The Forest Service has completed an environmental assessment on its proposed Stovepipe Project in the Tally Lake area. The project includes logging, controlled burns, and a small recreation component. As you will see below, FAMB's concerns are mostly centered on the potential damage to high-use trails within the project area. We feel that the project can be modified very slightly with little if any loss to logging operations in a manner that would prevent significant damage to a two high-use Tally trails.
For more info on the project, visit:
To submit comments:
Email in word (.doc or .docx)/PDF/.rtf format to Project Team Leader MacKenzie, with "Stovepipe Project" in the subject line, to:
Comments will be accepted through (on or around) April 21, or more exactly: 30 days from publication of the notice in the Daily Inter Lake.
FAMB submitted the following comments on the Stovepipe Project EA today:
Dear Project Team Leader MacKenzie,
Please accept these comments on behalf of the Flathead Area Mountain Bikers (FAMB) regarding the Stovepipe Project. FAMB does not take issue with the majority of the proposed action, but we feel that several small adjustments can be made to better serve the recreation community.
The Tally area is heavily used for all manner of recreation, and there are quite a few trails within the project area. Some of the most popular trails run along, or near the boundary of the project area. Our primary concern is damage to these trails from logging activities. We feel that minor adjustments to unit boundaries could effectively avoid these trails without a significant reduction in the overall size of the project.
Specifically, units 60, 112, 114, 521, 522, 532, and 538 are all on or near the Reid Divide trail (trail 800). Adjusting those units such that their western boundary ends 50 feet from the trail tread would prevent substantial damage to the trail and significant time and expense required in repairing the trail. It would also limit resource damage, as users (particularly motorized users, of which there are many on trail 800) tend to create new user built paths when faced with damage to the trail tread from logging. The boundary adjustments to those units would be relatively minor, as trail 800 already runs very close to the project boundary.
A similar concern exists for units 13, 17, 18, and 19 for the Tally Ridge Trail (trail 458). A relatively small adjustment to those units would keep all logging operations to the east of the trail tread and thus substantially reduce the time and effort required to maintain the trail.
There are also a number of non-system trails in units 13, 16, 24, 801, and 814. While there is no reasonable way to adjust the unit boundaries to avoid those trails, we do ask that any logging contracts require efforts to minimize damage to trails in those areas. The trails are well established and popular, and substantial damage to the trails would likely lead to new user built trails to serve as replacement routes. We feel that it would be preferable to preserve the trails in their existing locations.
Thank you for your consideration,
/s/ Dan Hansen
Flathead Area Mountain Bikers
Flathead Area Mountain Bikers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is working to promote mountain biking and improve trail access in the Flathead Valley.