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Forest seeks public comment on project

The Bitterroot National Forest has released its Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Three Saddle Vegetation Management Project and is inviting the public to review and make comments on the proposal. The project area encompasses approximately 6,300 acres and is located in the Sapphire Mountains near Three Mile and Ambrose Creeks on the Stevensville Ranger District.

The Three Saddle Project is designed to improve forest health and resiliency to fires, insects and disease while also addressing needed soil rehabilitation and watershed improvements. The project will provide forest products, jobs, and income to the local economy. Project specifics include:

•  Commercial timber harvest (logging) on 1,291 acres

• Non-commercial thinning to reduce tree densities on 469 acres

• Prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat and ecosystem restoration on 389 acres.

The proposal also includes decommissioning or storing approximately 9 miles of roads that are no longer needed or used for recreation or resource management. The EA is available on the internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=30964. Hard copies as well as CD’s containing the EA are available at both the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor’s office in Hamilton and the Stevensville Ranger District. Comments on the EA are due by September 21, 2011 and should be sent to the Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1801 North 1st Street, Hamilton MT 59840-3114.

For more information about the project contact Dan Ritter at 777-7410 or Amy Veirs at 363-7120.

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