Montana Public Radio

logging

Custer Gallatin National Forest Plan Nearly Final

Jul 22, 2020

The Custer Gallatin National Forest recently released a plan that will guide conservation, recreation and industry decisions on more than 3 million acres for the next decade or more.

The Custer Gallatin National Forest stretches from the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park to South Dakota. It’s home to Montana’s highest peaks, iconic wildlife and the Stillwater Complex, the only primary producer of palladium and platinum in the U.S.

Map of the Gold Butterfly Project vicinity.
Bitterroot National Forest

Environmental groups are suing the Bitterroot National Forest over a proposed project that calls for about 5,600 acres of commercial logging.  The Gold Butterfly project would take place on about 7,300 acres. It includes non-commercial thinning and about 4,800 acres of prescribed burns.

Bug Bytes: Golden Buprestid

Jun 12, 2020
Glenn Marangelo

Forged in fire. Whether it’s glass or metal, many artists rely on heat and fire to make their craft. Then it should come as no surprise that a family of incredibly beautiful beetles also has a relationship with fire.

Metallic wood-boring beetles are commonly called “jewel beetles” because of their iridescent colors. And the golden buprestid is perhaps one of the shiniest examples. While primarily a bedazzled metallic green color, they also sport blue and purple highlights with a coppery-orange edge to their wing covers. They look more like a piece of insect art.

USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue (center) in Missoula to announce new USFS priorities June 12, 2020. Behind him: Chuck Roady, GM of F.H. Stoltze, Rep. Gianforte, USDA Undersecretary James Hubbard, Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott, RMEF Pres. Kyle Weaver
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

*UPDATED 06/13 

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary visited Missoula Friday to announce a blueprint to prioritize work for the U.S Forest Service.

Supporters say it will modernize the agency and cut unnecessary red tape. Opponents, however, counter it will undermine the nation’s laws aimed at protecting the environment.

Map showing the vicinity of the propose Stovepipe Project on the Flathead National Forest.
U.S. Forest Service

The Flathead National Forest is proposing a fuels-reduction project in the northwest area of the Flathead Valley. The project includes commercial logging and road building.

The Flathead National Forest issued a draft decision Thursday for a large forest thinning project northwest of Whitefish. The project calls for a thousands of acres of commercial timber harvest and several miles of new roads.

PD

The U.S. Forest Service is allowing loggers more time to meet their contracts in national forests due to the novel coronavirus, according to a notice published in the federal register Wednesday.

The move is meant to lend a helping hand to the timber industry as operations shut down across the country, the notice says.

A survey of elk hiding cover in the Telegraph Vegetation Project area.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire mitigation project was allowed to proceed in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest after two conservation groups raised concerns over the impact on big game habitat, federal appeals court officials said.


A Montana timber company on Jan. 13 announced indefinitely closing one of its two sawmills, citing chronic timber supply problems due to litigation. Economists say lawsuits are only partly to blame.

This map shows the southern portion of the proposed action for the Frozen Moose Project in the Flathead National Forest.
Flathead National Forest

The Flathead National Forest announced a large project Wednesday that proposes commercial logging in areas usually protected from that activity. Officials say it aims to reduce wildfire risk to private homes near the North Fork of the Flathead River.

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