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Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest 

Forest releases Draft Decision for Stonewall Vegetation Project

 

September 4, 2019

Roger Dey

A section of the Stonewall Vegetation Project area in late 2017 shows the effect of the Park Creek fire led the Forest Service to re-analyze portions of the project.

LINCOLN, MONT., August. 30, 2019-The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Record of Decision for the Stonewall Vegetation Project. The release of these documents begins a 45-day objection period.

"This has been a marathon process, especially when we identified the need to reevaluate conditions in the project area after the Park Creek Fire. However, we needed to take the extra time to re-analyze portions of the project and it's a stronger project for that reason," Forest Supervisor Bill Avey said. "We sincerely appreciate all who have continued to work with us for the duration of this project, and we look forward to moving this closer to implementation."

The 2017 Park Creek Fire burned more than 13,000 acres of the project area, about four miles north and west of Lincoln, Montana. The fire changed conditions in the project area analyzed in the original Final Environmental Impact Statement to the extent that a supplemental analysis was needed.

The selected action, Alternative 4, consists of 1,435 acres of treatments. These treatments involve a variety of timber activities, including commercial thinning and other cuts. The projects also includes 270 acres of prescribed burns, less than one mile of temporary road construction, and road maintenance on about 27 miles of established roads.

All of the management activities are designed to meet a variety of forest health and resiliency objectives to remove dead/dying timber; modify tree stands to include more of a mix of species and ages; and create natural fuel breaks where possible to enhance community protection from wildfires and allow for the safe use of fire as a natural process through prescribed burns in these fire-dependent ecosystems.

You can find more information about the Stonewall Vegetation Project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest website.

The release of the Final Supplement Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Record of Decision begins a 45-day objection period. Only eligible individuals and groups can file an official objection. Eligibility is outlined in the draft Record of Decision.

 

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