With the increasing interest of rock and sport climbing, the Bitterroot National Forest is developing a climbing management plan. Until it's completed, there is a ban of any new permanent climbing routes on the forest. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot Forest said that includes a ban on installation of any permanent hardware or apparatus such as bolts, glue, manufactured hand holds. And, you cannot modify existing routes by chipping, cleaning, hammering, or drilling new or existing holds.

On the other hand, it is also illegal to try to block the use of a climbing area by vandalizing existing climbing routes or obstructing access. That includes damaging or vandalizing climbing equipment or making a route unsafe. The forest officials are hoping to reduce user conflicts with a new plan. The public can be involved in creating that plan by contacting Stevensville Ranger Steve Brown at (406) 777-5461 or check the Bitterroot National Forest website.

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