HAMILTON — With spring coming next month, the Bitterroot National Forest is reminding visitors of a few rules and regulations associated with rock and sport climbing areas.
Making any new climbing routes or trails, including in areas with existing routes is currently prohibited on the Forest.
This includes the installation of permanent hardware or apparatus such as bolts, glue, manufactured hand holds; or modifying routes through chipping, cleaning, hammering, or drilling new or existing holds.
It is also illegal to try and block the use of a climbing area by obstructing access or to vandalize existing climbing gear.
Any individual or group who hinder the forest trail by other users or who vandalize climbing equipment like bolts, creating unsafe conditions will be subject to criminal prosecution including restitution for the damaged property.
The BNF is currently in the process of developing a climbing management plan with the goal of helping reduce user conflicts while protecting the unique climbing attributes in the Bitterroot.
For additional information and to learn more about how to get involved in the climbing management plan contact Steve Brown, Stevensville District Ranger at 406-777-5461 or visit their website.