Pyramid Mountain Lumber of Seeley Lake, Montana, nears completion of logging project on 765 acres in Bitterroot National Forest; official says work will provide 4 mmbf of timber, reduce hazardous fuels, protect ponderosa pines from mountain pine beetle

HAMILTON, Montana , September 30, 2013 (press release) – The Stevensville Ranger District is planning to close the Bass Creek Overlook Road #1136 next week to allow logging operations to occur at the Bass Creek Recreation Area. The road will be closed next Monday October 7th through Saturday October 12th. The closure will occur at the junction of Road #1136 and Charles Waters Campground entrance. Hikers, horseback riders, and others are encouraged to park near the upper loop of the campground which will be open next week, to access Bass Creek Trailhead.

The closure is necessary as crews will be yarding logs on the road. There will also be heavy logging equipment working in the area. The unit nearest the campground and trailhead is one of the last in the project to be thinned. Contractors held off doing the work until now to try and not disrupt activities during the summer camping season.

Logging operations began in May. Pyramid Mountain Lumber of Seeley Lake is thinning 765-acres to improve forest health, and to save and protect many of the areas large and distinctive ponderosa pine trees from mountain pine beetle attacks. The project will provide nearly 4 million board feet of timber (1,100 truckloads) to Montana sawmills. Along with the timber harvest, it will also reduce hazardous fuels and fire hazards created by dead, dying, and diseased trees.

“We can finally see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Stevensville District Ranger Dan Ritter. “We anticipate most of the work will be completed and this area will re-open in the next few weeks. I would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding with these closures which helped us complete the logging operation in a safe and timely manner.”

The forest is reminding drivers that there will be logging traffic on Highway 93 near the recreation area through mid-October. Those using the pedestrian-bike trail along the highway in the Bass Creek area should also use extra caution around Bass Creek Road.

For project updates, closure maps and information visit www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot or contact the Stevensville Ranger District at (406) 777-5461. Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.


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