Decision made on Dayton project
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 19, 2021

Kalispell, MT, November 18, 2021 — Today, Flathead National Forest District Ranger Christopher Dowling approved the Dayton Project decision. Root disease, fir engraver, Douglas-fir beetle, and various dwarf mistletoe infestations are among the insects and diseases being addressed by this project using a mix of commercial and non-commercial treatments to reduce the amount of insect and diseased trees. Furthermore, removing the diseased and infected trees is also expected to reduce the negative impacts of wildfires and improve control opportunities by reducing flame lengths and potential fire behavior. Regeneration treatments would focus on reforesting with trees that are more resilient such as ponderosa pine, western white pine, and western larch. This project is located west of the town of Lakeside, north of Lake Mary Ronan and south of Blacktail Mountain ski area. The approved activities include approximately 1,100 acres of commercial vegetation treatments and 100 acres of noncommercial treatment. To achieve this, roughly 2 miles of temporary road will be constructed all of which will be rehabilitated following project activities. Public motorized access will not change.

“This project is an excellent opportunity to reduce the amount of disease infected trees which both reduces the fire risk to private lands and high recreation areas and creates more healthy and diverse stands. Another benefit of the project is that it will also provide positive economic benefits to the Flathead Valley,” says Ranger Christopher Dowling.

The Forest collaborated with neighboring landowners and other interested parties beginning in May 2021. Through those efforts, we received over 20 comments on the project. The majority of the comments focused on maintaining access and minimizing impacts to the Blacktail Nordic trail system. Through various design features and implementation scheduling these concerns were ameliorated.

To view the final decision, please visit the project webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59952. For questions, please contact project leader Kyle Stetler at kyle.stetler@usda.gov.