By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: January 17, 2018

The Swan Lake Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest, is requesting comments on a proposed action for the Bug Creek Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project, located 2 miles Southeast of Bigfork.  The proposed project is available for review and public comment through February 16, 2018.  The ranger district is hosting an open house on Tuesday, February 6, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Swan Lake Ranger Station, 200 Ranger Road, Bigfork, Montana, where specialists will be available to answer questions.

The proposed action includes a variety of timber harvest and/or fuel reduction treatments.  About 2403 acres of these treatments propose harvesting commercial wood products, and about 2613 acres propose managing timber stands through pre-commercial sapling thinning, prescribed burning, understory removal of fuels, and daylighting around white pine. A total of about five miles of temporary road and 17 miles of permanent road are proposed for construction to access units.  Additionally, the project proposes to build approximately 15 miles of trail for non-motorized recreation, and improve about 71 miles of roads to meet Best Management Practices.

The Bug Creek Forest Health and Fuels Reduction project addresses multiple resource objectives including: improve forest stand conditions related to vegetative structure and species composition; reduce the associated risk of high-severity landscape fire within the Wildland Urban Interface; provide for a safer environment for the public and firefighters should a wildland fire occur within the proposed treatment areas; increase the probability of stopping wildland fires on National Forest Service administered lands before they burn onto private lands; maintain and improve terrestrial wildlife species habitat and security; provide quality outdoor recreation opportunities; and, create and maintain a cost-efficient road network for long term resource management that retains access for land management, wildland fire suppression and recreation.

Comments on the project are requested by February 16, 2018, so that input may be included in the analysis.  Written, hand-delivered, and oral comments can be delivered to acting District Ranger, Kendall Cikanek at 200 Ranger Station Road, Bigfork, MT 59911; by fax (406)837-7503; or by phone at (406)837-7500. Please submit electronic comments to comments-northern-flathead-swan-lake@fs.fed.us  with the project name in the subject line.  For more information on this project please visit the Forest website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/flathead/landmanagement/projects.

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