Sourdough Trail / Forest

The U.S. Forest Service is ramping up prep work for the nearly 4,700-acre Bozeman Municipal Watershed project, a mix of logging and burning meant to decrease the severity of any wildfire that hits the two drainages that make up the town’s water supply.

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Officials closed Sourdough Trail to the public Saturday afternoon because of a report that a bear had bitten someone nearby, according to Montana officials.

Wardens and staff from multiple agencies were responding to a report mid-morning that someone had been bitten by a bear near Mystic Lake, said Morgan Jacobsen, a spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

It appeared that the victim had been bitten on the leg, but the investigation was still ongoing Saturday afternoon, Jacobsen said. The person attacked, who was running and too injured to make the trip down, was airlifted to Bozeman Deaconess Hosptial, according to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.

The injures were not life threatening, according a news alert from the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Jacobsen couldn’t confirm the species of bear involved in the reported incident.  Investigators still hadn’t had an opportunity to talk with the victim, he said at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Forest Service issued a temporary emergency closure on Sourdough Trail in response to the incident, said Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan, a spokesperson for the Custer Gallatin National Forest. That closure was still in place by Saturday at 4 p.m.

Signs announcing the temporary closure were placed at Sourdough Trailhead, the Wall of Death singletrack junction, the Moser Cutoff Trailhead, the South Fork of Bozeman Creek and New World Gulch Trail. Leuschen-Lonergan did not know when the trail would be opened up again.

Responding agencies included Montana FWP, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Emergency Management and the Custer Gallatin National Forest, according to a social media post from the Forest Service.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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