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Ashland District

Current Protection
Proposed Wilderness
Management Agency
United States Forest Service
Total Area
46,183 Acres
Ashland District Roadless Fact Sheets

Cook Mountain Proposed Additions

King Mountain Proposed Additions

Tongue River Breaks Proposed Additions

The 436,000 acre Ashland District of the Custer Gallatin National Forest is the forgotten child of the forest. The district which contains the largest block of public lands in SE Montana takes in some rolling uplands south of the Yellowstone River and north of the Wyoming border and lying between the Powder and Tongue Rivers.

The district is primarily a feedlot for livestock and has one of the largest grazing programs on public lands in the Nation and contains most of the grazing allotments found on the CGNF. The district contains prairie grasslands mixed with ponderosa pine and some hardwood species like box elder. 

Wildlife is abundant, including mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, prairie dog, antelope, bobcats, mountain lions, wild turkeys, hawks, waterfowl, sage grouse, and sharptail grouse.

Despite the dominance by livestock production, there are There are three riding and hiking areas on the District totaling 40,000 acres (Cook Mountain, King Mountain, and Tongue River Breaks). These areas are closed to motorized travel and form the basis of three proposed wilderness areas. 

Cook Mountain proposed wilderness is 12691 acres. King Mountain proposed wilderness is 10,500 acres. The Tongue River Breaks proposed wilderness is 22,990 acres. 

Cook Mountain, at over 4,300 feet, a gain of about 1,000 feet and provides outstanding views of the surrounding landscape, while Poker Jim Overlook, the highest point in the forest at 4,348 feet above sea level is part of the Tongue River Breaks area. The Tongue River Breaks also features rugged coulee terrain and geological pillars and other badland features. 

Representation of the Great Plains ecosystem in our Wilderness System is minimal, so protecting the three proposed wildernesses would add greatly to the biological diversity of the Wilderness System. 

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