Forest Service accepting public comment on Horsefly Vegetation project

HELENA, Mont. (January 10, 2020) The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is now accepting public comment on the proposed Horsefly Vegetation project, located on the forest’s Belt Creek-White Sulphur Springs Ranger District within the Miller Gulch and Newlan Creek drainages in the Little Belt Mountains. The comment period officially begins January 11 and will last for 30 days.

A public open house meeting will be held January 29 in White Sulphur Springs to discuss the Horsefly Vegetation project. The meeting will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Meagher County Training Center (103 West Crawford St.). At the meeting, members of the public are invited to ask Forest Service officials questions about the project proposal and view maps and planning documents.

The proposed Horsefly Vegetation project aims to improve the landscape’s resiliency to insect infestation and disease using timber harvest, re–planting trees, wildfire fuels reduction, and prescribed fire. This would diversify the forested landscape on approximately 11,000 acres in the larger project area. In doing so, the proposed project would also reduce wildfire hazards in the area and provide wood products to the timber industry, supporting local and regional economies.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest began planning for the Horsefly Vegetation project in 2018, when a scoping document was released. Based on public feedback received on that document, the Forest Service has completed a Preliminary Environmental Assessment of the proposed project, which is now available for public review. The public has until February 10 to provide feedback on this document, which will be used to further develop the project proposal per the National Environmental Policy Act planning process.

More information about the Horsefly Vegetation project, including a copy of the Preliminary Environmental Assessment and information on how to provide public comment, is available on the official project webpage (bit.ly/HLC_HorseflyProject). Questions about the project, comment period, or upcoming public meeting may be directed to John Casselli, Project Team Leader: john.casselli@usda.gov.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hlcnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD692982