The land exchange would enhance Red Lodge Mountain’s ski area viability and facilitate an avenue for Red Lodge Mountain to make upgrades thereby remaining competitive in today’s winter recreation market. The Beartooth Ranger District is keenly aware of the social and economic importance of Red Lodge Mountain Ski Area with a capacity of up to 3,425 skiers a day. Consolidating federal lands on the less developed portions of the ski area allows the Forest Service to acquire the Cole Creek drainage, where the stream and drainage are largely intact. Several enhancements for recreational trail use are also proposed with the land exchange including: reestablishing the historic Old Ranger Trail (#107) that provides a 12-mile connector from Red Lodge to the Red Lodge Creek area, ensuring year-round access to the Red Lodge Mountain Uphill Trail (#108) to the top of Grizzly Peak, granting permanent access to the proposed Nichols Creek Trail (#110) and continuing access on the Willow Creek Trail (#105) as a link from the ski area to town. Recreational trail access would be non-motorized and allow for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snow-shoe and ski travel, along with other uses.
An open house will be on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 5:00 at the Red Lodge Senior Citizens Center, 207 S. Villard Ave, Red Lodge, MT 59068. Comments should be submitted firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line Red Lodge Mountain Land Exchangewith commenter’s name, address and contact number. Comments are considered part of public record.
Downloadable documents and maps for the Red Lodge Mountain Land Exchange are available online at: www.fs.usda.gov/custer and clicking on the right-hand quicklink: NEPA Projects and Public Scoping For additional information contact: Traute Parrie or Jeff Gildehaus at406-446-2103.