Page 11 - Flathead Beacon // 4.15.15
P. 11

APRIL 15, 2015 | 11
community banking...
What does it mean to you?
“Community banking means
neighbors helping
Crews work to contain a fire that burned approximately six acres along Shelter Ridge Road south of Kalispell on April 9.
Escaped Fire Scars Six Acres
South of Kalispell
Crews stopped the fire as it approached nearby residences
 Firefighters quickly squashed a
6-acre fire that threatened homes south of Kalispell on April 9.
Crews from several agencies re- sponded to the blaze off Shelter Ridge Road. An initial investigation found
the fire grew from a debris pile that was burning and escaped into open grass, ac- cording to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
The fire expanded to 6 acres and ap- proached nearby residences, but several responding engines were able to sup- press the blaze.
The responding crews were from the DNRC, the South Kalispell Volunteer Fire Department, Somers, West Valley, Evergreen and Smith Valley.
Fire managers are reminding resi- dents to keep a close eye on debris burns during opening burning season.
Essex Man Convicted of Cutting Over 1,000 Trees in National Forest
Charles McAlpine pleaded guilty in January to timber from public lands
cutting and removing
for firewood but also admitted to selling some of the timber.
The Forest Service investigated the area and determined that 1,034 trees had been cut on the section of public land in recent years. Many of the stumps were covered with dirt in an apparent attempt to conceal evidence of the cut- ting, according to court records.
The agency valued the entire amount of cut trees at $36,968.
“The Flathead National Forest takes timber theft and associated resource damage on public lands seriously. We ag- gressively investigate reports of timber theft,” Flathead National Forest Acting Supervisor Sharon LaBrecque said in a news release.
By DILLON TABISH of the Beacon
 An Essex man will pay over $16,000 in restitution and fines and serve one year of probation after cutting over 1,000 trees on national forestlands adja- cent to his property.
Charles McAlpine pleaded guilty in January to cutting and removing tim- ber from public lands and aiding and abetting the same. Last month a federal judge sentenced him to one year of pro- bation, $11,420 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service and a $5,000 fine.
According to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, a For- est Service employee in November 2009 noticed an area near Giefer Creek in the Hungry Horse Ranger District of the
Flathead National Forest where a large amount of trees were removed. The area was directly connected to McAlpine’s property.
An officer responded to the area and noticed roughly 200 trees had been re- moved and roads had been created from the forest to McAlpine’s property. The officer identified a skidder on McAlp- ine’s property. Nearly one year later, the officer returned to the area and noticed evidence of fresh cutting and skidder tracks.
According to court records, McAl- pine admitted to cutting trees on the national forest. He said the trees were beetle infested and the Forest Service was dragging its feet on a fuel reduction project. McAlpine said he used the trees
b p

   9   10   11   12   13