Forest activists at Montana’s Swan View Coalition are calling BS on the FS over the Flathead National Forest’s plans to cut down 270 of the biggest, genetically best western larch trees remaining on the forest in order to, get this, collect seed cones. Yep, that right, while the federal government could put a man on the moon 43 years ago, apparently the only way to collect western larch cones in 2012 is to chop down large diameter western larch trees up to 28″ in diameter and up to 200 years old.
Of course, as the Swan View Coalition points out, the Forest Service in Oregon seems to have no problem collecting western larch cones through the use of a crane to easily and safely pick larch cones, while letting the big, old larch trees live to see another day…or another century or two. Heck, the Forest Service even has this nice little slideshow showing larch cone collection on Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest.
You can learn more about this proposed project by visiting the Swan View Coalition’s website, where you’ll find links to the Flathead National Forest’s press release, as well as a copy of Swan View Coalition’s comment letter to the Forest Service. SVC is encouraging people to send their own comments into the Flathead National Forest through email or by writing: Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901.