Forest Service proposes Crazy Mountains land exchange

BILLINGS (AP) — U.S. forest officials have announced details of a proposed Montana land exchange that would increase public access. 

The Billings Gazette reports that the Custer Gallatin National Forest proposed trading portions of forest lands to the Crazy Mountain Ranch, Rock Creek Ranch and Wild Eagle Mountain Ranch.

The deal includes 5 square miles of forest lands for about 6 square miles of private land.

Officials say entire sections are privately owned and the forest has worked to consolidate its holdings since 1934.

Forest officials say exchange discussions were under way since 2005 but picked up recently after dedicating more staff to the project.

The Forest Service is expected to host an open house in Livingston on Oct. 23 to discuss the proposal and answer questions.

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