Two public open house meetings are scheduled for members of the public to ask questions about the DEIS and associated analyses and/or review the project maps and associated project documents. Both meetings are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on: August 3rd at the Helena Supervisor’s Office (2880 Skyway Drive, Helena); and August 4th at the Elliston Elementary School (205 West Main St. Elliston).
Treatment is needed in the Telegraph project area to meet Forest Plan goals, ensure diverse and sustainable forest stands and wildlife habitat in the future, improve conditions for fire suppression, recover economic value of dead and dying trees, and maintain and improve watershed values.
There is a no-action alternative and two action alternatives, which propose to treat between 4,000 and 6,700 acres. The action alternatives analyze a combination of activities including regeneration harvest, intermediate harvest, pre-commercial thinning, and prescribed burning to promote a mix of vegetation composition and structure across the landscape and reduce fuels. To help facilitate treatments, between 3.4 and 8.5 miles of temporary road would be built and then obliterated following tree removal depending on the selected alternative. The temporary road is necessary to recover economic value in the trees killed by the recent mountain pine beetle epidemic. This project also proposes watershed improvement activities including road/stream crossing improvements, road maintenance, road obliteration, and noxious weed treatments.
The DEIS, maps and supporting documents are all available for review on the Helena National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/helena/landmanagement/projects; a hardcopy is available upon request at the Helena National Forest Supervisor’s Office.
The proposed Telegraph Vegetation Project is subject to the Project-Level Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process under 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B; this process is commonly known as the “Objection Process.”
Comments on the DEIS should be submitted one of the following ways:
· At either of the scheduled open houses on August 3rd or 4th (between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.);
· Regular USPS mail to: Helena Ranger District, ATTN: Telegraph Project Team Leader Allen Byrd, 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602;
· FAX: 406-449-5740 (ATTN: Telegraph Project Team Leader Allen Byrd);
· Hand-deliver to: Helena Ranger District at 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602 during regular business hours (8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday); or
· Email, with “Telegraph Vegetation Project” in the subject line, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Only individuals or organizations who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project during a public comment period established by the Responsible Official are eligible to file an objection. Specific information regarding an individual’s/organization’s “eligibility” to file an objection on this project can be found in the cover letter for the project, which is posted online: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/helena/landmanagement/projects.