Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Public Comment Sought on Glacier Loon Supplemental EA

 

August 3, 2017



KALISPELL – The Swan Lake Ranger District on the Flathead National Forest is seeking public comment on the Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Glacier Loon Fuels Reduction and Forest Health Project.

The project area is located south and west of Condon and on the west side of Montana Highway 83 to the south end of Lindbergh Lake. The original Environmental Assessment (EA) from 2012 has been supplemented with additional analysis relative to the effects of the project on grizzly bears, bull trout and bull trout critical habitat, lynx and lynx critical habitat and water howellia. This Supplemental EA also considers any new information that may have been identified since the previous EA was published.

The release of the supplemental EA starts a 30 day comment period for the public to review the document and provide comments to the Forest Service.

The objectives of the project is intended to reduce the associated risk of high-severity landscape wildfire within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI); improve and/or maintain the general health, resiliency and sustainability of forested stands and to provide wood products for local economies. Management activities intended to address these objectives include commercial and non-commercial harvest treatments and road drainage improvements.

Three action alternatives with varying amount of treatments are analyzed along with the no action alternative. These alternatives are the same alternatives that were addressed in the 2012 EA.

This project had a previous decision approved in February 2013, but was litigated by four groups later in the summer. The project was eventually enjoined or prohibited for any further action by the U.S. District Court in 2014. After being enjoined the Forest Service conducted further analysis on the above threatened species and consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once this work was completed, the Forest Service went back to the court to get the injunction lifted in 2016. However, the Court ordered that although the Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations were met, the National Environmental Planning Act (NEPA) obligations were not and therefore a supplemental EA was necessary.

The document is available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=36946 along with further information on how to provide comment. For more information about the project, please contact Rich Kehr, District Ranger, at the Swan Lake Ranger Station, 406-837-7501.

 

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