Forest Reaches Deal on Missoula Timber Sale

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Forest managers and environmentalists say a compromise agreement on the details of a timber sale will benefit bull trout and goshawks as well as loggers.

The deal was reached during negotiations last week involving the Lolo National Forest and Alliance for the Wild Rockies on the Butte Lookout timber sale, located about 12 miles southwest of Missoula.

The original timber harvest plan targeted lodgepole pine on more than 1,200 acres. But the compromises narrows that to about 600 acres. Forest managers also agreed to expand buffer zones around known goshawk nests and reduce road sediment that could spill into bull trout spawning waters.

Missoula District Ranger Paul Matter says the agreement still allows the majority of timber to be cut, but at the same time better protect the watershed and habitat.