There are three alternatives, including a no-action alternative, are analyzed in the DEIS. The proposed management actions are a combination of commercial and non-commercial 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. About five miles
of road would be built then obliterated immediately following tree removal. This proposal includes using prescribed fire and tree slashing by hand in two roadless areas (Bear Marshall Scapegoat Swan and Lincoln Gulch). Commercial harvest and road construction would not occur in the two roadless areas. The project area is includes treatments in Sucker, Liverpool, Stonewall, Beaver Creeks and Lincoln Gulch.
This project is a collaborative effort with members of several groups working together to find solutions on the ground. “Release of the DEIS is a significant accomplishment for the Southwest Crown of the Continent Collaborative, Montana Forest Restoration Committee, and Lincoln Restoration Committee,” said Forest Supervisor Kevin Riordan.
“The Lincoln Restoration Committee is looking forward to the restoration and fire management treatments that the Stonewall project will deliver for the local community and the nation,” Executive Director of the Blackfoot Challenge Gary Burnett said. “We greatly appreciate the collaborative spirit of the Helena National Forest and Lincoln Ranger District staff.”
It has been determined that a site-specific Forest Plan amendment would be necessary for Big Game Standards 3 and 4a. Currently, of the two elk herd units (Beaver and Keep Cool Creeks) included with this project, only the Forest Plan Standard for elk summer range hiding cover in the Beaver Creek herd unit is met. Treatments in both action alternatives would reduce wildlife habitats below Big Game Standards 3 and 4a (Forest Plan II/17) for both herd units.