The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday that it has tentatively approved a land swap involving more than 15 square miles of land located in two Montana mountain ranges.
The Custer Gallatin National Forest in an email announced that it is moving forward with a slightly modified version of the East Crazy Inspiration Divide Land Exchange, a proposal several years in the making.
In the draft decision notice, the Forest Service landed on a modified version of the proposal that the agency released for public comment last November. If the updated land swap ultimately goes through, 6,110 acres of land currently under private ownership would be transferred to the Forest Service. The agency would in turn pass 3,855 acres of national forest to private ownership. In addition to the Forest Service, the transaction would involve five landowners in the Crazy Mountains and one in Madison County — the Yellowstone Club, a luxury ski resort and residential community. The swap also includes components dealing with trails, trailheads, conservation easements, deed restrictions, and water, grazing and mineral rights.