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Montana National Forest Proposes New River Protections

Posted: 07/31/2017
by Kevin Colburn

The Custer-Gallatin National Forest has proposed new protections for 18 outstanding streams in Montana through their forest planning process. The Forests propose to manage these streams as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation, along with 12 other rivers and streams previously determined to be eligible. Wild and Scenic eligibility offers stream corridors interim protection from dams and other impacts. The Forests’ analysis is solid in our view and merits appreciation from paddlers, though there is room for a bit of improvement.

American Whitewater, with our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers and Outdoor Alliance, recommended many of the 18 streams proposed for eligibility status, as well as other streams that the Forest is not currently planning to protect as eligible. The Forests are accepting public comment on their plan through August 12, 2017.  Paddlers are encouraged to check out the Forests’ interactive map, and share your thoughts with the Forests’ through the map or via email.

Here at American Whitewater we have a few recommendations that we feel are really important.

Need for new recommendations for these streams:

  • Hyalite Creek (Lower) (~2 miles)
  • Sweetgrass Creek (in the Crazy Mountains) (~4 miles)

Special thanks for recommending these great whitewater streams

  • Big Timber Creek (1.08 miles)
  • Hyalite Creek (Upper) (4.64 miles)
  • Rock Creek (11.4 miles)
  • West Boulder River (12.31 miles)
  • West Stillwater River (14.02 miles)

If you have paddled these streams or know them, please take a few minutes to let the Forest Service know what makes these streams special. Focus on their rare, unique, or exemplary values. Values can include recreation, scenery, geology, fisheries, and wildlife. You can comment through the map or via email ( by August 12, 2017.

Associated Rivers

Big Timber Creek MT
Boulder, West MT
Hyalite Creek MT
Rock Creek (Carbon County) MT