Forest Service will conduct survey to determine any new closures

By Taylor Anderson

After three weeks of waiting for the
results of a meeting between the Big
Sky Mountain Bike Alliance and the
Forest Service, the group made an
announcement.
Nothing happened.
That’s to say, the Forest Service will
close none of the trails in the Big Sky
area – yet, at least.
“We learned in our meeting that the
Forest Service has made no proposals
about closing any trails this summer
until a full inventory has been completed,”
the BSMBA said in a statement
released Aug. 25.
The group also thanked bikers and
residents who sent letters to Mary
Erickson, Gallatin National Forest
Supervisor, and other trails officials.
It also acknowledged Sen. John Tester
was made aware of the debate over
public lands.
An area near the center of the debate
is the Porcupine Trailhead, east of
Highway 191. The area is popular
among the mountain bike community
for its scenic views and string of trails
known as the “Grizzly Loop.”
A 2010 summer travel plan closed a
section of trails to mountain bikers
with a possible fine of $200 for bikers
found riding on non-system trails.
Bikers were instead instructed to use
trails FST 66, heading northeast, and
FST 34, running southeast.
The BSMBA said in the statement
that the land managers had pointed
out the poor condition of FST 34, and
that “it was mutual (among officials)
that the north side non-system trail is
better.”
The Porcupine area is still open to
bikers as the Forest Service conducts
its survey.