Public Scoping Available for Ash Creek Restoration and Resiliency Project
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 5, 2020

Ashland, MT – The Ashland Ranger District, Custer Gallatin National Forest is seeking public comment on the Ash Creek Restoration and Resiliency Project, an area in far southeastern, Montana that encompasses approximately 110,000 acres north of Hwy 212 and running south to the 10-mile drainage.  Much of the area has burned in the Ash Creek Fire (2012) or other smaller fires.  The project aims to utilize prescribed fire to reduce the amount of dead and down fuels on the landscape and restore parts of the forest and non-forest ecosystems, it may also include non-commercial thinning and tree planting on the Ashland Ranger District.

“In 2012, the Ash Creek, Taylor Creek and Dutch Fires burned almost 1/3 of the district, burning with moderate to high severity, resulting in significant mortality of the ponderosa pine in the project area,” said Ron Hecker, Ashland District Ranger.  “The proposed project would have the ability to work with adjacent landowners, as part of the Powder River Wildfire Protection Plan to treat and burn neighboring National Forest acres and help to create a mosaic landscape of Ponderosa Pine and native grasslands, exhibiting vegetative conditions that welcomes frequent low intensity fire events across the landscape.”

Project scoping for the Ash Creek Restoration and Resiliency Project is open for until Friday, June 19, 2020.  All project documents and maps can be found online at:  www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin and click on Land and Resource Management (left column) then Projects.  Comments are preferred online at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57357 or can be submitted by hard copy mail to:  Ashland Ranger District, Attn: Ron Hecker, District Ranger; PO Box 168; Ashland, MT  59003 or by fax at (406)-784-2596.  Comments must include name, address and telephone number.  All comments received are considered part of public record.  Out of abundance of caution the Ashland R.D. will not be open for hand-delivered comments. If you would like a paper copy, have questions concerning the project or are having difficulties being able to download project information from the website, please contact Ron Hecker, District Ranger, at 406-223-0957 (c) or by email at ronald.hecker@usda.gov .

For further information on the project please contact Todd Erdody or Drew Brown, Co-Project Leaders, at 406-587-6706 (Todd) or 406-255-1453 (Drew). If you need assistance navigating the electronic comment submittal, please contact Vicki Regula at 406-848-7375.