This article from the Ravalli Republic, “Bitterroot Forest looking for resolution on timber project,” notes that “Once that project is completed, nearly all of the national forest lands that border private ground on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley will have been thinned.” That sounds like the Bitterroot NF folks have been successful in planing and carrying out other projects.
The FONSI says:
I have decided to authorize commercial and non-commercial forest treatments, including prescribed
burning, on approximately 2,327 acres of National Forest in the Westside project area. My decision
includes the construction of approximately 3.8 miles of permanent National Forest System road and
3.8 miles of temporary road, treatments in the Selway-Bitterroot Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA), the
application of design features and best management practices (Table DN-4, Appendix A), and Forest
Plan amendments for elk habitat effectiveness, coarse woody debris, and visual quality (Appendix B).
The new permanent road will be closed year-long to motorized travel and the temporary roads will be
reclaimed following use. These treatments will improve forest conditions and long-term
administrative access in the project area.
Commercial harvest would occur on 1,349 acres:
· 506 acres would be treated with improvement cuts (22 acres in the Selway-Bitterroot IRA)
· 799 acres would be treated with irregular harvest cuts
· commercial volume would be removed from 44 of the 92 acres of aspen treatment
Non-commercial timber would be removed from about 978 acres:
· understory ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir would be removed from 666 acres of forest (139
· 206 acres of ponderosa pine plantation
· 58 acres for meadow restoration