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Letters: Scrap the Soldier-Butler timber sale in Ninemile

The Forest Service’s planned 10,000-acre Soldier-Butler timber sale in the middle of the Ninemile Valley needs to be scrapped. The Ninemile is designated habitat for female grizzly bears and their cubs and home to other native wildlife, including wolves, moose, elk, and lynx. 

And despite a history of mining and logging, it’s still a wild place just outside of Missoula where wildlife can cross into the 90,000-acre Great Burn proposed wilderness.

Missoula County, along with non-profit partners, have spent $5 million restoring water quality and fish habitat in the Ninemile, repairing damage from decades of mining, dredging, and roadbuilding.

The Soldier-Butler timber sale would clog Ninemile Creek and other waterways with sediment from 16 miles of new logging roads, undoing the restoration work that was just completed.

And if all this weren’t reason enough to drop this plan, the Forest Service admits they’ll lose $5 million of taxpayer money logging our public lands here.

Contact the FS and urge them to drop this plan: Cheryl Probert, Supervisor, Lolo National Forest, 24 Fort Missoula Rd, Missoula, MT 59804.

Dawn Serra, Missoula