Kudos to Chuck Oliver and a common sense Forest Service solution to creating a healthier, safer forest environment near Lake Como in the Bitterroot. This win-win-win project keeps a local logging company working, thins a potentially unhealthy stand of trees and delivers woodchips to a local school’s biomass furnace.
While living in SE Idaho thirty years ago, I was impressed by a Forest Service solution in combating a serious bark beetle infestation around Island Park, near Yellowstone. After loggers cut and thinned plots of lodgepole, the public was allowed to cut firewood from the post logged brush piles and selected marked trees. Forest Service personnel, including summer workers, efficiently directed hundreds of firewood gatherers each weekend to proper areas for cutting. No wood cutting permits were necessary, a Forest Service water truck was nearby and everyone, and especially the forest benefited!
Seems to me such a program would help alleviate the pine beetle infestation that endangers forests all over Montana and minimize more devastating forest fires. If you agree, contact your Forest Service, congressional and state leaders.