Marshall Woods Environmental Assessment

Main Rattlesnake NRA road

Main Rattlesnake NRA road at the 1.7-mile mark, March 2013 (the ice isn’t nearly that bad this year!)

The Lolo National Forest has released its Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Marshall Woods Restoration Project, “an integrated project to improve forest stand conditions and reduce hazardous fuels in the lower Rattlesnake Creek drainage and the Marshall Creek-Woods Gulch area”.  They’re hosting a public meeting this coming Wednesday evening, March 18th, 6-8 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel. Public comment will be accepted through April 6th.  The RCWG is evaluating the proposed actions this month and we’ll be submitting comments.

As you can see from the the Lolo NF links and the Google Earth view below, this project is pretty big–the project area encompasses about 20 square miles, and “treatment” (mainly thinning and prescribed burning, along with some trail and road modification and noxious weed control) is proposed for almost 4,000 acres within the Rattlesnake and Marshall Creek watersheds.

I requested GIS layers for Preferred Alternative B and created the Google Earth view below (I’ll add a link to the .kmz file later this weekend–meanwhile please email me if you want to look at the map data).

Google Earth view of Marshall Woods Alternative B treatment areas

Marshall Woods treatment areas proposed under Alternative B

Concerns have been raised about log truck traffic along the Rattlesnake Recreation Area road and within the populated areas of the Rattlesnake Valley. The current EA is the culmination of a lengthy planning process involving a range of stakeholder input. Please consider attending the public meeting on March 18th, and along with commenting on the EA, please contact the RCWG if you have questions or concerns.

Photos from the Marshall Woods EA

Examples of Marshall Woods Project units within the Rattlesnake NRA

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About Eric Edlund

A geographer

Posted on March 14, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Congratulations on the restoration project near the horse bridge. Very well done. FYI Only @ two of the ponderosa planted here are surviving. Not sure if the best time to replace them is in the spring or fall but might I suggest they be replaced with P. pines from further up the trail? There would be no cost for the trees and it would make an interesting project for some intrepid individual and would be a short term easy project. Also, trees taken from the immediate area stand a better chance of survival.

    As an aside– last year when all those boulders were piled at the restoration site I told people that there had been a landslide. Absolutely amazing how many people believed it!

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