Forest Seeks Comments on Project

Contact(s): Tod McKay

Hamilton, Montana – The Bitterroot National Forest is inviting the public to review and make comments on a proposal to create a defensible space to protect the historic McCart Lookout on the Darby/Sula Ranger District. 

The purpose of the project is to reduce the threat of wildfire and restore the viewshed around the lookout by creating a 500 foot buffer (approx. 10 acres).  The project proposes to mechanically remove dead and dying trees around the lookout, which is located northeast of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness.  All vegetation outside of the wilderness boundary will be removed to create a safe buffer.  There will be no mechanical treatment within the wilderness, but some limited hand thinning by cross-cut saws of select individual trees may occur within the wilderness to protect the structure. 

McCart Lookout is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.  It is also one of several lookouts on the forest available for the public to rent through the National Recreation Reservation System.  This rental opportunity provides the public with the unique experience of staying in a historic fire lookout.  Forest Service fire crews also use the lookout as needed for administrative use.          

Work could begin on the project as soon as this fall.  The project should not impact this season’s rental schedule, but some trail and area closures this fall may impact recreation opportunities around the lookout.         

To learn more about the project and to view maps visit on our website.     

Public comments specific to this project and/or to individual sites and resources are valuable in helping the Forest Service identify concerns, develop alternatives to the proposed action, and refine the analysis to focus on issues.  Comments are due by May 4, 2019. 

Submit comments to the Responsible Official:  Eric Winthers, District Ranger, by one of the following methods; mail: P.O. Box 388, Darby, Montana, 59829, FAX: (406) 821-4264, or email:  Hand delivered comments must be delivered between 8am-4:30pm weekdays, excluding holidays.  

Comments should include: 1) name, address, phone number, and organization represented, if any; 2) title of the project on which the comments are being submitted; and 3) substantive comments including specific facts and supporting information for the Responsible Official to consider.     

Please put “Comments on McCart Lookout Project” in the subject line for emailed comments.  An automated response will confirm that your electronic comment has been received.  All comments are open to public inspection and will be posted to the Forest Service website.      

For more information or questions about the project, contact Erica Strayer, Recreation Program Manager at (406) 821-4252.



Key Contacts