Located in the northwest corner of the Lolo National Forest, the Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District borders Idaho to the west, the Kootenai National Forest to the north and the Flathead Indian Reservation to the east. The district covers over 490,000 acres of mountainous terrain, offers stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. World class hunting opportunities exist for bighorn sheep, elk and deer, and the fishing is renowned for prized trout species such as cutthroat, bull and rainbow trout, and northern pike. The Clark Fork River and tributaries Thompson River and Prospect Creek are the districts major watersheds. Thompson Falls and Plains -- where the Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District Office is located -- are the two major communities adjacent to the district.
Rich in western Montana history, the Plains/Thompson Falls District was once home to David Thompson, one of this countrys most famous explorers and a prodigious mapmaker. The local Native Americans called Thompson Koo-Koo-Sint, which roughly translates into Star Gazer, due to the fact that he often studied the night sky with his sextant. He remains famous for the accurate maps he produced of this once uncharted territory. A prominent ridge between Thompson River and the Clark Fork is now named Koo-Koo-Sint Ridge in Thompsons honor. Thompson Falls, also named for our most famous early resident, later became the location of the old Cabinet National Forest's Supervisors Office. The district has an abundance of breathtaking destinations with slightly mysterious names, mostly accessible by a well-maintained trail system or by mountain roads. Baldy Mountain, Thompson Peak, Mount Headley, Sundance Ridge, Eddy Mountain, Priscilla Peak, Blossom Lakes, Cabin Lake and Cherry Peak are just a few!
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nations forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
The Forest Service motto, "Caring for the Land and Serving People," captures the spirit of our mission, which we accomplish through five main activities:
Protection and management of natural resources on National Forest System lands.
Research on all aspects of forestry, rangeland management, and forest resource utilization.
Community assistance and cooperation with State and local governments, forest industries, and private landowners to help protect and manage non-Federal forest and associated range and watershed lands to improve conditions in rural areas.
Achieving and supporting an effective workforce that reflects the full range of diversity of the American people.
International assistance in formulating policy and coordinating U.S. support for the protection and sound management of the world's forest resources.