Tag Archives: Kootenai National Forest

Marston Fire at 1200 acres; Type II team called in

Marston Fire Location
Marston Fire Location

The Marston Fire ballooned up to 1200 acres. A Type II team is due on site tomorrow (Sunday) morning . . .

As many as 26 new fires had been reported in the Kootenai National Forest area by Friday evening, with a previously reported pair of fires on Mount Marston erupting to cover 1,200 acres.

The two fires were being managed as a single incident dubbed the Marston Fire and are burning about two miles northeast of Dickey Lake and four miles northeast of Trego.

The fires are threatening the Mount Marston Lookout.

Read more . . .

Also read: InciWeb page for the Marston Fire

Marston Fire brews up in Kootenai Forest; plume visible from North Fork

Marston Fire Location
Marston Fire Location

UPDATED to include newer information, including several corrections from Jon Cohan, who can see the Marston Fire from his back deck. Here’s what he has to say: “The Mt. Marston fire started overnight on Mon. during a lightning storm and was spotted early on Tues. morning by a local USFS crew who were in action as early as 8:00 am. The fire initially started on the southwest slope facing Rte. 93 and grew as it traveled uphill during the day. It has grown considerable larger since then, overtaking the peak and spreading to nearby terrain via ember deposits.”

The smoke plume from the Marston Fire is visible from the North Fork. It is burning on Mt. Marston in the Kootenai National Forest, a little over 4 air miles east of Fortine and about 21 miles west of Polebridge.

According to the InciWeb page, fire crew access is limited due to steep terrain. The  Mt. Marston Lookout is threatened by the blaze and has been bundled up in fire retardant wrap. The most recent report puts the fire’s size at 550 acres.

Marston Fire Perimeter Aug 13, 2015
Marston Fire Perimeter Aug 13, 2015

Kootenai National Forest’s East Reservoir timber sale draws lawsuit

The Kootenai National Forest is drawing fire from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies over a large timber sale it has in the works . . .

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies has sued the Kootenai National Forest over a logging project it claims will lose almost $2.6 million in tax dollars.

“The EIS for this logging project is so full of misrepresentations, omissions and egregious violations of a host of federal laws that we really had no choice except to challenge it in court,” said Michael Garrity, the environmental group’s executive director.

“It’s so bad, even the Forest Service had to acknowledge that it was violating its own forest plan, and then sought to illegally amend the forest plan to exempt itself from protecting grizzlies, bull trout and lynx as required by the Endangered Species Act,” he said.

Read more . . .

Also read:

Group Sues to Halt Massive Logging Project in Kootenai National Forest

Big timber project appealed

Montana starts handing out farm bill money to national forests

The State of Montana is beginning to disburse grant money for national forest projects, including the Flathead and Kootenai forests . . .

About $1 million in state grants will be distributed to 13 national forest projects across Montana over the next few months as Montana’s first installment of funding authorized in the 2014 federal farm bill.

Four projects in the Flathead and Kootenai national forests will receive a total of $260,000.

The bill created the authority for state governors to nominate up to 5 million acres of “Priority Landscape Areas” in national forests within their states, focused on identifying tracts of land at the highest risk for disease, insect infestation and wildfires.

Read more . . .

Total of 60 objections filed to Kootenai & Idaho Panhandle forest plans

A total of  60 objections were filed by the deadline for the proposed Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forest Plan revisions. Of direct interest to the North Fork, 38 concerned the Kootenai Forest, which lies along the Flathead Forest’s western boundary . . .

One thing’s certain about the draft management plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests – they’ve got lots of kinks to work out.

By last week’s deadline, 60 people or organizations had filed hundreds of pages of objections to the draft plans. The two national forests, on the northwestern Montana-northern Idaho border, are the first in the nation to develop new long-term management plans.

“The new process allows the public a greater view of the wide variety of perspectives we’re trying to balance,” Idaho Panhandle spokesman Jason Kirchner said on Friday. “In 1987, this was mostly a timber-focused production plan. We’ve learned quite a bit about forest management since then. The new plan focuses on ecosystem management, in trying to balance various uses, impacts and needs of the forests.”

Read more . . .

Groups want action on Forest Jobs and Recreation Act

According to an editorial in today’s Flathead Beacon, a bunch of the groups behind the development of the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act are getting cranky about its slow passage through the halls of Congress . . .

Yet another year of gridlock has passed. It’s time for our lawmakers to finally come together and pass the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (FJRA). If implemented, here’s what will happen locally on the Kootenai National Forest (KNF)…

Continue reading . . .