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Custer Gallatin National Forest finalizes land exchange in Montana's Crazy Mountains

Snow-covered mountain peaks surrounded by dark yellow land
Mike Cline
Wikimedia Commons
Loco Mountain in the Crazy Mountains, taken in Jan. 2015

The Custer Gallatin National Forest and private landowners in the Crazy Mountain range northeast of Bozeman are exchanging nearly 3 square miles of land.

The forest this week announced it finalized an agreement with the Wild Eagle Mountain and Rock Creek Ranches.

Forest officials say they’re navigating a “checkerboard” of private and public ownership in the southern Crazy Mountains, and the swap streamlines land management by forming national park acreage into uninterrupted blocks.

The scattered ownership also means that trails sometimes cut through private property. The U.S. Forest Service says it aims to reroute a local trail through the newly public tracts of land.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.