Hungry Horse, Glacier View Ranger Districts Approve Fuels Reduction Project

Three culverts will also be replaced or upsized on Heinrude Creek

By Beacon Staff

The Hungry Horse-Glacier View ranger districts will implement the Heinrude Fuels Reduction Project authorizing mechanical fuels reduction on up to 70 acres and sapling thinning on approximately 550 acres adjacent to Heinrude Homesites. The decision was signed by Robert Davies, district ranger for the Hungry Horse-Glacier View districts.

According to Flathead National Forest officials, the purpose of the project is to lower the risk of severe and intense wildfire, should a fire occur in the future; improve the forest’s ability to initial attack and control fires; protect human life by providing a safer environment for firefighters and the public should a fire occur; and protect identified private property and natural resource values in the event of a future wildfire.

In addition to the fuels reduction treatments, three culverts will be replaced or upsized on Heinrude Creek. Culverts on Heinrude Creek at Forest System Roads 895, 895J and 5252 are undersized and at a high risk of failure, according to FNF officials. Culverts will be upsized and replaced to allow for 100 year flood events and to provide fish passage. Implementation of this project is anticipated to begin this summer.

Davies said the project falls within a category of actions listed in the Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Handbook (FSH) that are excluded from documentation in an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. He said there are no extraordinary circumstances that would preclude use of the following two categories: 1) FSH 1909.15, Chapter 32.2.12 – Harvest of live trees not to exceed 70 acres, requiring no more than ½ mile of temporary road construction (36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 220.6(e)(12)); and 2) FSH 1909.15, Chapter 32.2.06 – Timber stand and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities that do not include the use of herbicides or do not require more than 1 mile of low standard road construction (36 CFR 220.6(e)(6)). This decision is not subject to administrative appeal pursuant to 36 CFR 215.5.

Further information about this project and a copy of the decision memo is available for viewing and downloading on the Flathead National Forest website and then click on the Heinrude Fuels Reduction Project.

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