Marshall Woods Decision Announced
Missoula, Montana – Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek this week selected a set of Marshall Woods project activities that combines elements of Alternatives C and D. The decision includes vegetation management, road and trail treatments, and noxious weed treatments in portions of Marshall Creek, Woods Gulch, and the Lower Rattlesnake drainage immediately northwest of Missoula.
No harvest would take place in the main Rattlesnake corridor under this decision. Unit 1 – aproximately 266 acres in the Marshall Canyon area -- is the only unit approved for timber harvest. The decision would utilize non-commercial thinning, hand piling and burning, slashing/and or underburning to achieve fuel reduction objectives across most of the project area.
"After six years of collaborative deliberations within the Lolo Restoration Committee (LRC) and following the extensive public comment received by the Forest Service, I'm pleased that the Marshall Woods project is moving closer to reality," said Lolo Restoration Committee Chair Jake Kreilick. "The project will combine commercial and non-commercial thinning, prescribed fire, weed treatments and road decommissioning to accomplish necessary fuel reduction in a vulnerable portion of Missoula's Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) and also foster long-term forest restoration on two sections of industrial timberland."
Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) the decision is subject to a 45- day Objection period.
The Marshall Woods project was initiated in 2008 with the involvement of the Lolo Restoration Committee, a collaborative group formed to work with the Lolo National Forest on projects to meet 13 Restoration Principles (http://www.montanarestoration.org/restoration-principles).
The draft Decision Notice and Environmental Asessment are available on the Lolo NF websitehttp://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/lolo/projects