Forest Service asks for public feedback on Environmental Assessment for the Redd Bull project

June 29, 2020

Forest Service asks for public feedback on Environmental Assessment for the Redd Bull project

SUPERIOR, Mont. – The Lolo National Forest is accepting public comments for 30 days on the Environmental Assessment for the Redd Bull project, located south of St. Regis between Interstate 90 and the Montana/Idaho border within the Dry, Cold, Little Joe, Twomile, and Ward Creek drainages in Mineral County. Redd Bull is a collaboratively developed, integrated restoration project designed to improve the health and resiliency of forest vegetation, reduce forest fuels, restore native fish habitat, enhance big game habitat, provide diverse recreation opportunities, and support local economies.

Fire exclusion and dense vegetation growth within the project area have resulted in increased surface fuel accumulations and understory vegetation, and closed tree canopies. The high number of trees per acre and diminished species diversity have resulted in a greater susceptibility to insects, disease, and drought as trees compete for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Dead and diseased trees are present in the project area, impacted by root disease, bark beetles, and inter-tree competition.

The Redd Bull project includes a host of treatments such as timber harvest, prescribed burning, and non-commercial mechanical treatments. Due to existing landscape conditions and proximity to communities at-risk, the Redd Bull project includes strategically placed vegetation treatments to slow fire spread and reduce fire intensity, increasing the options for effective future fire suppression actions. Some of the vegetation treatments are also specifically designed to improve forage conditions for deer and elk.

Actions are also planned to improve fish habitat in project area streams, particularly Little Joe Creek where bull trout spawn. The project proposes to realign/relocate road segments away from streams, decommission unneeded roads, store some roads that may not be needed for a long time, replace culverts, and reduce the sediment delivery potential from roads to improve conditions for native fish.  

Recreation management activities proposed include construction of new trail, improving trail, managing dispersed campsites, and making improvements to developed recreation sites and trailheads.

“The project would provide benefits to multiple resources and our local communities” said Carole Johnson, Superior District Ranger. “We look forward to hearing what the public thinks of the analysis through this comment period.”

The Redd Bull Environmental Assessment is available on the Lolo National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/lolo/landmanagement/projects. The document discloses the effects of three alternatives that were developed to address project objectives and public comments received on the initial proposal.

How to Comment

Comments on this EA will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the legal notice in the Missoulian newspaper on June 29, 2020. Pursuant to 36 CFR 218 and 219, only those who submit timely and specific written comments about this proposed activity during this or another public comment period established by the Responsible Official will be eligible to file an objection. Comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider. 

Please send comments to Redd Bull Project Leader, Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District, P.O. Box 429, Plains, Montana 59859. Comments may also be submitted electronically to: comments-northern-superior@usda.gov .

 

###

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lolo/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD759073