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Comments Sought on Proposed Timber Harvest at Stuart Mill Bay FAS

Fish & Wildlife - Region 2

Friday, October 12, 2012

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking public comment on a proposal to harvest pine beetle infested lodgepole pine trees on approximately 80 acres at Stuart Mill Bay Fishing Access Site (FAS) on Georgetown Lake.

FWP Fishing Access Site Manager, Rory Zarling, says that the project aims to create a forest that provides good wildlife habitat and is insect, disease, and fire resistant.

The proposal calls for addressing public and neighboring private property safety concerns by removing beetle-damaged trees that are more susceptible to fire and wind storms.

“We want to retain as much of the forested feel of the access site as possible while also removing dead and dying trees that pose safety hazards and limit forest health,” Zarling says.

The timber harvest, as proposed, would occur on about 40 percent of the site’s 200 forested acres and would take place during late fall and winter months to minimize impacts on wildlife and public access.

Managers plan to maintain the cleared areas to minimize weeds while new trees begin to regenerate. Stuart Mill Bay’s other 120 forested acres are a mixture of healthy Douglas-fir and some beetle-infested lodgepole pine, and no harvest is proposed for this part of the site.

A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for this proposal. Find the document online at fwp.mt.gov under “Public Notices.” Or, request it by mail from Region 2 FWP, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804; phone 406-542-5540; email shrose@mt.gov.

Comments can be submitted online at fwp.mt.gov under “Public Notices,” or should be directed to Sharon Rose at the mail, phone or email addresses above. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.