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Bitterroot Ski Club and Forest Service Are Talkin’

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Earlier this year, the National office of the Forest Service informed the Bitterroot Cross Country Ski Club that the club could not raffle a night’s stay at the Gordon Reese warming hut along the Chief Joseph Cross Country ski trails. The club built the cabin with the Forest Service’s blessing, and have been voluntarily maintaining it and the miles of trails each ski season. The cabin is used as a Forest Service rental in the summer.

The ruling was a surprise to club members. However, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Supervisor doesn’t want to end the partnership with the club. In a joint statement this week, Supervisor Dave Myers and BR Cross Country Ski Club president Michael Hoyt said that the partnership has allowed thousands of visitors to safely ski the trails, which are available free of charge.

The issues of hosting the cabin and club fundraising will be “addressed by the club and the Forest Service,” according to the statement. Both organizations expect some changes in the partnership, but the focus will be on “maintaining and enhancing the benefits the public receives” at the Chief Joseph cross country trails.

There will be no changes this season, but a new plan is being prepared for next season.

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