Rob Davies, the Hungry Horse/Glacier View district ranger, is asking for public feedback on a small, low-impact project in the Big Creek drainage to improve conditions for Bull Trout. If possible, they’d really like to get this accomplished in April, before the stream flows really get going. This means they are looking for public comments by March 30.
Here’s what Rob had to say in his email (lightly edited), followed by the full text of the project letter . . .
We will be issuing a NEPA decision for a small simple project that was presented at the Inter-local Meeting last February.
We would like to know if anyone has concerns or wishes to provide comments on this project…
Essentially the State and the Forest Service wants to breach a log jam, and several small beaver dams where migrating bull trout were blocked from upstream movement to their normal spawning area (last fall). The work would be accomplished using a Spider Backhoe…… if you never have seen this type of heavy equipment it is really interesting…….. it’s essentially a small excavator but instead of using steel tracks, it moves on 4 robotic-like legs so that soil and vegetation disturbance is very minimal.
We would like to complete this work before peak runoff occurs this spring so natural flows will help scour and maintain the channel. Normally bull trout projects never remove or disturb large wood in streams but in this case, the Flathead bull trout populations are so depressed from other Flathead Lake issues…… doing all that we can to assure spawning success is important.
Please provide comments, by email, in writing, or by phone no later than March 30th, 2016.
Rob’s contact information:
Rob Davies , District Ranger
Flathead National Forest
Hungry Horse – Glacier View Ranger Districts
PO Box 190340
Hungry Horse, MT, MT 59919