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Bitterroot National Forest

Bitterroot National Forest

mountain sheep
Mountain sheep along the road up East Fork. (KLYQ File Photo)
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Camping Fever? Only One Cure – Bitterroot National Forest – Part Three

If you follow the Bitterroot River south, it splits into the East Fork and the West Fork - two totally different experiences, but still basic Montana forest. It's a little colder there on Memorial Day, but take a heavy coat and enjoy the campfires at the Bitterroot National Forest firepits

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campground
A typical Bitterroot campground. (KLYQ Photo)
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So You Want to go Camping – Bitterroot National Forest is Ready – Part Two

You are chompin' at the bit to get out camping, but you're not ready to tramp on a backcountry trail into the wilderness.

The Stevensville Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest has some options:

  • Bass Creek Recreation Area (turn off US 93 at top of Bass Creek Hill) A large logging project will start next month, but right now the area is open. Ch
  • como lake
    A view of the swimming area and beach last summer at Lake Como. (KLYQ File Photo)
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    The Bitterroot’s Lake Como, Other Forest Service Sites are Ready for the Summer – Part One

    The Bitterroot National Forest crews have been busy getting areas ready for summer fun throughout the valley.

    We'll look at Lake Como in this report.

    Day Use Fees are required at Como, and cost $5 per car per day or $30 for the whole season - from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend

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    Closed Como boat launch
    The beetle-killed trees are being removed. (KLYQ File Photo)
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    Expect Lake Como Logging Almost Every Day of the Week

    The Bitterroot National Forest crews are logging beetle-killed and infested trees and thinning other forest stands around Lake Como.

    The 210-acre project has required the closure of some popular areas, including the Lake Como boat launch on the south side of the lake, according to Tod McKay of the USFS

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    mushroom
    From deep in the forest up the Skalkaho. (Fullerton Photo)
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    Bitterroot Forest Service Issues Only Personal Mushroom Permits

    The Bitterroot National Forest is not issuing any commercial mushroom picking permits this year.

    Tod McKay, in a news release, said that most of the forest fires that are likely places for mushroom growth -  such as the prized Morel mushroom - were in Idaho, and much of the fire activity was in wilderness area, where commercial picking is prohibited

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    skalkaho map
    A USFS Map shows the area involved in the project. (USFS)
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    Skalkaho-Rye Road Bridge Work Planned by Forest Service

    The Skalkaho Rye Road #75, southeast of Hamilton, will be temporarily closed so a bridge can be replaced by Bitterroot National Forest crews.

    The roadwork will not affect travel on the main Skalkaho Highway, but will block off the Rye Road at Mile Marker 4

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    forest fire
    Smoke could rise from a prescribed fire in the East Fork in planned project. (USFS Idaho File Photo)
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    Bitterroot Forest Plans a Prescribed Burning Project on Sula District

    A prescribed fire plan on the Bitterroot National Forest that was first proposed in 2010 has been reduced and brought forth again.

    Sula District Ranger Chuck Oliver said the old plan was to apply fire to over 12,000 acres in the Blue Mountain and Cameron Creek areas on the Sula District

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    dead trees
    Trees killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle. (USFS Photo)
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    Bitterroot Forest Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation Increases

    The bad news from this week's joint news release from the US Forest Service and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation - "Mountain Pine Beetle activity in the Bitterroot is increasing

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    firewood
    A Hamilton woodpile. (KLYQ file photo)
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    Bitterroot National Forest Begins Issuing 2013 Firewood Permits

    Monday, April 1, the Bitterroot National Forest will begin issuing personal firewood cutting permits for the year.

    According to a press release, the permits are good for 12 months and allow woodcutters to take up to 12 cords of firewood

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    spring smoke
    Open burning is a spring thing in the Bitterroot Valley. (KLYQ Photo)
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    Forest Service in Montana Starts Spring Burning Projects

    Initial plans for the U.S. Forest Service spring prescribed burning projects are coming on-line.

    The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has plans to burn about 322 acres in the Dry Gulch drainage 2 miles southwest of Divide in the Pioneer Mountains and another 350 acres burn between Sheep Creek and Sand Creek about 5 miles southeast of Wisdom in the Big Hole

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