After completing a formal public bid process, SCLT has selected Wildwood Trails, Inc. (WWT) to construct the first two miles of the Red Grade Trails System on State Land, permitted under a Special Use Permit. WWT is an independent, privately-owned trail construction business located in Bozeman, MT that works across the Intermountain West. They have over 20 years of combined experience building trails for all types of users. To view examples of their past work, visit www.wildwoodtrailmt.com. SCLT anticipates this initial trail work to begin by mid-August with completion by the end of September.
On May 5th, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released their draft Environmental Assessment for the 6.2 miles of proposed trails on BLM lands and solicited public comment from May 5th to June 5th. They received 324 comments during the 30-day comment period. A big thanks to all of you who submitted comments!
We’d also like to thank the following entities that provided formal support for the project: Sheridan County Commissioners, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, Forward Sheridan, Downtown Sheridan Association, the North Main Association, Bomber Mountain Cycling Club, Cloud Peak Backcountry Horsemen, Sheridan Travel & Tourism.
While the BLM public comment process is not in any way a vote for or against the project, we were excited to learn that 82% (266) of the comments were in full support of the proposed project; 10% (33) were in support of the proposal with modifications; and 8% (25) were against the proposed project. For us, these statistics illustrate the greater good that our organization believes this project has represented from day one.
The BLM is working through the content of these comments in detail and identifying areas of the draft Environmental Assessment that may require additional analysis prior to arriving at a Decision of Record on the project. We have met with the Bighorn National Forest informally to discuss the Red Grade Trails project, but have not identified a timeline to submit a formal Right of Way application, which would begin a similar environmental review process for the 22 miles of proposed trails on USFS-managed lands.