Jan 302012

Open House – Thursday February 2nd from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Community Center, 419 Cottonwood, Deer Lodge

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has released the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIS) for the East Deer Lodge Valley Landscape Restoration Management Project.  The 45-day comment period will begin the day after the Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Federal Register. The anticipated publication date of the NOA is January 27, 2012.

The Pintler Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) will host an open house Thu. Feb. 2 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Deer Lodge at the Community Center located at 419 Cottonwood.  The open house will provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the East Deer Lodge Valley (EDLV) Landscape Restoration Management Project and the Revised DEIS. There will also be opportunity for community members to comment on the project and identify any data gaps or unaddressed concerns during the open house.

The EDLV project area covers 39,700 acres of Forest Service system lands on the east side of the Deer Lodge Valley from Baggs Creek to Girard Gulch.  Specific treatments would include conducting commercial salvage with clearcut and/or commercial thinning in 57 timber units totaling up to 2,705 acres; conducting vegetation and aquatic treatments in 19 restoration units totaling up to 8,768 acres; and conducting additional vegetation, aquatic, and recreation activities throughout the project area in areas not specifically tied to timber or restoration units.  The BDNF proposes to utilize stewardship contracting to implement the EDLV Landscape Restoration Management project.

The EDLV project is the result of several years of collaborative efforts between the USFS, state, local, and non-governmental agencies to identify and plan for an integrated forest stewardship and watershed restoration project in this area which is complimentary to restoration projects that have occurred within the landscape on state and private lands.  EDLV project partners include: Watershed Restoration Coalition, Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Trout Unlimited, Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development, National Wildlife Federation, Clark Fork Coalition, Sun Mountain Lumber, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, MT FWP, and Powell County Commissioners.

The Revised DEIS is available on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/bdnf, under “NEPA Projects.”  CD’s of the Revised DEIS are available by calling (406) 494-0238, or sending an email with mailing address to blignell02@fs.fed.us.   Printed copies are available on a limited basis.

Written comments may be sent to: Brent Lignell, 1820 Meadowlark, Butte, MT 59701. Comments may also be faxed to (406) 494-0269, be sure to include a return mailing address.  The e-mail address for comments is: comments-northern-beaverhead-deerlodge@fs.fed.us, please type “EDLV” in the subject line.

All interested publics are welcome to attend the open house. Contact the Forest Service at either the Deer Lodge Information Office at (406) 846-1770 or the Pintler Ranger District (406) 859-3211.