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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Forest Officials Invite Feedback On Bitterroot Thinning Project

Gold Butterfly Project vicinity map.
Bitterroot National Forest
Gold Butterfly Project vicinity map.

The Bitterroot National Forest is holding an open house this evening to get public input on a project aimed at reducing wildfire risk near Corvallis.

"We have mature stands of timber that are kind of reaching the end of their lifespan. They just need a little thinning to encourage additional growth or to reduce the risk of future insect and disease outbreaks and to improve their health and vitality,” says Gold Butterfly Project Team Leader Marilyn Wildey.

The forest is in the preliminary stages of planning the Gold Butterfly project between Burnt Fork and St. Clair Creek on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley.

There are no hard proposals yet, but Wildey says the forest has identified over 7,500 acres that could be thinned.

Forest Service personnel will be available at this evening’s open house to answer questions.

“We’re inviting the public to come in and look at our maps and some of our proposals and see what ideas they might have,” Wildey says.

This evening’s open house runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hamilton’s Bitterroot River Inn.

The Gold Butterfly project was proposed under the 2014 Farm Bill. You can find more information from the Bitterroot National Forest.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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