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Forest Service seeks public comment on Deemer-Henry Environmental Assessment

by Clark Fork Valley Press
| July 21, 2021 12:00 AM

The Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District on the Lolo National Forest has prepared the environmental assessment for the Deemer-Henry project, which discloses the environmental effects of vegetation and road management activities proposed in the project.

The Deemer-Henry project area is located about four miles east of Plains and proposed plans in the project would decrease wildfire intensity and severity, improve forest health, support local rural economies and address road/travel management concerns.

The project also includes a proposal to amend the Forest Plan by changing the management area allocation of approximately 135 acres to correct a mapping error.

"The Deemer-Henry Project addresses areas on the District where there is dense and hazardous fuel accumulation. The project would work to improve these conditions while also providing wood products to the local economy," said Dave Wrobleski, Plains-Thompson Falls District Ranger. "Scoping comments helped us modify the proposed action and additional comments on the EA are welcome.”

Currently, forest conditions within the project area include dense stands that have not been managed and or burned; stands that burned at low to moderate severity in past fires; and stands that have regenerated with young trees.

High tree density causes stress from competition for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Stressed trees are more vulnerable to insects, disease, and other pathogens.

Timber harvest, mechanical fuel treatments, and prescribed burning are proposed to address the forest conditions and fuel concerns within the project area.

These treatments would reduce the tree density, improving the vigor of residual trees, increasing their resistance to insects and disease.

These treatments would also moderate fire behavior, increasing the effectiveness of fire suppression actions by slowing fire growth and limiting fire spotting.

For more information visit the Lolo National Forest Deemer-Henry project website at www.fs.usda.gov/projects/lolo/landmanagement/projects or please contact Pat Partyka at patricia.partyka@usda.gov.

Comments will be accepted for 30 days and ends on Aug. 9. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments during this or another public comment period established by the responsible official will be eligible to file an objection.

Comments may be sent to Project Leader, Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District, P.O. Box 429, Plains, Montana 59859.

Comments may also be submitted electronically to: comments-northern-lolo-plains-thompsonfalls@usda.gov. Please put the name of the project in the subject line.