At 3.32 million acres, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge is the largest national forest in Montana. Its value, though, stems not just from its size, but from its importance as wildlife habitat. Its rangelands support large herds of elk and other wildlife species. Streams that originate on the Forest feed into a number of nationally recognized trout fisheries, the Rock Creek, Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby and Madison Rivers. As the headwaters of these rivers, the Forest plays an important role contributing to water quality and quantity for both sport fishing and habitat for bull trout
westslope cutthroat trout
fluvial arctic grayling
The Forest Service’s Antelope Basin Management Area (ABMA), which I visited, is located in Southwestern Montana, west of Yellowstone National Park
and to the east and north of the Red Rock National Wildlife Refuge.