Wood’s Ranch WMA Blowdown Salvage Project Draft Environmental Assessment
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: February 15, 2020

Eureka, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking public comment on a proposal to conduct a timber salvage project on the Wood’s Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WRWMA). The proposed project would include the use of mechanized timber harvest to remove merchantable blowdown timber as well as associated road maintenance work and reclamation activities. Timber harvest and associated activities would abide by all applicable laws and Montana Forestry Best Management Practices.

On November 27, 2019, a major wind event hit northwest Montana, resulting in significant blowdown across the west side of the Whitefish Range and affecting the WRWMA. Most of the forested acreage on the WRWMA was impacted to varying degrees with approximately 50 acres being severely impacted.

FWP is proposing to remove the blowdown trees by conducting a timber salvage to reduce accumulations of downed timber that could restrict ungulate movement in the blowdown area, reduce susceptibility of adjacent stands of trees to future bark beetle infestation, reduce fuel loading, and complete the work while the value of timber can cover the cost of the treatment. Any surplus revenue generated from this project could be used to fund future rehabilitation and forest management on the WRWMA as well as forest management work on other FWP properties across the state.

Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., March 13, 2020.

Public comments can be submitted to: Ethan Lula, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, PO Box 2084, Eureka, MT 59917, or by email to Ethan.Lula@mt.gov