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Forest officials seeking comment on Trojan Defense project

by The Western News
| March 22, 2024 7:00 AM

The Three Rivers Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest is accepting public comments on the Trojan Defense Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project environmental assessment. 

The comment period runs through April 12.

The Trojan Defense Project Area is located west and southwest of Troy. The area of analysis is a mixed ownership of, and intermingled within, rural areas of Forest Service, private timber lands and residential homes and businesses outside of the Troy city limits.

All proposed treatment would occur on Forest Service lands only. The project area includes 4,300 acres of Forest Service land from the South side road to Iron Creek Road including McConnell Mountain, Callahan Creek, and Iron Creek.

The project area is located within the Lincoln County Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) which was designated to identify areas where hazardous fuels could pose risks to Troy and other communities. 

This project has been designed as part of ongoing cross-boundary efforts to connect past, present and future activities to reduce and mitigate wildfire threats to the Troy community. Please note that any proposed treatments would occur only on Forest Service lands.

For an overview of the Trojan Defense Project, check out the Trojan Defense Hazardous Fuels Reduction project video at https://usda-fs.wistia.com/medias/x2uo26gby9.

To view the environmental assessment and supporting documentation for the Trojan Defense project, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=64354.

How to Comment and Timeframe

Specific written comments on the environmental assessment will be accepted for 30 calendar days following public notification of the legal notice in the Missoulian (Missoula, Montana). The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. The comment period will be open March 14 to April 12.

Electronic comments can be submitted through CARA (Comment Analysis and Response Application) using the following web address: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=64354. On the right side of the page under the Get Connected tab click on Comment/Object on Project and then submit your comments via the form on this page.

Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: District Ranger, Three Rivers Ranger District, 12858 US Highway 2, Troy, Montana 59935, FAX: (406) 295-7410.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and will be available for public inspection.

The district received an emergency action determination through section 40807 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Projects authorized under this emergency authority adhere to specific requirements and follow several processes as compared to non-emergency Forest Service projects. 

The Forest Service will review the comments and then will issue a final decision. After the analysis is completed and a decision signed by Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Chad Benson, implementation could begin immediately.

This is the time to comment on the project, even if you commented earlier, please do so again during this comment period.

Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from: Lisa Osborn, Project Leader, at 406-295-4693 or e-mail lisa.osborn@usda.gov or Sam Martin, District Ranger at 406-295-4693 or email sam.a.martin@usda.gov.