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Date: May 22, 2007
Contact: Marilyn Krause (406-533-7617)
BLM Plans Vegetation Treatments In The Scratchgravel Hills
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to treat vegetation in four areas of the Scratchgravel Hills north of Helena to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildland fire in areas where development mingles with wildland vegetation. This area is known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
The public is invited to submit comments or issues to be considered in the environmental assessment by June 8. Comments should be submitted to: Scratchgravel Fuels Project, BLM, 106 N. Parkmont, Butte MT 59701 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The need for vegetative treatment was reinforced through a fuels risk assessment of the Helena Valley completed in 2004. Substantial residential development in the area emphasizes the need to reduce hazardous fuels and possible clearing of roads to allow for safe fire suppression if a wildland fire were to occur.
BLM proposes to use treatment methods such as mechanical removal and/or prescribed burning. Another option is to use “stewardship contracts” to provide BLM the ability to trade removed products for services. BLM is also anticipating using some of the vegetative products in programs such as the “Fuels for Schools” program, as opposed to the traditional practice of burning slash.
If you have questions or need more detailed information on the treatment proposals including a map of the project area, please contact Charles Tuss, project leader, at the Butte Field Office, (406) 533-7634.