The public can comment on the proposed Gold Butterfly forest project, located east of Corvallis.

The Bitterroot National Forest is planning a combination of commercial harvest, non-commercial thinning and prescribed burning over a 10,000 acre area in the Willow Mountain area between Burnt Fork and St. Clair Creek in the Sapphire Mountains.

Public Affairs Officer Tod McKay explained that the major part of the area has dense pockets of dead and dying trees - infected by mountain pine beetles, Douglas-fir bark beetles, western spruce budworm and dwarf mistletoe.

McKay reported the Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan has marked the area as a "high priority" for fuel reduction along the Wildland Urban Interface.

The Bitterroot team has had initial public meetings about the Gold Butterfly plan and now the comment period is open until July 10. Maps are available at the Bitterroot National Forest website.