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Forest Service seeks comment on tree planting for Lolo Peak burn

Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 22:14:37-04

LOLO – The Forest Service is going to move forward with plans to re-plant nearly 8,000 acres of timberlands that burned in last summer’s Lolo Peak Fire.

The fire burned over 53,000 acres after it was started by a mid-July lightning storm. Although fire crews were able to limit its spread along the Northern Bitterroot Front, the blaze still burned two homes and eight outbuildings in neighborhoods south of Lolo.

Now, Lolo National Forest is asking for public comment on a plan to clean up and re-plant 7,800 acres of the burned area. That would involve “scalping”, or be clearing out brush and other “understory” growth along with smaller, diseased and unhealthy trees that can’t be sold in the future. A big focus would be on planting native trees such as Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch which are more fire resistant than the Douglas Fir stands that burned last summer.

Lolo National Forest will be taking public comments on the replanting plans between now and April 16.

Comments can be provided by April 16, 2018, to Forrest Parks, Missoula Ranger District, 24 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804.  Electronic comments may be sent to http://comments-northern-lolo-missoula@fs.fed.us.