ha in size. Operations of Experimental Forests and Ranges are directed by local research teams for the individual sites, by Research Stations for the regions in which they are located, at the level of the Forest Service.
Major themes in
Pacific Northwest Trail
The Pacific Northwest Trail is a 1200-mile hiking trail running from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean on Washington’s Olympic Coast. Along the way, the PNT crosses three national parks, seven national forests, two other national scenic trails, against the grain of several mountain ranges, including the Continental Divide, Whitefish Divide, Selkirks, Kettles and Olympics; the Pacific Northwest Trail was designated as the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail by Congress in 2009. The route was first conceived by Ron Strickland in 1970. Between 1970 and 1976, extensive fieldwork was performed by Strickland and others, including early supporters along the PNT corridor who lent extensive knowledge of local trail systems to the effort. In that time, the Pacific Northwest Trail was cobbled together using preexisting trails and Forest Service roads. In 1977, Strickland founded the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, an organization responsible for education and information and advocacy for the PNT.
That same year, the first five successful thru-hikes of the Pacific Northwest Trail were completed. Two of those hikers would appear on the cover of Backpacker Magazine, in a 1979 issue which introduced the Pacific Northwest Trail to an international audience. In 1979, the first short guide for the PNT was published by Signpost Magazine, which would become Washington Trails Association; the guide consisted of two pages that described the route, came unaccompanied by maps. In 1983, Ron Strickland would hike the entire length of the PNT alongside the PNTA's first cartographer, Ted Hitzroth, they used the information collected on their journey to develop the first full-length guidebook for the PNT, published in 1984. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the trail gained in popularity. Regional volunteer groups emerged to help the PNTA maintain and improve the PNT in their areas, including SWITMO in the Puget Sound area, the Yaak Trail Club, who helped select and maintain the route through northwest Montana's Yaak Valley.
In 2000, the Pacific Northwest Trail received its first federal designation, when the Clinton administration designated the trail as a Millennium Trail. More federal recognition would come in the following years. In 2002, the North Cascades National Park / Ross Lake National Recreation Area segment was designated a National Recreation Trail; the Olympic National Park segment received this designation in 2003, the Glacier National Park segment received the same designation in 2005. In 2008, Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Maria Cantwell introduced Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail legislation to Congress; the marked up version of the legislation for the designation passed the full Natural Resource Committee of the US Senate on September 11, 2008, was inserted into the Public Lands Omnibus Bill. Congress passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 on March 25 of that year, the Pacific Northwest Trail became the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail with President Obama's signature on March 30.
The Public Lands Omnibus Act of 2009 placed the trail under the management of the Department of Agriculture, with the United States Forest Service serving as the trail administrator. A comprehensive management plan for the Pacific Northwest Trail is under development. In 2017, the Pacific Northwest Trail Association celebrated its 40th anniversary, as well as the 40th anniversary of the first five thru-hikes of the trail. Beginning at Chief Mountain Customs on the United States–Canada border in central Montana, the Pacific Northwest Trail traverses the high mountains and valleys of Glacier National Park, where it shares mileage with the Continental Divide Trail, it enters Flathead National Forest, travels across the Flathead River into Polebridge, Montana, up the Whitefish Divide, into Kootenai National Forest, through the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area and Ten Lakes Scenic Area on its way to the Idaho state line. In Idaho Panhandle National Forest, the PNT crosses the Moyie River Valley, winds its way through the forest lands and farmlands of the Kootenai River Valley, up Parker Ridge to the Selkirk Crest down Lions Head and over Lookout Mountain to Upper Priest Lake.
From there, the trail climbs toward the Washington state line. In Washington, the PNT enters Colville National Forest in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness crosses the Pend Oreille River on the Metaline Falls Bridge, before continuing over Abercrombie Mountain and reaching the Columbia River, in the town of Northport. Next, the trail wanders along the Kettle Crest, through Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and into the range lands and orchards of the Okanogan River Valley. From the city of Oroville, the PNT follows the Similkameen River to Palmer Lake, where the trail travels through Loomis State Forest, begins its ascent into the Pasayten Wilderness, where the PNT shares tread with the Pacific Crest Trail. After traversing the Pasayten, the trail crosses Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park; the trail exits the park via Hannegan Pass, continues through the Mt. Baker Wilderness. From Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the trail uses a mix of federal and private timber lands to reach the shores of Puget Sound.
Along the dikes and through the farmlands of Skagit County, the trail traverses Fidalgo Island, crosses the bridge at Deception Pass State Park and continues across Whidbey Island to the Washington State Ferry Terminal in Coupeville, Washington. After a thirty-minute ferry ride, the trail picks up in the quaint seaside community of Port Townsend and the confluence of three trails: the Larry Scott Trail, the Olymp
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. It is part of the National Trails System of the United States, it extends for some 3,700 miles from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. The trail is administered by the National Park Service, but sites along the trail are managed by federal land management agencies, local and private organizations; the trail is not a hiking trail, but provides opportunities for hiking and horseback riding at many locations along the route. The trail is the second longest of the 23 National National Historic Trails. Beginning at the Camp Dubois recreation in Illinois, it passes through portions of Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington; the official headquarters for the trail is located at the National Park Service Midwest Regional Headquarters, in Omaha, Nebraska. The visitor center features exhibits about the explorers and their historic trip, as well as information about sites along the trail.
In 1948 the National Park Service proposed a "Lewis and Clark Tour-way" along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Three Forks, Montana. Jay "Ding" Darling proposed the development of the expedition route as a recreational trail. Following a 1966 report by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the National Trails System Act of 1968 listed the route for study as a possible National Scenic Trail. In 1978 the law was amended by the National Parks and Recreation Act to provide for a new category of trail, National Historic Trails, one of, to be the Lewis and Clark trail. From 2003 to 2006, the National Park Service commemorated the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with the Corps of Discovery II traveling exhibit. Bassman, John H.. A navigation companion for the Lewis & Clark Trail. Volume 1, camp locations and daily summaries of expedition activities. United States: John H. Bassman. National Park Service. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use. United States: United States Department of the Interior.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Lewis and Clark Trust lewisandclarktrail.org
National monument (United States)
In the United States, a national monument is a protected area, similar to a national park, but can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government by proclamation of the President of the United States. National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; some national monuments were managed by the War Department. National monuments can be so designated through the power of the Antiquities Act of 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first U. S. national monument. The Antiquities Act of 1906 resulted from concerns about protecting prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts on federal lands in the American West; the Act authorized permits for legitimate archaeological investigations and penalties for taking or destroying antiquities without permission.
Additionally, it authorized the president to proclaim "historic landmarks and prehistoric structures, other objects of historic or scientific interest" on federal lands as national monuments, "the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."The reference in the act to "objects of...scientific interest" enabled President Theodore Roosevelt to make a natural geological feature, Devils Tower in Wyoming, the first national monument three months later. Among the next three monuments he proclaimed in 1906 was Petrified Forest in Arizona, another natural feature. In 1908, Roosevelt used the act to proclaim more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Katmai National Monument in Alaska, comprising more than 1,000,000 acres. Katmai was enlarged to nearly 2,800,000 acres by subsequent Antiquities Act proclamations and for many years was the largest national park system unit.
Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Great Sand Dunes were originally proclaimed as national monuments and designated as national parks by Congress. In response to Roosevelt's declaration of the Grand Canyon monument, a putative mining claimant sued in federal court, claiming that Roosevelt had overstepped the Antiquities Act authority by protecting an entire canyon. In 1920, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Grand Canyon was indeed "an object of historic or scientific interest" and could be protected by proclamation, setting a precedent for the use of the Antiquities Act to preserve large areas. Federal courts have since rejected every challenge to the president's use of Antiquities Act preservation authority, ruling that the law gives the president exclusive discretion over the determination of the size and nature of the objects protected. Substantial opposition did not materialize until 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming.
He did this to accept a donation of lands acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for addition to Grand Teton National Park after Congress had declined to authorize this park expansion. Roosevelt's proclamation unleashed a storm of criticism about use of the Antiquities Act to circumvent Congress. A bill abolishing Jackson Hole National Monument passed Congress but was vetoed by Roosevelt, Congressional and court challenges to the proclamation authority were mounted. In 1950, Congress incorporated most of the monument into Grand Teton National Park, but the act doing so barred further use of the proclamation authority in Wyoming except for areas of 5,000 acres or less; the most substantial use of the proclamation authority came in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed 15 new national monuments in Alaska after Congress had adjourned without passing a major Alaska lands bill opposed in that state. Congress passed a revised version of the bill in 1980 incorporating most of these national monuments into national parks and preserves, but the act curtailed further use of the proclamation authority in Alaska.
The proclamation authority was not used again anywhere until 1996, when President Bill Clinton proclaimed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. This action was unpopular in Utah, bills were introduced to further restrict the president's authority. None of which have been enacted. Most of the 16 national monuments created by President Clinton are managed not by the National Park Service, but by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. Presidents have used the Antiquities Act's proclamation authority not only to create new national monuments but to enlarge existing ones. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt enlarged Dinosaur National Monument in 1938. Lyndon B. Johnson added Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, Jimmy Carter made major additions to Glacier Bay and Katmai National Monuments in 1978. On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and surrounding areas in Greenwich Village, New York as the Stonewall National Monument, the first national monument commemorating the struggle for LGBT rights in the United States.
List of U. S. National Forests List of areas in the United States National Park System List of U. S. wilderness areas Protected areas of the United States List of proposed national monuments of the United States National monument proclamations under the Antiquities Act Congressional Research Service reports regar
Helena National Forest
Helena National Forest is located in west-central Montana, in the United States. Covering 984,558 acres, the forest is broken into several separate sections; the eastern regions are dominated by the Big Belt Mountains, are the location of the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, which remains much as it did when the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the region. The western sections have both the continental divide and the Scapegoat Wilderness area, part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex; the southern region includes the Elkhorn Mountains. The forest is composed of a mixture of grass and sagebrush covered lowlands with "island" pockets of lodgepole pine and more mountainous areas where Douglas fir and larch can be found; the rocky mountains in the region do not exceed 10,000 feet. The grizzly bear has a sustained population in the northwestern section of the forest in the Scapegoat Wilderness. Other predators such as wolves, wolverines, mountain lions, Canadian lynx are present Black bears are numerous as are elk, mule deer, antelope.
There are small populations of bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Along streams and lakes, sightings of nesting bald eagles and other raptors are becoming more common due to protection of these species and their vitally important waterways. 700 miles of hiking trails are located in the forest along with numerous trout streams and several lakes. There are over a dozen improved campgrounds. Snowmobile use is common in the winter months. Interstate 15 runs north–south and U. S. Route 12 runs east–west through the area; the largest nearby city is Helena, the state capital, the headquarters location for the forest. The forest was the site of the 1949 Mann Gulch fire, which claimed the lives of 13 firefighters and, the subject of both Norman Maclean's book Young Men and Fire and James Keelaghan's folk song "Cold Missouri Waters." In descending order of land area the forest is located in parts of Lewis and Clark, Powell and Meagher counties. There are local ranger district offices in Helena and Townsend.
List of Forests in Montana Lewis and Clark Pass "Helena National Forest". U. S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2006-07-08. "Gates of the Mountains Wilderness". Wilderness.net. Retrieved 2006-07-08