Copper King Fire salvage logging project proposed

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The Lolo National Forest is proposing a salvage logging project on a portion of the roughly 29,000-acre Copper King Fire that burned east of Thompson Falls this summer.

According to Plains District Ranger David Hattis, the proposed salvage project would harvest about 1,708 acres, or 9 percent of the acreage burned on National Forest land.

The state’s largest and most expensive wildfire of the 2016 fire season, the Copper King Fire scorched 19,300 acres on National Forest land, 1,400 acres of land managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and 8,200 acres owned by Weyerhaeuser Co.

In addition to harvesting dead and dying timber, the forest’s proposed action also includes cutting hazard trees along roads and planting larch, Douglas fir and ponderosa pine seedlings on about 6,000 acres. Work would begin next summer and last for one to two years.

Public comment is open until Nov. 30.

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