Feds give emergency status to new Seeley logging project

Joshua Murdock

The U.S. Forest Service this week announced a plan to log and thin nearly 8,000 acres on the Lolo National Forest immediately north of Seeley Lake along Highway 83.

In a cover letter announcing the project, Seeley District Ranger Quinn Carver said the project was granted an emergency action determination by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack because it takes place in two “firesheds” the federal government determined to be among the 250 most high-risk areas for wildfire in the nation. The determination allows the Forest Service to skip a step of the project’s public approval process: soliciting and responding to formal objections before the project is finally approved and implemented.

But the agency is still seeking comments on the proposal, due by the end of Sept. 28. Comments can be submitted online via the project’s webpage, fs.usda.gov/project/lolo/?project=64580, or mailed or hand-delivered to: ATTN: North Seeley Wildland Urban Interface – Highway 83, Seeley Lake Ranger District, 3583 Highway 83, Seeley Lake, MT 59868.

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