The Forest Service says it will meet with objectors to its plan to log and burn a nearly 18,000 acre area in Helena’s municipal watershed.
The Tenmile-South Helena Vegetation Project was proposed in 2014 to reduce fire danger and protect water quality around Chessman reservoir, an area with a lot of homes in the wildland-urban interface.
Objectors include the Montana Wilderness Association, Wild Earth Guardians, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Concerns include the proposed project’s impact on wildlife habitat, and its effectiveness at preventing fire.
The objectors made their concerns known earlier this year. As part of its public process, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest will meet with them to discuss possible solutions on December 5.
The project includes building 13 miles of new, temporary roads, 28 miles of road re-construction and decommissioning 59 miles of roads. It would also build more than 18 miles of new trails.
After meeting with objectors, the agency will issue a final Record of Decision on the project, which it hopes to carry out over a 20 year period.
Find more information on the Tenmile-South Helena project here, including project maps and documents.