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Research Project: Cooperative Management of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Montana and Idaho

Location: Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research

Project Number: 2056-31610-006-11-M
Project Type: Memorandum of Understanding

Start Date: Aug 1, 2016
End Date: Jul 31, 2021

The purpose of this agreement is to document the responsibilities of each party for managing segments of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) from the western border of Yellowstone National Park to Pintler Pass to provide for coordinated management, planning and protection of the CDNST that results in efficient, cost-effective management and better service to the public.

The CDNST was established and designated in 1978 by an amendment to the 1968 National Trails Act System. The 2009 CDNST Comprehensive Plan guides the development and management of the CDNST across the various jurisdictions through which the trail passes in order to provide the public with a seamlessly managed long-distance trail. Consequently, all parties have a mutual interest in working cooperatively across jurisdictions to implement the intent of the National Trails System Act and the 2009 Comprehensive Management Plan. The northern portion of the CDNST weaves in and out of five National Forests, two BLM field offices, and the Sheep Experiment Station for 396.5 miles from Gallatin National Forest’s border with Yellowstone National Park north to Pintler Pass on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The trail is currently being managed across jurisdictional boundaries based on handshake agreements; however, there is a need to formalize these agreements so that consistent management and efficient maintenance of the trail is sustained over time.