Regulations & Policies

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Published on
Wed, 01/15/2020 - 15:49

Information on Forest Service Regulations and Directives

Permanent Closures for Human Safety near Beattie Gulch and McConnell Areas north of Gardiner, Montana on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest

The Forest Service is requesting comments on a proposed firearm discharge closure on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest near Gardiner Montana totaling 23 acres.

The Forest Service proposes converting the current Beattie Gulch and McConnell Fishing Access Areas temporary firearm discharge closures to permanent closures.  The areas are located in the Gardiner Basin, north of Gardiner, Montana.  Permanent closure to the discharge of firearms would continue addressing ongoing safety issues resulting from big game, including bison hunting.  Bow hunting would still be allowed.

The original Federal Register Notice was published in June 2020, but a mailing address error led to the need for a revised Federal Register Notice and an additional 60-day comment period. Comments received during the first comment period are still valid and do not need to be resubmitted.

The McConnell Fishing Access area and the Beattie Gulch area are close to many developed facilities including State Highway 89, the Gardiner Airport, Old Yellowstone Trail, and private residences.  This proximity makes it difficult, if not impossible to safely shoot a firearm of the caliber needed to harvest a bison or other big game animal, including bison.  

The closures have been limited to the smallest area possible to address the ongoing safety concerns.  About 23 acres out of approximately 24,500 acres, of National Forest System lands currently available for hunting big game in this area are affected.  

The Forest Service is asking for public input on the proposal to convert the temporary closures to permanent closures.  The proposal is being considered under the process outlined in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.  To be most helpful, public input is requested beginning January 13, 2021 thru March 13, 2021.  Written comments can be sent to Mike Thom, Gardiner District Ranger, PO Box 5, Gardiner, MT 59030.  Electronic comments can be submitted to Additional information can also be found at

Link to the Federal Register Notice:…
Comment Period:  January 13, 2021 - March 13, 2021


Commenting on proposed changes to Timber Management Directives

The Forest Service is requesting comments on proposed amendments to several of its 2400 series directives pertaining to the sale and disposal of forest products. The amended directives include Timber Management (2400) directives, which includes the FSM2420 Timber Appraisal Manual, three chapters of the FSH2409.19 Renewable Resource Handbook, and a new FSH2409.19 Handbook chapter on Good Neighbor Authority. The amendments address changes in authorities, policies and direction designed to improve efficiencies and increase the pace of forest restoration and generally update outdated directives. 
To leave a comment or to view comments left to date:

To view the Federal Register Notice:

Comment Period: December 18, 2020 – February 16, 2021.


Proposed Rangeland Management Directives

The USDA Forest Service is requesting public input on the proposed updates to the rangeland management directives. The rangeland management directives are comprised of Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2200, Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 2209.13 and FSH 2209.16.  The rangeland management directives serve as the primary basis for the internal management and control of the rangeland management program. They are the primary source of administrative direction to Forest Service employees relative to the rangeland management program.

Why Are They Being Updated? The Rangeland Management Directives have been in place for approximately 30 years. The focus of this effort is on updating outdated manuals and handbooks. The updates make them more usable, modern and conform to recent legislation. The updates provide greater management flexibility and improve the clarity of policies and procedures to guide responsible and consistent management of NFS lands. The updates involve 17 chapters with most of the updates being made to Forest Service Handbook 2209.13.

To leave a comment or to view comments left to date:

To view the Federal Register Notice:

Comment Period: December 18, 2020 – February 16, 2021.


Forest Service Directives


Laws and Regulations

smokey Federal agencies operate under the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. These laws help form our directives and policies on how we manage national forests and grasslands, Even Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, Forest Service symbols of wildfire prevention and conservation, are protected by law.



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