Montana Public Radio

Flathead National Forest Approves Two Vegetation Management Projects

Dec 17, 2018

The Flathead National Forest announced Monday that it has approved a pair of vegetation management projects that it says will improve forest health and increase resistance to wildfires.

The 2,100-acre Weed Lake project is entirely within the wildland-urban interface on the east side of Swan Lake, approximately 14 miles outside Bigfork.

The Flathead National Forest says it will, “restore ecosystem functionality and improve landscape resiliency … taking into account potential climate change impacts.” It includes prescribed burning and construction of 4-point-one miles of temporary roads.

The Betty Baptiste Project is planned for about 2,700 acres on the eastern side of Hungry Horse Reservoir. It includes 989 acres of logging. The decision notice says the project, “includes road management actions to reduce sediment, improve road drainage, and improve fish passage at road/stream crossings.”

Both projects drew objections from environmental groups.