USFS issues decision on Bonners Ferry Westside Restoration project

By Reader Staff

The Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests has prepared an environmental assessment along with a draft decision notice and “finding of no significant impact” for the Westside Restoration Project.

The project would conduct a variety of natural resource management activities within a 60,000-acre project area that includes the Cascade, Myrtle, Snow and Caribou Creek drainages. Ninety-eight percent of the project area occurs within the wildland urban interface of Boundary County, and includes all of Myrtle Creek — the current source of surface drinking water for the city of Bonners Ferry.

“We appreciate all the assistance we have received from the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative and the public during the planning and analysis phases of this collaborative project,” said District Ranger Kevin Knauth. “This public engagement and enthusiasm have been critical to the overall project design and in writing this draft decision.”

The project includes about 7,152 acres of commercial vegetation management, using mostly ground-based and skyline equipment. Non-commercial vegetation treatments include about 2,482 acres of prescribed burning and 1,730 acres of pre-commercial thinning. Additional activities would be implemented to improve the aquatic habitat, road safety, provide recreational opportunities and control noxious weeds, according to USFS officials.

A copy of the decision, maps and other supporting documents are available on the IPNF website at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56888. For more information, contact Jennifer Anderson, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at 208-610-8800 or [email protected]

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