Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Express Gratitude for Wildfire Protection Work
While smoke is in the air, it’s a good time to recognize that in Lincoln County, major progress is being made in taking steps to reduce wildfire risk by the Forest Service and other land managers.
The local authorities’ focus on identifying treatment priorities and working on the ground is really paying off and delivering results.
Many people in our community are working on these efforts and they certainly deserve our gratitude.
Many hectares of fuel treatments are already underway, additional projects have recently been approved, and other large-scale projects are underway.
Treatments typically include thinning and reduction of understory and scale fuels, sometimes in conjunction with prescribed setbacks along roads.
This work is prioritized to focus on the urban wilderness interface. WUI landowners can expect to see harvesters, chewers and other equipment near your backyard, working to create conditions unfavorable for dangerous fires.
Additionally, landowners have considerable resources to design and execute projects on their own private property.
Lots of information can be found at www.fireadaptedkootenai.org
Thanks to extensive work over the past few years to identify and analyze the best opportunities for action, our community is now in a good position to use the additional resources provided by Congress to address wildfire threats in the West.
A prime example of this is the news that the Kootenai was one of only 10 western regions to receive one of the initial investments in the Landscape Infrastructure Bill, $19.3 million for expand local harm reduction projects.
Another key example is the US Forest Service’s decision to award $1.2 million in 2022 in Joint Chiefs funding to the Kootenai for the Libby Surround Stewardship Project.
These projects will respond to priorities identified in the Lincoln County Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the Montana Forest Action Plan, which were developed with the help of local experts and advisors.
Homeowners also have an important role to play in protecting the community from wildfires, by ensuring that their structures and landscaping are free of flammable materials and less vulnerable to flying embers which are the primary cause of fires. inflammation of houses.
The Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition would like to express its gratitude to the many individuals and agencies who are stepping up to help protect our community and its resources.
Tim Dougherty and Doug Ferrell