Proponent of North Fork Frozen Moose Project

I know first-hand the impact of wildfire on the landscape

By Pat Cole

As a full-time resident of the North Fork for the past 23 years on property bounded by Forest Service land, I am thrilled with the recently proposed Frozen Moose Project. The Project calls for commercial vegetation treatment on 3,552 acres and non-commercial vegetation treatment on 4,630 acres of National Forest System lands from Red Meadow Creek to the Canadian border to reduce tree densities and fuel loadings within the wildland-urban interface that should result in less intense fire behavior near communities and facilitate safe wildland fire operations. The proposed action should also serve to improve the diversity and resilience of vegetation and wildlife habitat, maintain and improve aquatic ecosystems and provide for a more diverse mix of forest products.

I know first-hand the impact of wildfire on the landscape, wildlife and residential structures, having survived the Wedge Canyon Fire in 2003, which completely destroyed seven of my adjacent neighbors’ cabins, along with 52,030 acres of land until it reached the mountains in Glacier National Park. The aftermath of that fire resulted in millions of lodgepole pine trees growing inches from each other that are already 20 to 30 feet tall, along with deadfall of huge burned trees carpeting the forest floor. Not only does this provide intense fuel for the next wildfire, it inhibits wildlife access through the dense blanket of trees and deadfall.

I welcome the Frozen Moose Project, which will provide for a narrow band of thinning and fuel reduction on the Forest Service land that borders my property. Without this thinning project, we will surely not be as lucky in saving our home when the next wildfire comes roaring through.

Pat Cole

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