A letter to the Ravalli County Commission:
My letter concerns your efforts to reestablish a vibrant economy in Ravalli County. You are to be complimented for your efforts. Coordination with federal and state agencies is a necessary and integral part of your program.
Perhaps the most important part of establishing a much improved economy in Ravalli County is the redevelopment of forest and related industries. In consequence of my career in natural resource management as a Forest Hydrologist (retired) for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management I can address forest management from a perspective provided by over 25 years of field experience supported by 2 graduate college degrees (Soil Science and forest hydrology) and in-service training in soil science, hydrology, and geology. My work experience includes timber sale evaluation for hydraulic impacts, soil survey, riparian management, stream channel reconstruction, and participation in the Montana’s timber sale evaluation program from its beginning.
That National Forest land management in Ravalli County needs to be more pro-active is an understatement. Enhanced management coordinated with local interests via cooperation with the Ravalli county Commission would provide many benefits to the local population.
Present day forest management programs are able to implement timber harvest without impacting water quality. Employing site-specific silvicultural, riparian (for both logging and grazing), road location, drainage, and construction techniques, my experience has been that adverse impacts can be almost totally avoided, and where necessary, mitigated.
Forest fire hazard reduction, and associated air pollution via removal of dead and dying trees is an issue that should receive a very high ( if not the highest) priority. In any case accelerated fire hazard reduction and the usual timber harvesting will provide many good paying jobs. Reduction in air pollution from removal of fire-prone materials will create a better atmospheric condition in the county.
I urge you to move foreword as rapidly as possible with your coordination program.