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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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DNRC opens public scoping for proposed Bozeman-area timber harvest

BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) today opened an initial public scoping process to evaluate a potential timber harvest project on state trust lands in the Limestone / Nichols Creek area southwest of Bozeman.

 Harvest activities would encompass up to 850 acres within five state sections totaling 2,725 acres. Craig Campbell, DNRC Bozeman Unit Manager, said public input will help the department determine the extent of the project.

 “This is an important natural area for many Bozeman residents,” Campbell said. “Public scoping is the start of a dialogue between DNRC and the community. We want to explain our goals for managing these lands and we want residents to share their comments and concerns. The input we receive will help us develop design alternatives going forward.”

 After the initial scoping, Campbell said the Department will produce a more detailed project proposal, along with opportunities for further public review and comment, including a public meeting in early summer.

 Campbell said lodgepole pine in the area have been infested by mountain pine beetle; a majority of the trees are now dead or dying, with the remaining healthy trees at high risk for infestation. Douglas fir stands aren’t reaching their full growth potential due to overstocked growing conditions, and would benefit from selective harvesting methods, he said.

 The project objectives are focused on managing the forest to promote improved health, productivity and diversity; to capture the value of dead or dying lodgepole pine; to generate revenue for trust beneficiaries; to minimize the wildfire and safety risks associated with these conditions; and to enhance and expand the existing transportation system to provide access for long-term management of the area and to support fire suppression operations.

 The Montana DNRC’s Trust Lands Management Division oversees 5.2 million acres of land held in trust for the support of public schools and other public institutions. The State Board of Land Commissioners and DNRC are required by law to manage trust lands to produce revenue for trust beneficiaries while also considering environmental factors and protecting the long-term income-generating capacity of the land.

 Trust lands in the Limestone West area benefit the Montana School of Mines and fund maintenance of public buildings across Montana.

 Public comments on the proposed Limestone West timber harvest will be accepted at any point during the MEPA process. Campbell said he hopes to receive initial public concerns and issues by April 10, 2016. Comments may be submitted via the following:


By standard mail:  Chuck Barone, Project Leader:  ATT  LIMESTONE WEST PROPOSED TIMBER SALE, Montana DNRC, 2273 Boot Hill Court, Ste. 110, Bozeman, MT 59715

 By email:

 On the Web:  DNRC has created a Web page for the project, at

Maps, photos, updates on public meetings, a link to DNRC’s Forest Management Plan, press releases and other information will be posted as it becomes available.