The Bridger-Teton National Forest is known for having numerous rivers and creeks that provide clean, cold water for a wide array of recreational, ecological, agriculture, and community benefits. With water such an important resource, the Bridger-Teton is beginning the process to study rivers located on the Forest to determine which are free-flowing and possess at least one outstandingly remarkable river value. The study is required as part of the 2012 Planning Rule In accordance with the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Although the Bridger-Teton National Forest is not initiating Plan Revision at this time, beginning the river study now will help the Forest be better prepared for Revision and allows the public more opportunity to engage on this specific topic.
To begin this effort, the Forest is seeking public review of the list of rivers to be studied and seeking public comment on the draft process that will be used to evaluate a river’s eligibility for further consideration as a Wild and Scenic River. A “story map” has been created to provide information about the study process, allow people to interact with a map of the rivers, and provide comments. The public comment portal of the story map will remain open through the summer, however comments received by July 19th, 2019 will be most useful moving forward. The public is asked to comment through the Story Map link but comments may also be submitted to the Bridger-Teton National Forest by mail. The story map can be accessed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest webpage by clicking here.
The end product from this study will be a DRAFT eligibility report, listing those rivers found to be free-flowing and possessing at least one outstandingly remarkable value. A final decision on which rivers are eligible won’t be made until the Forest Plan is revised. The study process will also not result in new Wild and Scenic River designations since only Congress can designate rivers.
For more information, visit the forest webpage or contact the Bridger-Teton National Forest at (307) 739-5500.