Daines, Gianforte Applaud Announcement of Kootenai National Forest Restoration Project

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte applauded the Forest Service’s announcement that they will sign the Cub Creek Salvage Project located on the Cabinet Ranger District in Sanders County.  

“Last year’s wildfires devastated our forests and harmed communities,” said Daines. “This critical project will restore areas on the Kootenai National Forest devastated by last year’s Cub Creek Fire while supporting good-paying Montana timber jobs.”

“Montana survived last year’s devastating wildfire season, but over a million acres burned, leaving smoke hanging in the air and threatening our health,” Gianforte said. “The Cub Creek Salvage Project will begin crucial salvage and reforestation projects that improve forest health and get our timber workers back to work.”

“We are happy to hear the Cub Creek Fire area has received an ESD declaration. It is important to quickly harvest the burnt timber while it still has economical value while at the same time creating employment opportunities. We appreciate Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte for their support of the timber industry and his efforts to improve management of our forests,” said Tony Cox, Sanders County Commissioner.

Background: This decision focuses on areas where treatments would be the most effective on the landscape while minimizing impacts to forest resources.

  • The Cub Creek Salvage Project was developed with extensive public involvement.
  • Public involvement helped develop the modified proposed action, identify environmental issues for analysis, and inform the decision.
  • These efforts included discussions with Tribes, state and county government, general public, local collaborative groups, and timber industry representatives.
  • The purpose of this project is to reduce the roadside hazard trees affecting public health and safety, restore portions of the landscape burned by wildfire through reforestation, and recover forest economic value and benefits through salvage, generating income in local communities as well as revenues to support project objectives.
  • This project will include salvaging approximately 1,477 acres of dead and dying trees for recovery of economic value and providing for reforestation.
  • It will generate 12 million board feet of timber.
  • Implementation of this decision is expected to begin in late summer of 2018 and last up to three years.

Daines and Gianforte announced approval of West Fork Salvage and Restoration Project earlier this month.

On May 24, 2018, Daines sent a letter to Vicki Christiansen, Interim Chief of the Forest Service, requesting immediate action on the National Forest System lands in Montana impacted by the 2017 wildfires.