WESTSIDE RESTORATION PROJECT

Bonners Ferry, Idaho, October 28, 2021 – The Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests (IPNF) has issued a final decision notice and finding of no significant impact (DN/FONSI) for the Westside Restoration Project.

The project will conduct a variety of natural resource management activities within a 60,000-acre project area that includes the Cascade, Myrtle, Snow, and Caribou Creek drainages. Ninety-eight percent of the project area occurs within the wildland urban interface of Boundary County, Idaho and includes all of Myrtle Creek—the current source of surface drinking water for the City of Bonners Ferry. "Signing the decision for the Westside Restoration Project marks the culmination of many hours of collaboration with the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative and the public," said District Ranger Kevin Knauth. "This collaboration was crucial to developing a project that restores the vitality of our public lands while considering the values of the local community." This decision authorizes 7,152 acres of commercial timber harvest in the project area using primarily ground-based and skyline equipment. Post-harvest fuels reduction activities will include slashing of small trees and shrubs, followed by either prescribed burning of the surface fuels or piling them with an excavator and burning the piles. Non-commercial vegetation treatments will also be implemented, including 2,482 acres of natural fuels prescribed burning (no timber harvest in these areas) and 1,730 acres of pre-commercial thinning. Additional activities will be conducted to improve aquatic habitat, road safety, provide recreational improvements and opportunities, and control noxious weeds. A copy of the DN/FONSI, maps, and other supporting documents are available on the IPNF website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56888. For more information, contact Jennifer Anderson, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at (208) 610-8800 or jennifer.anderson3@usda.gov.