Flathead Area Mountain Bikers participated as a member of the Whitefish Range Partnership, a collaborative group focused on providing input to the Forest Service regarding the upcoming revisions to the Forest Plan for the Flathead National Forest. The Partnership included a wide variety of groups, including the Montana Wilderness Association, Headwaters Montana, the Backcountry Horsemen, Stoltze Land and Lumber, and a variety of other groups interested in preservation and recreation in the Whitefish Range.
The Forest Plan is the guiding document that provides direction for the entire Flathead National Forest. The Whitefish Range Partnership drafted an extensive set of recommendations that were unanimously approved by the Partnership. These recommendations are being considered by the Forest Service and incorporated into the Forest Plan.
In drafting the recommendations, Flathead Area Mountain Bikers ensured that, as much as possible, mountain biking interests were protected in the Whitefish Range. Specifically, our efforts focused on:
Increased support for higher use recreation areas in the southern portion of the Whitefish Range.
Increased connectivity and “loop” options throughout the Whitefish Range
Establishing trail networks in the area surrounding Polebridge
Excluding portions of the Whitefish Divide Trail from potential recommended wilderness areas in the north end of the Whitefish Range
Where possible, limiting the extent of recommended wilderness that would prohibit bicycles
Preserving and advancing mountain bike activities in the Flathead Valley.