US Forest Service fast-tracks massive Bitterroot logging project

By Joshua Murdock
The Missoulian
August 26, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A 143,340-acre logging and burning project spanning the length of the Bitterroot Mountains has been fast-tracked by the federal government, meaning the public cannot formally object to the proposal before it’s approved. U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore has deemed the Bitterroot Front Project an “emergecy action”. The determination allows the Forest Service to skip a step of the project’s public approval process. …The project is a mixture of commercial logging and non-commercial logging, and prescribed burning along the length of the Bitterroots’ eastern face, on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley. Forest Service officials say the project will reduce wildfire risk on the landscape by reducing fuel loads across the timbered mountain face that looms above private property in the valley below. …Critics of the proposal argue that the significant removal of vegetation will actually promote wildfire spread.

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