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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Northwest  |  Topic: Kootenai National Forest; Lincoln County; Montana EIS « previous next »
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Author Topic: Kootenai National Forest; Lincoln County; Montana EIS  (Read 45 times)
Peter Vahry
UFWDA International Vice-President
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« on: October 04, 2014, 04:42:04 am »

Kootenai National Forest; Lincoln County; Montana; Lower Yaak,
O'Brien, Sheep Project EIS

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

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SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and
non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning,
watershed and recreation improvement activities, and granting road
access to private timber lands. Access management changes and other
design features are included to protect resources and facilitate
management activities. The project is located in the Lower Yaak,
O'Brien, and Sheep planning subunits on the Three Rivers Ranger
District, Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana, near Troy,
Montana.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received
by November 5, 2014. The draft environmental impact statement is
expected June 2015 and the final environmental impact statement is
expected August 2015.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Kirsten Kaiser, District Ranger,
Three Rivers Ranger District, 12858 US Highway 2, Troy, MT 59935.
Comments may also be sent via email to comments-northern-kootenai-three-rivers@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 406-295-7410.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leslie McDougall, Project Team Leader,
Three Rivers Ranger District, 12858 US Highway 2, Troy, MT 59935.
Phone: (406) 295-4693. Individuals who use telecommunication devices
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time,
Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Lower Yaak, O'Brien, Sheep project area
is approximately 67,500 acres in size and is located adjacent to and
east of Troy, Montana along the Kootenai River. O'Brien, Lynx, Rabbit,
Hummingbird, Kilbrennan, and Arbo Creeks are the main watersheds in the
project area. The legal description includes Townships 31, 32, 33, and
34 North, Ranges 32, 33, and 34 West, PMM, Lincoln County, Montana.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose and need for this project is to: (1) Promote resilient
vegetation by managing towards Forest Plan desired conditions for
landscape-level vegetation patterns, structure, patch size, fuel
loading, and species composition; (2) maintain or improve water quality
and native aquatic species habitat; (3) provide forage opportunities
while maintaining wildlife security; (4) provide wood products that are
in demand by the American public, contribute to the local economy by
generating jobs and income, and provide a safe and efficient
transportation system; and (5) treat hazardous fuels to reduce crown
fire potential and stand replacing wildfire within the wildland urban
interface (WUI) and other areas while promoting fire behavior
characteristics and fuel conditions that allow for safe and effective
fire management.

Proposed Action

    The proposed action includes timber harvest and associated fuels
treatments, prescribed burning, and watershed work to address the
purpose and need. The proposed action includes:
    (1) Approximately 2,202 acres of regeneration harvest and 1,149
acres of intermediate harvest are being proposed. These treatments
would be accomplished through 2,500 acres of tractor harvest and 851
acres of skyline yarding. There are 40 units proposed that would create
or contribute to 24 different openings larger than 40 acres. This
action requires a 60-day public review and Regional Forester approval
(FSM 2471.1). This document serves as the beginning of the 60-day
comment period. The largest of these treatment units would be
approximately 190 acres in size. Approximately 769 acres of the total
2,080 proposed prescribed burning and fuel reduction treatments are
within the WUI, while 2,894 of the total 3,351 acre proposed timber
harvest treatment is within the WUI. Total WUI treatment is
approximately 3,663 acres.
    (2) In an effort to return fire to the landscape and to promote
wildlife foraging opportunities approximately 1,508 acres of prescribed
burning (1,482 acres of broadcast burning and 26 acres of maintenance
underburning) is being proposed. Approximately 727 acres in the WUI are
proposed for burning. Approximately 660 acres acres of this burning
will occur in the Inventoried Roadless Areas.
    (3) It is estimated that two temporary roads, totaling
approximately 0.4 mile would be constructed to accomplish the timber
harvest and associated fuel reduction work. These roads would be
decommissioned following activities. Two segments of road would be
rerouted for resource protection (approximately 0.5 mile on near
Kilbrennan Lake and 0.3 mile near the Troy shooting range).
    (4) Implementation of best management practice (BMP) work and road
maintenance work would be implemented on Forest Service haul roads.
Approximately 45 miles of National Forest System road (NFSR) would be
reconstructed to meet State BMPs for water quality.
    (5) Implementation of BMPs on roads not used for haul routes,
including NFSR 4429 O'Brien Lynx Creek road, and NFSR 4445 Lynx Creek.
This road

[[Page 60132]]

work would be completed separately from the timber sale and would be
dependent on other sources of funding.
    (6) Approximately 10.7 miles of active road storage, 6.3 miles of
passive road storage, 1.3 miles of active decommissioning, and 7.0
miles of passive decommissioning would be done on roads not currently
open for public motorized travel. Roads identified in the Travel
Analysis as needed for long-term management of NFS lands would be put
into intermittent stored service (storage). Roads identified as not
needed for future management would be decommissioned.

To read the full notice.... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-10-06/html/2014-22817.htm
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