Monthly Archives: April 2016

Forest Service backs off (for now) on reductions in Montana trail maintenance funding

Trail 2, mile 2, Flathead NF, July 10, 2014 - by W. K. Walker

Trail 2, mile 2, Flathead NF, July 10, 2014 – by W. K. Walker

In the face of some angry senatorial blow-back, the Forest Service has restored full trail maintenance funding in Region 1. For now . . .

The U.S. Forest Service has dropped its proposal to reduce funding for trail maintenance in Montana. The agency originally planned to reduce appropriations for Region One, which includes Montana, by 30 percent over the next three years. This included a potential loss of $1 million to Montana’s federal trail budget this year.

U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester criticized Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell last week for failing to prioritize trail maintenance in Montana. The agency proposed revising its formula for funding trail maintenance across the U.S. with an added emphasis on higher population centers. In Region One, there are 28,000 miles of federally managed trails.

The agency on Friday said it would reconsider the formula change and withdrew the proposal.

Read more . . .

Also read: Forest Service backs off planned cuts in trail maintenance in Montana (Missoulian)

MWA rolls out online Montana hiking guide

MWA - poster

MWA – poster

The Montana Wilderness Association announced today their shiny, new online hiking guide for Montana at Here’s what Brian Sybert, MWA executive director has to say about it:

Today, we’re celebrating a new chapter in MWA’s long and proud tradition of connecting people to Montana’s special places that deserve protection. We’re celebrating the state’s first-ever online, statewide trail guide –

Made possible by a generous grant from the Montana Office of Tourism, is a one-stop, comprehensive tool for finding a trail in just about any given area across the state, east or west. allows users to:

  • Discover trails recommended by local residents.
  • Locate trails on an electronic map.
  • Choose a perfect path based on distance and elevation gain.
  • View waterfalls, badlands, ancient forests, big views, and other natural wonders.
  • Review trail conditions added by recent hikers and add their own trip reports.
  • Contribute their own trail descriptions.
  • Find a great place near the trailhead to stay for the night or have breakfast, a burger, or a beer.

I encourage you to read more about the guide or check out now and see all the great hikes that await, either in your backyard or the next time you visit Montana.