by Michael Wright, Bozeman Chronicle
Forest officials want to move a road in the northern part of the Bridger Mountains to resolve a public access dispute with a landowner over whether the original road is public as it passes through a piece of private land.
The U.S. Forest Service released a proposal Monday that would relocate Forest Service Road 642, otherwise known as Middle Fork Sixteen Mile Road, onto public land at a spot where it crosses private land. The owner of the land the road passes through built a gate across the road meant to prevent public vehicle access, and the Forest Service is electing to move the road rather than try to defend their claim to a public easement.
“I think this is a much better solution for the public,” said Lisa Stoeffler, the Bozeman district ranger.”
“It has been disruptive, particularly for hunters,” said Marna Daley, a Forest Service spokeswoman.