Private and public land disputes around Crazy Mountains could end soon

Picture from an EcoFlight trip around the Crazy Mountains in Montana.

LIVINGSTON- A citizen-proposed land agreement to improve public access will have 30 days for public feedback.

The Crazy Mountains, often called the Crazies, have been debated for years over resolving public access debates with local ranchers, conservationists, hunters, and the Crow people.

According to a new proposal in July, the project would consolidate public lands and create new public access on the eastern side of the Crazy Mountains as well as near Inspiration Divide in the Madison Range near Big Sky, Montana. 

A new 22-mile trail connecting the Half Moon campground in Big Timber Creek to an existing trail along the Sweet Grass Creek would be included in the proposal.

The estimated $1 million trail would come at no cost to Montana taxpayers and would be fully funded by The Yellowstone Club who also look to improve the trailhead at Half Moon campground.

The Crow people would also be allowed access to Crazy Peak, one of the tribe’s most sacred places, according to the proposal.

“People who chose to go and fast in the Crazy Mountains chose not to go to Crazy Peak because it’s usually heavily visited by hikers and tourists,” Shane Doyle, member of the Crow Tribe, said. “I think that what the offer here is that people who want to seek that place out for ceremonial purposes will have a day or two or however many days they need…to have some sanctity and privacy in that location.”

Hunters and sightseers will gain access to 1,566 acres of public land where guaranteed access does not currently exist.

Conversationalists will be happy to hear that the Custer-Gallatin Forest Service will acquire 3,900 acres of roadless area essential to protecting the protected species of wolverines and Canada lynx in the area. 

The proposal will receive public feedback at four open-house events to be conducted in compliance with Montana’s must current COVID-19 guidelines.

  • Livingston: July 16, 2020, at the Shane Lalani Center, 6-8 p.m.
  • Big Timber: July 23, 2020, at the American Legion, 6-8 p.m.
  • Bozeman: July 30, 2020, at the Masonic Lodge, 6-8 p.m.
  • Big Sky: Aug. 6, 2020 at the Wilson Hotel, 6-8 p.m.

On Aug. 7, 2020, the proposal will be submitted to the Custer-Gallatin National Forest and Montana’s Congressional Delegation for review.

More information can be found here.

News For You