June 7, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and Plum Creek Timber Lands, L.P. will be installing gates in the next three weeks to control motorized access on three road systems in the Swan River Valley.
The road systems affected by the gates are the Cilly Creek Road (Section 21, T24N, R17W), Soup Creek Road (Section 27, T24N, R17W), and the Woodward Point Road (Section 12, T23N, R18W).
Plum Creek Timber Lands, L.P. will also be installing two new gates that will impact access to DNRC lands on the following road systems: South Woodward Road (Section 29, T23N, R18W) and South Woodward Road (Section 25, T23N, R18W). (The Section 25 closure is seasonal and will be closed during the spring and open during the summer and fall.)
According to Swan River State Forest Manager Bob Sandman, the gates are being installed to comply with the Swan Valley Grizzly Bear Conservation Agreement (SVGBCA) entered into by DNRC, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Plum Creek Timber Lands, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the U.S. Forest Service. The agreement occurred in 1995 and was amended in 1997.
"There are specific terms and requirements that we must adhere to," Sandman stated regarding the agreement. "These gates are needed for DNRC to comply with the terms of that agreement. We are not installing the gates to keep the public out, but to balance levels of motorized and non-motorized access for grizzly bear security."
The gates will be permanent, unless the agreement is amended in the future to allow different open road densities or seasonal security options.
"We are asking for the public's patience and cooperation with regards to these restrictions," Sandman stated. If you have questions about motorized access to the Swan River State Forest, please call (406) 754-2301 or visit the office, which is located at Goat Creek of Swan Lake on the west side of Highway 83. You may call or visit Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.