Viewpoint: Fruitful meeting with Forest Service
I attended the Bitterroot Forest Field Trip on June 24th to the Lost Horse Lake Como area to discuss the proposed Bitterroot Front Project.
During the meeting, it came to light that the sawmills are no longer set up to mill logs over 21” in diameter and do not typically want logs of over 19” in diameter.
Steve Brown, Stevensville District Ranger, agreed in concept to leave any logs 21” or greater that the Fores Service deems necessary to fell on the ground (Ideally, NO large trees will be felled during this project).
This is a great win for the forest! Logs, especially large logs will take decades to decompose during which time they will make our forest a richer environment for wildlife.
Also, the remaining trees will be much more drought resistant because dead trees hold water and release it over time. Hydrated trees burn slower. Whether on the ground or on the stump, dead trees are less flammable every year.
Wood boring insects will thrive in these logs and emerge and or be excavated from them to feed everything from endangered woodpecker to bears. Carbon will be maintained in the forest and trees in the vicinity will grow at a faster rate and be better able to sequester more carbon.
Thanks Steve, the forest ecosystem will be a much richer environment and able to support more wildlife and healthier trees with this small concession.