Montana Public Radio

Kootenai National Forest

SkiDale Timber Sale harvest area map, July 22, 2020.
Montana DNRC

Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced one of the first timber sales to go through a state-federal partnership this year. The amount of timber cut through the Good Neighbor Authority this year is expected to nearly double compared to 2020.

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

On Wednesday, the Kootenai National Forest signaled that it's moving forward on a sprawling and controversial logging project.

The U.S. Forest Service says the roughly 100,000-acre Black Ram Project would reduce wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface near Troy, Montana, while encouraging fire’s natural role in the ecosystem and restoring historic forest conditions.

ATVs on a muddy road. Stock photo.
iStock.

The U.S. Forest Service Tuesday withdrew its appeal of a 2019 court ruling ordering it to examine ineffective closures of temporary logging roads in grizzly bear habitat. The federal agency will continue studying the issue.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

A legal battle over whether temporary logging roads in grizzly bear habitat are effectively being closed may put a damper on logging projects in three national forests. The case may be headed for an appeal.

Map of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic trail.
National Park Service (PD)

The controversy over the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail’s (PNT) route through grizzly bear habitat in the Yaak Valley is headed to court. The Yaak Valley Forest Council filed the lawsuit Friday claiming that the U.S. Forest Service failed to evaluate the impacts of the trail on grizzly populations.

The roughly 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail, not to be confused with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, would wind from Glacier National Park to the coast of Washington State.

State Agency Looks To More Logging, Improved Forest Health

Mar 8, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's forestry agency is working with federal, local and private organizations to increase logging on national forests to improve forest health and decrease the risk of disease and catastrophic fires.

State lawmakers are supporting a $2.2 million request from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire people to help implement the Good Neighbor Authority program.

Despite the government shutdown, U.S. Forest Service supervisors last week signed a new management plan for the Flathead National Forest, along with amendments that standardize grizzly bear management for the Lolo, Kootenai and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests.

Map of the Howe Ridge Fire perimeter, September 20, 2018.
Inciweb

As Montana's fire season winds to a close, crews are closing-in on the handful of fires still burning across Western Montana.

A screenshot from the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Rock Creek Project. Published March 2018.
Kootenai National Forest / USDA

The Kootenai National Forest approved the first phase of the Rock Creek silver and copper mine near Noxon on Tuesday, but the proposal’s fate remains uncertain due to a legal dispute with state regulators.

Nicky Ouellet

Representative Greg Gianforte toured areas affected by the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park Wednesday morning.

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