The Crystal Cedar Project is a forest management project undertaken by the Forest Service for the area to the north of Columbia Falls. The project area is the federal land that lies between the North Fork Road to the east, Trumble Canyon Road to the west, and Canyon Creek / 316 Road to the North.
The project as proposed includes both forestry components (commercial logging as well as fuels reduction) as well as recreation components. The recreation component consists of additional trails to be built in the area. Most of the proposed trails would be for non-motorized uses, with some trails potentially being limited to foot traffic only, and others potentially for bike traffic only.
The proposal includes approximately 25 miles of new trails to be built. FAMB has submitted comments supporting these trails. We also requested additional trails in specific locations that would improve the network.
After considering the environmental impacts of the proposal, the Forest Service issued a preliminary approval of the Crystal Cedar project in November, 2019. You can see a map of the roughly 25 miles Crystal Cedar trails that have preliminary approval here; we've also included that map below. We're awaiting final approval from the Forest Service, which will take at least 2-3 months (possibly more). Once final approval is issued, we can begin working with the Forest Service, Gateway to Glacier, and other interested groups to finalize planning and begin design and construction work. And, of course, we'll be fundraising along with our partners to pay for the construction of the trails and trailhead. There will also be additional comment periods where we'll be asking everyone to submit comments in support of the proposed trails, so keep checking for emails from us on how you can make your voice heard.
Once final approval occurs, the timeline for actual construction of the trails will largely depend on fundraising efforts by FAMB and other groups like Gateway to Glacier, who is also involved with this project.