STEVENSVILLE – Bitterroot National Forest managers are accepting public comment on the latest project to thin timber, improving wildfire risk and creating a healthier forest.
The latest project is in the Sapphire Mountains, on the east side of the valley northeast of Stevensville. As with other thinning projects over the past few years, the Threemile GNA targets a stand of trees in the upper Wheelbarrow and Spring Creek watersheds.
The project would cover 238 acres. The objectives include creating more openings for a healthier forest, which helps with not only the risk of fire but disease and insect problems.
In particular, the logging is planned to cut the risk of major fires “crowning” in dead and dying trees and spreading rapidly in the Wildland Urban Interface, where the forest is adjacent to populated areas.
At the same time, the thinning projects also generate jobs and provide material for local mills.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is also planning vegetative treatment to improve elk habitat on 15-hundred acres in the Threemile Wildlife Management Area.
Public comments on the project are being accepted until March 11. Click here to learn more about the project.
The Bitterroot National Forest has done similar fuel reduction projects on 30,000 acres over the past decade.