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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

Lewis and Clark National Forest

Lewis and Clark National Forest is a United States national forest that is located in western-central areas of Montana. This forest holds 1,863,788 acres of land that is dived into two districts known as the Jefferson Division, which holds eastern areas of the forest and allows farm and timber leases, and the western Rocky Mountain Division, which focuses on the conservation of many designated wilderness areas. This forest was established in 1897 as the Lewis and Clarke Forest Reserve. The Flathead Forest Reserve was added to this forest in 1903, after which the name was changed to its current spelling of Lewis and Clark. The area became a national forest in 1906 and more lands were added to it in later years. Lewis and Clark National Forest offers many activities to visitors including fishing, hiking, camping, and skiing.

Lewis and Clark National Forest holds elevations that vary between 4,500 feet and 9,362 feet, with the highest point being the Rocky Mountain Peak. Within the two main divisions of the forest there are seven sections, each holding numerous mountains including Big Snowy, Little Belt, and Highwood. The western Rocky Mountain Division holds many species of coniferous trees including pine, spruce, and fir, while the eastern section holds ponderosa pine and other trees that grow in environments that are more arid. The western section contains abundant wildlife, especially in designated wilderness areas, including wolves, black bears, lynx, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. The population numbers of bald eagles and other endangered birds are growing throughout the forest. Fish species within the forest include northern pike, rainbow trout, and the rare westslope cutthroat trout.

Image Caption: Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana, U.S. Credit: U.S. Government/Wikipedia

Lewis and Clark National Forest