Public input sought on Coram-West Glacier forest management project

Contact(s): Lauren Alley

A virtual open house is scheduled for December 8, 2020

The Flathead National Forest is seeking input on a new forest management project proposed between Coram and West Glacier, MT.

The “Lake Five Project” calls for timber harvest and reducing other forest fuels in these wildland-urban interface communities.

Approximately 2,000 acres are proposed for commercial timber harvest including  commercial thinning and seed tree treatments, and 300 acres are proposed for noncommercial vegetation treatments. 

The whole project area analyzed is approximately 12,000 acres, of which 42 percent is private property. The 2011 Flathead County Community Wildfire Protection Plan identified neighborhoods within the project area as priority areas for local fire departments. All proposed activities would occur on National Forest System land.

The area is predominantly composed of lodgepole pine, originating from the Half Moon Fire in 1929. The resulting tree stands are composed of closely spaced small diameter lodgepole pine that are vulnerable to stand replacement fires and insect and disease. The project would reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire in and around these communities, diversify the tree species in the area, and provide timber for the local economy.

“I encourage you to read the scoping materials, look at the maps available, and attend our virtual open house,” said Hungry Horse District Ranger Rob Davies. “The Forest Service is a neighbor to many residents in this area and we sincerely want to improve fuel conditions near homes and property, protect natural resources, and maintain recreation opportunities. We are seeking your ideas and suggestions during this scoping period to help us refine or improve this proposal.”

Some timber harvest and other fuels reduction treatments would rely on roads currently used for both summer and winter recreation. The Forest expects temporary closures in those areas depending on where project activity is occurring.      

Accessing the project areas would require that the Forest Service build approximately 6 miles of road that would be added to the road system, and 1.3 miles of temporary road that would be returned to a forested condition at the conclusion of the project. Many of the roads would be built on existing roadbeds. About 1.7 miles of existing road would be decommissioned. Some of these roads would be retained for future forest management use and would be made impassable at the conclusion of the Lake Five Project.  Public motorized access would not change on any roadway.

For more information, including maps, how to comment, and instructions for joining the virtual public meeting, please visit the Flathead National Forest’s website