There are only a few days left to comment on a plan that will form the framework for how Western Montana residents will work, and play, on U.S. Forest Service land in the Missoula region in the future.

Closure of the public comment period on April 1st will finish more than a year of development on the Lolo National Forest Plan.

Yet even as the work wraps up, the agency says there are still some concerns, especially for the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

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Revisions underway

The National Forest Management Act guides planning efforts, including the current direction where many National Forests are reviewing their plans. On the Lolo National Forest, the current plan dates back to 1986. That provides the foundation for many other plans and policies.

A 2012 planning rule directed future forest plan revisions, including the one underway now.

RELATED: Work begins on new Lolo National Forest Plan

Clarification toward the close

A series of workshops and other outreach has been underway for the past year. Public comments are being closed on April 1st.

In advance of that, Lolo Forest Supervisor Carolyn Upton is clarifying some of the points tied to the Rattlesnake, especially tied to the wilderness. Upton says the designation of a "semi-primitive motorized corridor" in the area isn't tied to general motorized use but is for a "closed, administrative use-only route."

She's also committing to more work to clarify how the new Forest Plan and the rules for managing the Rattlesnake wilderness work together.

The plan is also drawing additional interest from MTB Missoula, concerned about changes to mountain biking opportunities in places like the Heart Lake Loop and Carlton Ridge.

You can review and comment on the plan here. The Forest Service will then close the "scoping" phase, review the comments, and then present alternatives for more public comment.

LOOK: Where people in Montana are moving to most

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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