Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King signed a Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact on the proposed Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project. King announced the decision at a forest fire update meeting with the Ravalli County Commissioners.

The thinning project would be on about 2,300 acres of Bitterroot forest between Lost Horse Creek and Roaring Lion Creek, southwest of Hamilton. Part of the project is adjacent to the recent Observation forest fire.

The project includes commercial timber harvest, non-commercial thinning and prescribed burning. The plans also call for development of sustainable road and bridge access for future forest management.

The project could begin this fall and would provide about 6.5 million board feet of timber to sawmills.

The collaborative project is proposed under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act and is supported by the State of Montana, according to a news release.