A third public meeting about new climbing rules for the Bitterroot National Forest will be tomorrow (Wednesday) online. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot Forest said the Climbing Management Plan is being developed by interested members of the public and this meeting will be a virtual meeting on the Zoom platform.

With more and more people rock climbing, it was important to set some guidelines for proper climbing behavior and also being aware of other animals, such as nesting birds, that also use the steep cliff faces. He said the year-long development includes a website that is updated as portions of the plan are discussed.

The online meeting will be August 18 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is similar to the two other meetings this summer - one in June and one in July. The agenda:

  • Recap the July meeting.
  • Talk about raptor management guidelines, such as peregrine falcons.
  • Explain the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum and how it helps in planning issues.
  • A break for small group discussions.
  • Share small group details and wrap up the meeting.

For more information, contact the Stevensville Ranger District at (406) 777-5461.

McKay suggested checking interactive "Story Map" that the Bitterroot Forest set uo. That project was the beginning of the management plan and received input from the community. It's tracking the planning progress and will be an information hub to everyone interested in the climbing proposals. Even if you're new to climbing activities, it's a great site to learn a few of the basics.

To join the Zoom meeting, click on the link below and enter the following meeting ID (949 5290 2024) and passcode (548820) – https://umontana.zoom.us/j/94952902024?pwd=MVhCcFdVZXd0SkRFNm5MVmF0MDY2dz09. To view the Climbing Story Map, visit https://arcg.is/riqW5.

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