Readers may recall that back in March we highlighted the Flathead National Forest’s plans to cut down 270 of the biggest, genetically best western larch trees remaining on the Montana forest in order to, get this, collect seed cones. The proposal garnered some Montana media attention and lots of comments from the public, 97% of which were opposed to killing these big larch trees for seed cones, especially when there are so many non-lethal ways to collect larch cones and seed.
On December 3, Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber sent out this letter officially cancelling the “Forest-wide Western Larch Seed Cone Collection Project.” Supervisor Weber’s letter stated:
“This project has been cancelled because our seed orchard in Bigfork produced a larch cone crop this fall that was sufficient to meet our immediate larch seed needs. This was an unexpected cone crop as the trees had previously only produced a few cones….While the seed that we collect in the Bigfork Seed Orchard must be shared with the other forests in Montana, we anticipate that with this cone collection, the Forest-wide Western Larch Seed Cone Collection Project is not necessary.”