Liz and I have spent a good bit of time deviating from the main trail in Western Montana. This has led to a few surprises. One of them being the Ninemile Remount Depot.
Established in 1930 by the Forest Service, the Remount Depot supplied horses and mules to help fight fires in the remote Northern Rockies. A Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established nearby and soon the ranch took shape. By the mid 30s, the ranch was supplying over 1500 horses and mules to fight fires.
Logging roads, planes, and smokejumpers eventually reduced the need for the depot and it was closed in 1953. The Depot was incorporated into the local ranger district shortly thereafter. Today they handle over 200 horses and mules used by the Forest Service to maintain our most remote and wild lands.