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Public comment requested for Limestone West timber sale

Posted at 11:21 AM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 13:22:34-04

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) has been released for a proposed timber sale project at the edge of Bozeman near the Triple Tree Ranch Subdivision. Three options are outlined for the proposed Limestone West Timber sale including taking no action.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation released the findings Wednesday; they can be viewed here.

Public comment is being accepted through October 30, 2018.

According to the release, there are three proposals. The first has the most impact and calls for constructing a 9.2 mile road; the second has less impact and calls for a 6.5 mile road. The third proposal would defer the work for 10 years.

Below is a more in-depth breakdown from the DNRC.

1. Alternative Action A: This alternative proposes harvest units using both conventional ground-based equipment on 417 acres, along with cable harvest system for 185 acres. This alternative would require the most road construction (9.2 miles), treat more acreage, and would be the most visible alternative from recreation corridors and residential areas.

2. Alternative Action B: This alternative proposes harvest with conventional ground-based equipment on 375 acres and defers harvest in areas identified as highly important to the public – most notably adjacent to the Triple Tree subdivision trail. This alternative would also require fewer miles of new road construction (6.5 miles), treat less acreage, and offers the most limited impacts to the viewshed for surrounding residents and recreational users.

3. Alternative Action C: Under Montana Code Annotated (77-5-208), DNRC may accept an application for a conservation license in lieu of a proposed timber harvest. DNRC received an application for a conservation license in lieu of the proposed West Limestone project in the fall of 2016. This license is a temporary deferral of a timber harvest in a specified geographic area. During the MEPA process, DNRC must set the term length of the license along with other provisions. Through the application process, a conservation license applicant reserves the right to bid against purchasers of the timber sale. This alternative will analyze for the issuance of a conservation license in lieu of the proposed timber sale, including the impacts of deferred forest management for a length of 10 years.

Public comments may be submitted electronically by sending an email to LimestoneWest@mt.gov, or to the following address:

Chuck Barone, Project Leader

ATT: Limestone West Timber Sale, Montana DNRC

2273 Boot Hill Court, Ste. 110

Bozeman, MT 59715