The Gold Butterfly forest project east of Corvallis could begin as soon as next spring, according to Bitterroot National Forest officials. Forest Supervisor Matt Anderson signed the final Record of Decision for the project, which is in an area bounded by St. Clair Creek on the south and Burnt Fork Creek on the north in the Sapphire Mountains (see map below). Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest reported that 9,500 acres in the project have been designated an insect and disease treatment area with dead and dying trees from attacks by mountain pine beetles, Douglas fir bark beetles, dwarf mistletoe and western spruce budworms. The Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan put that area in their "high priority" designation for fuel reduction in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

There will be commercial timber harvest, non-commercial thinning and prescribed burning on a little over 7,000 acres. However, a selected alternative in the project plans includes a modification that old growth trees will be retained in all the units.
There is more information at the Bitterroot National Forest website.

Gold Butterfly project area. (USFS/Bitterroot National Forest)