Blackfoot-Clearwater bill gets pushback from Forest Service

Blackfoot-Clearwater bill gets pushback from Forest Service

News Type: State Source: Missoulian
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The Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act proposed by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, has good potential to increase timber production in the Seeley-Swan Valley, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

But Forest Service Deputy Chief Chris French said the agency also has concerns about access to two proposed recreation areas contained in Tester’s bill because it may not be able to handle the analysis workload. In written testimony, French said the Lolo National Forest’s upcoming forest plan revision might get delayed by the bill’s requirements.

“If enacted, the explicit timeframes currently contained in the bill could result in prioritizing the analysis of a collaboratively developed proposal to expand the trail system over other emergent work,” French wrote. He also questioned whether a proposed mountain-biking recreation area was appropriate for the location designated north of Ovando.