Forest Service asks for feedback on Cruzane Mountain Environmental Assessment
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: March 2, 2020

SUPERIOR, Mont. – The Lolo National Forest is accepting comments for 30 days on the Environmental Assessment for the Cruzane Mountain project, a 3,790 acre project located on the Superior Ranger District in Mineral County, approximately 3 miles west of Haugen and northeast of Saltese. The Cruzane Mountain project area mostly falls within the wildland-urban interface and has been impacted by insect and disease, creating unhealthy forest conditions which are at risk of severe wildfire. The project would improve these conditions by removing dead and diseased vegetation and promoting wildfire-resilient and insect-resistant tree species.

“We gathered feedback from the initial scoping period and developed a proposal that will implement treatments to address insect and disease impacts and improve forest health nearby communities at-risk of wildfire,” said Carole Johnson, District Ranger.

Commercial regeneration harvests, commercial thinning, non-commercial thinning, and improvement cuts would be used to shift forest species composition to longer-lived, wildfire- resilient and insect and disease-resistant species. The project would create fuel breaks along National Forest System Road 288 to protect infrastructure in the event of a future wildfire. Additionally, prescribed burning would also occur within the project area to reduce fuel-loading, prepare areas for planting after regeneration harvest, and promote regeneration of healthy understory. Wood products harvested from the project would be sold to contribute to local rural economies.

The project also includes road maintenance, reconstruction, construction, road storage and decommissioning of already closed roads. No change in existing public motorized access within the project area is being considered.

The environmental assessment and proposed action maps can be found on the project website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56156.

 

How to comment:

The proposed project is subject to pre-decisional objection process at 36 CFR §218 Subparts A and B. In accordance with 36 CFR 218.5, individuals or organizations wishing to be eligible to submit objections seeking Pre-decisional Administrative Review must provide the following information: a) Your name and address, b) Title of the Project, c) Specific comments (§ 218.2) on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that the Responsible Official should consider in reaching a decision, and d) Your signature or other means of identification verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent your organization.

Although comments are accepted any time before a Final Decision is made, they must be postmarked or received within 30 days of the publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record, The Missoulian, to be eligible for the objection process. Publication of the legal notice is anticipated on March 2, 2020.

To submit comments, please send written/typed responses to Superior Ranger District, Attn: Carole Johnson, 209 W. Riverside Ave, Superior, MT 59872, or email: comments-northern-lolo-superior@fs.fed.us with ‘Cruzane Mountain Project’ in the subject line. For more information, you may also contact Elizabeth Tichner at 406-329-3480 or email elizabeth.tichner@usda.gov.