Forest Service Assesses 2012, Looks Ahead

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — The U.S. Forest Service’s northern region based in Missoula has released its Year in Review for 2012.

It features stories of Forest Service projects and accomplishments over the region’s 25 million acres in five states stretching from northeastern Washington to North Dakota.

But renewable resource management director Gene DeGayner tells the Missoulian the Forest Service is a small player in the overall forest dynamics.

The agency plans this year to thin about 8,000 acres of forest and hold timber sales over another 12,000 acres.

That is compared to 6 million acres of trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and 1 million acres burned in wildfires last year last year.

DeGayner says the agency can only affect 1 percent of 1 percent of the region with mechanical treatments.

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