Draft Decision Notice for the Blacktail Road Restoration Project Available
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: December 10, 2016

The Forest Service has prepared a Draft Decision Notice (DN)/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Blacktail Road Restoration and Stabilization Project.  The Blacktail Road project area is located within the Island Unit of the Swan Lake Ranger District in Flathead County, Montana, west of Flathead Lake. The Island Unit is detached from the rest of Flathead National Forest and is surrounded by private lands.

 Blacktail Road provides important and popular access for the Flathead Valley and Lakeside to outdoor recreation opportunities and National Forest land management activities in the Blacktail Mountain area.  This road is in need of restoration and stabilization due to heavy traffic and resource impacts.

 This draft decision implements road restoration and stabilization activities based on public comments and resource concerns displayed in the EA, to move toward the desired conditions for the Blacktail Road.  The project intends to reconstruct the road subgrade and pave with asphalt surface to a two lane road standard for the entire length from milepost 3.43 (end of county road) to milepost 13.21 (ski area boundary); stabilize fill slope movement above Stoner Creek; stabilize and revegetate with native seed mix numerous segments of cut and fill slopes that are raveling due to lack of vegetative cover and in some cases steepness; reconstruct ditches and in some places harden with rock to provide for proper road drainage and prevent ditch erosion; install sufficient cross drain culverts and catch or settlement basins to allow for proper road drainage; replace and upgrade, to meet aquatic organism passage requirements, two stream crossings; further develop existing pit at milepost 13.1 as a rock source for this project and to serve as a winter play area upon project completion.

 The Blacktail Road Restoration and Stabilization draft decision is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B.  Objections will only be accepted from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment.

 The updated EA and Draft DN/FONSI can be found on the web at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48669.  These documents are also available for review at the Swan Lake Ranger Station, 200 Ranger Station Road, Bigfork, MT, 59911.  Additional information can be obtained at the above address, by calling (406) 837-7500, or emailing rkehr@fs.fed.us.