The Bitterroot National Forest is allowing more objections to be filed on the closure of mountain bicycles in two Wilderness Study Areas on the forest. The latest Bitterroot Travel Plan was set to close about 62 miles of trails to bicycles in the Sapphire and Blue Joint Wilderness Study Areas (WSA), but Federal Judge Dana Christensen ruled on a lawsuit challenging that plan, instructing the Forest Service to allow more objections from the general public. Senator Steve Daines also had asked for more public comment on the plan.

According to Tod McKay, Public Affairs Officer, the Bitterroot National Forest is restarting a 45-day objection period and allows any objections from the public. The deadline is November 19, 2018. Only the mountain biking issue in the Blue Joint and Sapphire WSAs are to be considered. No other aspects of the Travel Plan are included in the new comment period. If you have already filed an objection, you don't need to refile, he reported. Filings from the previous period will be included. If you email, make sure to include "Bitterroot Travel Plan Objections" in the subject line. You can also mail or hand deliver objections to the Objection Reviewing Offical, USDA Forest Service, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula MT 59804. For more information contact Amy Fox, Environmental Coordinator at the Bitterroot Forest Supervisors Office, 363-7100.