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Knotty Pine Project draft decision notice released

 
October 6, 2021

The Three Rivers Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest has prepared a draft decision notice (DN) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Knotty Pine Project, located north and west of Troy, and includes the Pine Creek, Curley Creek, Lime Creek, Rocky Creek and Red Top Creek watersheds. Line Point, Murphy and Red Top mountains form the northern boundary of the project, the Idaho state line forms the western edge, the Kootenai River the southern boundary, and the Yaak River the eastern boundary.

The project area legal description includes all or portions of Townships 32, 33, and 34 North, Ranges 33 and 34 West, P.M.M., Lincoln County, Montana.

The Draft DN provides the rationale for selecting alternative 2. The responsible official for this decision is Forest Supervisor Chad Benson. The proposal includes the following activities; commercial harvest on 2,971 acres, non-harvest fuel treatments (ecosystem and ladder fuel reduction burning) on 4,757 acres, precommercial thinning on 2,099 acres, adding 4.17 miles of undetermined road to the road system, 1.2 mile of temporary road construction, 35 miles of road maintenance, 4.04 miles of road storage, 75 acres of harvest treatment in old growth, 41 acres of burning in old growth, and 24 harvest units that create 14 openings exceeding 40 acres in size, and recreation improvements.

The environmental assessment (EA) and draft DN and FONSI are available on-line here.

The October 2021 Knotty Pine EA and Specialist Reports are located under the Analysis tab and the draft DN/FONSI is located under the Decision tab. These documents are also available for review at the Three Rivers Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, 12858 U.S. Highway 2, Troy, MT 59935. Additional information can be obtained from Lisa Osborn, lisa.osborn@usda.gov or Kirsten Kaiser, Kirsten.a.kaiser@usda.gov or by phone (406) 295-4693.

The Knotty Pine Project is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 218, subparts A and B.

Objections will only be accepted from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with §218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless, objections are based on new information arising after the designated comment opportunities.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, express delivery, or messenger service: to Objection Reviewing Officer, USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804; FAX to (406) 329-3411; email to appeals-northern-regional-office@usda.gov with “Knotty Pine Project Objection” in the subject line or by hand-delivery.

If you are unable to submit electronic, fax, or postal objections and must submit them by hand to the Northern Regional Office, please refer to signage at the front door regarding the delivery of hand delivered items, which will include a phone number to arrange delivery of your objection. The Northern Region Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at USDA Forest Service, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804.

The acceptable formats for submitting an electronic objection are: MS Word, rich text format (.rtf) or PDF.

Objections must be submitted within 45 calendar days following the publication of this notice in the Missoulian. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Those wishing to object should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the time to file an objection.

The objection must contain the minimum content requirements specified in §218.8(d) and incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided in §218.8(b). It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer pursuant to §218.9. All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

At a minimum an objection must include the following (36 CFR 218.8(d)): 1) The objector’s name and address, with a telephone number, if available; 2) a signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for Email may be filed with the objection); 3) when multiple names are listed on an objection, identification of the lead objector (verification of the identity of the lead objector shall be provided upon request); 4) the name of the proposed project, the name and title of the Responsible Official, and the name(s) of the National Forest(s) and/or Ranger District(s) on which the proposed project will be implemented; and 5) a description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection, including specific issues related to the proposed project if applicable, how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates law, regulation, or policy; suggested remedies that would resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider; and 6) a statement that demonstrates connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection.

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