Although the Bridger Teton National Forest Plan is not up for review right now, forest officials are getting ready for it.
The Bridger Teton is now beginning the process to study rivers located on the forest to determine which are free-flowing and possess at least one remarkable river value. Officials are also looking for comments on how best to proceed with a list of rivers to be studied for wild and scenic river status and evaluating their eligibility for further consideration.
The forest has created a “story map” to provide information about the study process. It will allow people to interact with a map of the rivers and provide comments. The portal will be open through the summer, but forest officials say comments received before July 19 will be most useful.
You can find the story map here.
The review is required as part of the 2012 planning rule in accordance with the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Planners hope an early start at identifying issues will make the forest better prepared for the revision process and give the public more time to engage.
Ultimately, a draft eligibility report will be released. It will list rivers found to be free-flowing and possessing at least one outstandingly remarkable value. Final decisions won’t be made until the Forest Plan is adopted. And, even then, only Congress can designate rivers as Wild and Scenic.