MTPR

Alliance for the Wild Rockies

A stack of logs.
(PD)

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of an environmental group challenging a timber and forest thinning project in the Kootenai National Forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that that Forest Service, “acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” by failing to determine whether the East Reservoir Project will result in new roads that will exceed a cap on them meant to preserve grizzly bear habitat.

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

The Kootenai National Forest is slated to start five salvage timber sales in areas that burned last year, and one more is pending.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

A conservation group has filed a lawsuit against two federal agencies for allegedly low-balling road mileage counts in grizzly bear habitat in the Kootenai National Forest.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ Executive Director Mike Garrity says roads in grizzly bear habitat tend to mean more poached bears.

The Park Creek Fire perimeter overlaid on top of the Stonewall Vegetation project map.
Inciweb

The U.S. Forest Service says additional analysis is needed for a forestry project near Lincoln in the aftermath of last summer’s wildfires.

When the Park Creek and Arrastra wildfires merged into one big fire last August, it burned more than half of the Stonewall Vegetation Project-area northwest of Lincoln.

The Southwestern Crown Collaborative visits a burn site from the Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake.
Brittany Greeson, Crossing The Divide

Wildfires burned more than a million acres across Montana this year, making it one of the most expensive fire seasons since 1999. While the smoke has cleared, the debate over wildfires and forest management is ongoing. Some Montana lawmakers are blaming what they call "environmental extremists" who've managed to stop some logging. But ecologists say it's more complicated than that. In an effort to learn how to live with wildfires, the Southwestern Crown Collaborative is one group trying to find common ground.

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