Logging Plan Targets Beetle-Killed Trees

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A plan being put forward by the U.S. Forest Service calls for logging or burning 6,000 acres in the Helena National Forest that officials say have been ravaged by mountain pine beetles.

The Telegraph Vegetation Project is about 15 miles from Helena and mostly on the western slope of the Continental Divide.

District Ranger Duane Harp says the beetles have killed trees on about 500,000 acres of the Helena forest, and that Telegraph Creek has been hit hard.

He says past practices of logging and fire suppression have led to a forest dominated by lodgepole pine of the same age that make the forest susceptible to the beetles.

The logging plan was recently released for public comment.

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