Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto granted AFRC, Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition (KFSC), and Lincoln County’s joint motion to intervene in defense of the Ripley Project on the Kootenai National Forest.
The Ripley Project area is in very close proximity to Libby, Montana, just east of U.S. Highway 2 and south of the Kootenai River. The project area is roughly 29,180 acres, with approximately 7,680 privately owned acres and 2,690 acres managed by federal or state agencies. The purpose and needs of the project include promoting resilient vegetation conditions and reducing the potential for high intensity wildfire, while promoting desirable fire behavior characteristics and fuel conditions.
About 40 percent of the project is in the Wildland Urban Interface, where people and their property are in close contact with wildlands. Reducing fuel loads is critical to the safety of the people who live and work in Libby, and it will also help decrease the risk of fire escaping the Kootenai National Forest onto adjacent private timberlands, which are intermingled within the project area and Lincoln County property. Lincoln County has more acres at risk from catastrophic wildfire events than any other county in Montana.
The project is comprised of two Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) timber sales that are administered by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (Montana-DNRC): 1) Clay Day timber sale, which will generate 8.4 mmbf and was awarded to AFRC member Stimson Lumber, and 2) McMillian timber sale, which will generate 6.3 mmbf and has not been offered yet. These GNA sales are part of a joint commitment between the Forest Service and Montana-DNRC to work together to reduce wildfire risk and increase resiliency within the Kootenai National Forest. The Forest Service has also awarded the Bullseye timber sale to Thompson River Lumber. One final timber sale “Believe IT” will be sold in FY 2023.
Now that intervention has been granted, the parties will brief the merits of this case in early 2022, with a hearing hopefully scheduled in the spring of 2022.
The Pacific Logging Congress (PLC) announced that their Pacific Forest Foundation (PFF) scholarship applications are now open for the 2022/23 school year.
Scholarships are awarded to students who are, or will be, studying in forestry-related areas. To be eligible, students must reside in one of the following states: California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, or Colorado, or British Columbia or New Zealand. Students can be attending technical training or college, and can be pursuing undergraduate degrees or advanced degrees. PFF began accepting applications January 1, 2022, and applications must be received in the PFF office no later than May 1, 2022.
For more information, visit www.pacificforestfoundation.org.
Due to the pandemic, the Olympic Logging Conference (OLC) has had to postpone its 75th Anniversary not once . . . but twice. Now the OLC looks forward to celebrating big this year, April 27-29, 2022, at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.
Plan to attend, bring your memories, and share your thoughts about the future. You can reserve your room soon by going to the website, www.olympicloggingconference.com.
ON THE COVER
Photo taken by Andrea Watts of Pacific Logging and Processing
2022 OLC Show Guide
Download the entire OLC Show Guide
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2022: What to Watch for in Washington D.C.
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