90,000-acre logging project proposed near Troy

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The Kootenai National Forest is proposing a logging project to harvest trees on more than 2,100 acres, spread over a more than 90,000-acre project area extending from Troy into Idaho.

The forest published a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement last Monday.

Logging would occur on 17 individual units from just west of Troy north to where the Kootenai River crosses the Idaho border. Some harvest units would be located partially or completely in Idaho, but most logging is proposed on the 48,471 acres east of the state line.

Of the total harvest area, 136 acres would occur in old-growth forest and fuel treatment would occur in 3,351 acres of old-growth forest. The project’s scoping documents state that none of those treatments would modify the forest to the extent that it would no longer meet the definition of “old growth.”

Grizzly bear core habitat would overlap with 1,372 acres of treatment area.

Citing the potential for a wildfire start near Callahan Creek to advance toward Troy, the project also proposes 172 acres of fuel treatment adjacent to private lands in the drainage.

The proposed project also includes:

  • 1,550 acres of regeneration harvest
  • 553 acres of intermediate harvest
  • 395 acres of pre-commercial thinning
  • 9,950 acres of prescribed burning
  • 1.8 miles of new road construction
  • 54.3 miles of haul route reconstruction
  • 12.6 miles of active road storage
  • 10 miles of road decommissioning
  • Removal of the Raymond Creek Bridge
  • Improvements to the Threemile Mountain Bike Flow Trail and McConnell Snowshoe Trail.

The project’s publication in the federal register kicks off a 60-day public comment period ending Dec. 7.

Written comments can be sent to: Kirsten Kaiser, District Ranger, Three Rivers District; 12858 U.S. 2; Troy, MT 59935. They can also be submitted by email to comments-northern-kootenai-three-rivers@fs.fed.us or by fax to 406-295-7410.

Forest officials expect to publish a draft environmental impact statement in June 2017, according to the notice, followed by a final environmental impact statement in December.

For more information, contact Miles Friend at 406-295-4693.

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