By Griffen Smith
of the Pathfinder 

Rumbling Owl tour highlights potential reverse in forest health


December 7, 2023

Griffen Smith, Pathfinder

Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling speaks on the Rumbling Owl project on Nov. 29. The 6,000 acre project area would thin tree stands to limit fire and disease.

More than a dozen residents stood by the confluence of Holland Creek and the Swan River to hear from Forest Service officials and their plan to log and restore roughly 6,000 acres of land from Rumble Creek to Owl Creek.

The field trip was part of the plan's public meeting, which featured experts in fire, forest health and wildlife. The Forest Service argued that the area needs alteration after previous managers suppressed fire for one hundred years, leaving thick stands at risk for wildfire and disease.

By using select cuts and replanting some areas with resistant tree species, the Flathe...

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