Bitterroot Forest Proposes East Fork Timber Project
The Meadow Vapor Project is planned for over 3,200 acres in the upper East Fork of the Bitterroot River, east of Sula. The Bitterroot National Forest has released an Environmental Assessment for the plan, which would include commercial timber harvest, non-commercial thinning, slash piling and prescribed burning.
According to Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest, the proposal was developed after East Fork residents requested help in removing insect-killed trees and hazardous fuels in the drainage.
The area includes land around the Springer Memorial and Bonanza communities and includes a variety of trees - ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir. The area is a "high priority" for fuel reduction, according to the Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
McKay said in a news release that the Meadow Vapor Project will be inside an 11,000 acre area, including Meadow Creek, Vapor Creek, Needle Creek, Lick Creek, Reynolds Creek and Tepee Creek in the East Fork. It should produce about 5 million board feet of timber to Montana sawmills.
Added to the project will be two new OHV connector trails for vehicles less than 50 inches in width as part of the BNF Travel Plan.
Public comments are accepted until July 5th. Only those who comment will be able to file an objection to the final plan.
The EA and more documents are online at the Forest Service website. It is also available at the Hamilton Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor's Office and at the Darby/Sula Ranger Station. Call (406) 821-3913.