The subject line is the headline of a Missoula Current article. 144,000 acres. Thanks to Nick Smith for the link. An excerpt:
The U.S. Forest Service this week announced it was beginning scoping efforts on the proposed Bitterroot Front Project affecting forestlands from northwest of Florence south to Conner and Trapper Creek.
Since scoping is the first step in the public process, the documents consist of a series of maps showing areas where a group of agencies want the focus on timber, prescribed burns or other activities. The agencies include the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Ravalli County, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and other federal agencies.
If the project sounds familiar, that’s because Bitterroot National Forest supervisor Matt Anderson held a series of “pre-scoping” meetings in 2019 to give the public more of a heads-up on the project. It led to some confusion as to what the public was to do, but Anderson told the Bitterroot Star in 2019 he just wanted to describe the “desired future condition that we want and then look at the various ways we can achieve it.”
The Forest Service describes the project as it does many others: a “fuels reduction, vegetation management, and forest health improvement project” that will provide timber projects and related jobs. Calling it “a landscape-scale proposal,” the Forest Service proposes a “Shared Stewardship Approach” to encourage vegetation treatments across ownership boundaries. Private landowners along the forest boundary will be invited to participate in the project through Bitter Root Resource Conservation and Development and Good Neighbor Authority.