Earlier this month, the Taylor Hellroaring Forest Management Project sold to winning bidder F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co. of Columbia Falls, MT.
The project is the last of three Flathead National Forest priorities identified in a 2015 Montana Forests in Focus Initiative that provided for cost sharing and other collaborative tools to address forest management issues in the state.
The project will be managed through the Good Neighbor Authority, a mechanism available through the Forest Service to partner with the state for timber and fuels management projects.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation oversaw the bidding process and will be responsible for administering the sale. Revenue from the sale will be available for future restoration in Flathead National Forest. This is the second Good Neighbor Authority sale awarded in the Flathead National Forest.
In addition to being a Forest in Focus initiative, Taylor Hellroaring was also prioritized as part of the 2015 Whitefish Face Working Group proposal, a citizen collaborative that identified recreation and fuels management needs within the Whitefish Municipal Watershed.
“From start to finish, this has been a partnership project,” said Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele. “Working alongside the DNRC and the citizens of Whitefish, we were able to craft and implement a meaningful forest management project that will benefit forest health, our local economy, help reduce fuels in and around the wildland urban interface and provide more recreational opportunities. These will all benefit the community for years to come.”
Taylor Hellroaring was designed to reduce fuel loading adjacent to the community and watershed of Whitefish, benefit the economy by providing wood fiber, and provide for recreation opportunity. Some project areas at higher elevations will see whitebark pine restoration as the areas are cleared and conditions are more favorable for that species, which is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
For more information about the project, please visit Flathead National Forest’s website.