Kalispell, MT, August 22, 2022 — The Flathead National Forest, Tally Lake Ranger District, announced today that the Round Star Project has moved to the next phase of its planning process with the release of the draft decision notice. The draft decision includes commercial timber harvest on up to 6,324 acres and noncommercial vegetation treatments on up to 2,866 acres. Approximately 92 percent of the Round Star project area is in the wildland-urban interface.
The project area is located on the northwest side of the Flathead Valley, approximately 13 miles west of Whitefish, MT, extending from Round Meadow to the northwest corner of Star Meadows. The project would reduce tree densities and fuel loadings within the wildland-urban interface to decrease the likelihood of stand replacing fire, improve diversity and resilience of plant and tree communities, contribute a mix of forest products for local economies, and expands recreation opportunities in the Round Meadow Cross-Country Ski Area creating additional trails and infrastructure to keep pace with increasing recreational use.
The majority of this project area was identified as part of the priority areas for focused attention on fuels reduction to protect communities in the 2020 Montana Forest Action Plan and is partially located within the Connecting Fuels Treatments in the Salish Mountains and Whitefish Range Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Project Area.
The Forest has received numerous comments regarding the project since the Tally Lake Ranger District first asked for public input in December 2021. Some commenters support the fuels reduction, and the timber harvest and recreation expansion in the project area. Other commenters expressed concern for fish and wildlife species, particularly bull trout, grizzly bear, lynx, and wolverine. A few commenters provided input and suggestions for the recreation expansion at Round Meadow Cross-Country Ski Area. The project team considered all comments and agreed upon an alternative that meets project objectives while minimizing impacts to other resources.
This week, the project enters an objection period. Objections must be submitted within 45 calendar days following the publication of the legal notice in the Daily Inter Lake. The objection period allows people who have previously submitted timely, specific written comments during any designated opportunity for public comment to file an objection to the draft decision.
More information about the project and how to object please go to the project page at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=60892.
If you would like more information or have questions regarding the project or process, please contract Kira Powell at email@example.com or (406)758-3508.