IPNF seeks to thin overly dense tree stands

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests is seeking feedback on a proposal to thin stands of young, densely stocked trees across the Priest Lake, Bonners Ferry, and Sandpoint Ranger Districts to promote healthy regeneration for larger trees and reduce wildfire danger.

Forest managers seek to thin up to 2,500 acres per year in identified units where densely stocked stands of young trees— younger than 25 years old— are too crowded for healthy growing conditions.

The project addresses a critical need for young stand management and fuel treatments in areas where young regeneration has occurred following harvest or wildfire. If left unchecked, these stands will create a fire hazard while crowding out desirable species that need more space and sunlight, like western white pine, western larch, and ponderosa pine.

The project would use only mechanical methods, like workers with chainsaws or loppers, to fell trees less than 7 inches diameter and pile them for burning or mastication.
No new roads would be constructed for the work, and the project would produce no commercial products.

Planning documents for the Young Stand Improvement Project are available online. 

The comment period runs through May 25, 2024.

For more information on the project, contact Doug Nishek at douglas.nishek@usda.gov or (208) 267-6765.