The District Ranger for the Rocky Mountain Ranger District, Michael Munoz, announced last Friday that he initiated a 45-day objection period for the Elk Smith Project. The objection period allows individuals and organizations the opportunity to review a Supplemental Environmental Assessment and draft Decision Notice and file an objection if they have concerns with the project. A Notice of Opportunity to Object was published in Helena, Montana’s principal newspaper affiliate, the Independent Record, on September 18th. The Supplemental Environmental Assessment and draft Decision Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58765. These documents are also available for review at the Rocky Mountain Ranger District Office in Choteau, Montana. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Michael Munoz, Rocky Mountain District Ranger at (406) 466-5341.
The Elk Smith Project is located on the Rocky Mountain Ranger District about 15 miles southwest of Augusta, Montana. The purpose of this project is to reduce fuels on 10,329 acres utilizing a combination of treatments, including hand-slashing small conifers and prescribed burning. These proposed activities would reduce fuel loading, which would increase the potential to effectively manage wildfires, especially relative to personnel safety and financial costs within the project area and on lands immediately to the west. This project contains no commercial timber harvest and no road building. This project falls entirely within Lewis and Clark County which is covered by the Tri-County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.