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Tree Traffic on the West Fork

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(File Photo - USFS)

A summer of logging begins up the West Fork of the Bitterroot River on Bitterroot National Forest land.

Tod McKay, Public Affairs Officer, said that the Lower West Fork timber sale was purchased earlier this year by Pyramid Mountain Lumber.

The sale will provide about 4.5 million board feet of timber to Montana sawmills and reduce hazardous fuels, along with thinning about 1,200 acres of Ponderosa Pine. Much of the Ponderosa Pine has been killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle. McKay said the logging will require over a thousand truckloads of timber on the valley roads. The biggest hazard, though, is on the forest’s dirt roads and the narrow two-lane West Fork Road.

The traffic will be busiest during the weekdays, and travelers are advised to drive with caution.

Baker Lake Road #5434 is closed until July, while “active” logging is going on. Hikers can access Trapper Peak from Trapper Peak Trailhead #133.

And this bit of information, Baker Lake basin is still snow-covered in many area. Of course, should you be heading out there, check with the West Fork Ranger Station for up-to-date information at (406) 821-3269.

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