Gallatin National Forest


Gallatin National Forest

Infobox_protected_area | name = Gallatin National Forest
iucn_category = VI



caption =
locator_x = 73
locator_y = 36
location = Montana, USA
nearest_city = Bozeman, MT
lat_degrees = 45
lat_minutes = 16
lat_seconds = 21
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 110
long_minutes = 22
long_seconds = 06
long_direction = W
area = 2.1 million acres (8,500 km²)
established = 1899
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = U.S. Forest Service
Founded in 1899, Gallatin National Forest is located in south central Montana, United States. The forest comprises 2.1 million acres (8,500 km²) and has portions of both the Absaroka-Beartooth and Lee Metcalf Wilderness areas within its boundaries. Gallatin National Forest borders Yellowstone National Park on the north and northwest and is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region which encompasses almost 20 million acres (81,000 km²). The forest is named after Albert Gallatin.There are six separate mountain ranges within the forest including the Gallatin, Madison, Bridger and Beartooth Mountains. The Beartooth's are home to Granite Peak, which at 12,799 feet (3,901 m), is the highest point in Montana and also in the forest. Quake Lake on the Madison River is the site of the 1959 earthquake and landslide which formed the lake. A separate section of the forest north of Livingston, Montana is located in the Crazy Mountains which rise over 7,000 feet (2,130 m) above the great plains to the east.

While the lower elevations are often covered in grasses and sagebrush, higher altitudes support Douglas fir, with several species of spruce, cottonwood and aspen being the dominant tree species. Of the 4000 miles (6,500 km) of streams and rivers there are major tributaries of the Yellowstone River, which bisects the western and eastern sections of the forest running through Paradise Valley. The Gallatin and Madison Rivers, major tributaries of the Missouri River, also are found in the forest. The habitat supports over 300 wildlife species, including the grizzly bear, bald eagle, and peregrine falcon. Many western North American species are represented in this climax ecosystem including elk, mule deer, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, antelope, mountain lion and black bear. Various subspecies of trout are plentiful in the streams and they contribute to the forest being one of the preeminent fly fishing regions in the United States. Over 2,290 miles (3,700 km) of hiking trails are located in the forest providing access into wilderness areas and interlinking with trails in Yellowstone National Park. There are almost 40 vehicle accessible campgrounds scattered throughout the forest, numerous picnic areas and even cabins that can be rented for a nominal fee through the forest's district offices. West Yellowstone, Montana provides access both into the forest and to Yellowstone National Park and is a popular snowmobile center during the winter. Nighttime temperatures can be below freezing any time of the year and mosquitos in the late spring and early summer also pose problems. Summertime high temperatures average in the 70's and the wintertime lows can drop below -40 degrees. Most of the precipitation falls in the form of snow with some places averaging over 400 inches (33 ft/10 m) annually.

Access the forest off Interstate 90 south on U.S. Highway 89 from Livingston, Montana to Gardiner, Montana or south on U.S. 191 from Bozeman, Montana to West Yellowstone. The forest headquarters is located in Bozeman.

In descending order of land area the forest is located in parts of Park, Gallatin, Sweet Grass, Madison, Carbon, and Meagher counties.

External links

* [http://www.readygallatin.com Gallatin County Emergency Management]


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