Acting Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele has signed a final decision for the Lolo Insect and Disease project, located on the Lochsa–Powell Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests approximately 16 air miles northeast of Kamiah. Steele has selected a modification of Alternative 5 for the final decision, which addresses forest health concerns while considering multiple objectives and resource needs within the project area.

The final project decision was developed based on environmental analyses, the project’s purpose and need, public input during the planning process, and consultation with the Nez Perce Tribe. It outlines regeneration and intermediate harvest on about 3,387 acres followed by reforestation of disease–resistant and fire–resilient vegetation species like western white pine, Ponderosa pine, and western larch. The project will also include watershed improvement and roadwork activities. Although within the project area, no timber harvest will take place within the Eldorado Creek Roadless Area or Lolo Trail National Historic Landmark as part of this project.

“It will be great to start implementing this project soon to begin to address some of the insect and disease concerns in this watershed,” Steele said. “Our employees worked hard to get us here. My appreciation goes out to the interdisciplinary team that put this project together.”

The first timber sale associated with the Lolo Insect and Disease project is expected to be advertised later this summer.

The Lolo Insect and Disease project area comprises approximately 78,500 acres of National Forest System lands in the Lolo Creek drainage of the Clearwater River sub–basin.

The project was developed in response to widespread tree mortality due to root disease and insect activity. The purpose of the project is to improve forest resistance and resilience to wildfire, insects, and disease; utilize dead, dying, and high–risk trees in a timely manner; restore natural disturbance patterns, and improve watershed conditions and wildlife habitat. Timber sales associated with the project will be used to offset project costs, support local communities and economies, and provide for local and regional forest management objectives.

More information about the Lolo Insect and Disease project, including the Record of Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement, is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=41466

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