By Nick Chrestenson | August 15, 2019
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking input on initiating a forest management project at four Fishing Access Sites along the lower Blackfoot River. Information and Education Program Manager Vivaca Crowser explains.
“We looked at a lot of our lands statewide from the angle of what needs to be done forest management wise,” Crowser said. “We need to be proactive about preventing disease, fire prevention, and managing some hazard trees. We are looking at things we can do to improve our lands, to improve the safety of the site and the resiliency of the forest.”
According to Crowser, they would remove and thin trees on approximately 96 acres of land at K. Ross Toole, Johnsrud Park, Corrick’s River Bend, and River Junction Fishing Access Sites.
“We would specifically remove hazard trees that could cause safety concerns and we would also be looking at anything that could cause some structure damage on the site,” Crowser said. “We would potentially sell some of the timber as it is able to be sold. We will try to do this at the time of the year where it will have the least impact on folks that want to use the sites for access to the river and for recreation.”
The project would also improve wildlife habitat for a variety of species that depend more on open stand conditions and foraging for grasses, forbs and shrubs. If approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its October meeting, the work could begin as early as November 2019 and the project is expected to take several years to complete.
To review the draft environmental assessment and to comment, go to fwp.mt.gov. You can also request information and comment by phoning 406-542-5540 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019.