Custer Gallatin National Forest, Wild Land Epicenter
The Custer Gallatin National Forest (CGNF) is the epicenter to the most spectacular wild lands in the Nation. These wild lands are home to some of the best wildlife habitat in the country, and are habitat to Grizzly Bear, Lynx, Wolf, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goat, and Bighorn Sheep, as well as the source of waters that support genetically pure Yellowstone and West Slope Cutthroat Trout.
The CGNF is not the nation's wood box, nor should it be the nation’s outdoor gymnasium. What the CGNF does best is provide for high-quality wild lands.
Wild lands protection is critical to the quality of life of the region’s communities, and essential to the outdoor economy that draws visitors, as well as contributing to the well being of residents providing clean water, important fish habitat, critical wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty.
According to Conservation Biology principles, larger protected areas are better than smaller patches of habitat. That is one reason it is important to conserve larger unprotected wild lands, especially if they are contiguous to existing protected areas. Adding adjacent roadless lands to existing wilderness is important for enhancing the overall conservation value.
In addition, some wild lands are critical corridors for the movement of wildlife between other protected landscapes. For example, the Bridger Range can serve as a corridor connecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to other lands further north.