The Gallatin National Forest recently amended the Forest’s 1987 Forest Plan to reflect the language and intent of the National Fire Policy. The amendment applies to National Forest System lands located within the Gallatin National Forest.

The amendment allows managers to use fires that are naturally caused as a management tool throughout the Gallatin National Forest. Previously managers could consider this tool only within the Lee Metcalf and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Areas. This management option will be used when and where appropriate to achieve natural resource objectives.

The decision does not decide how and when fires will be managed on the landscape, according to a press release from the Gallatin National Forest. Those determinations will still be made case by case basis and will be based on location, predicted weather, local conditions and ecological benefits. Working closely with state, federal and county partners, local fire managers will make the decision on how to best manage every fire on the Gallatin National Forest.