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Bitterroot Forest Starts Logging Near Como

Bitterroot trees are under attack by beetles. (KLYQ photo)

For the next few weeks, logging traffic is expected on roads around Lake Como in the Bitterroot National Forest northwest of Darby.

The 210-acre project is under contract with Bob Walker of Darby and will include an area closure that should be lifted this spring. The closure is on the north side of the lake and includes the lower campground area, beginning at the junction with Forest Roads #1111 and #550. The closure will not affect the cross country ski trails on the south side of the lake.

The trees to be cut have been killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle, which has been devastating forests throughout the Northwest over the last few years. the Como project will send about 700,000 board feet of timber to Montana sawmills, according to Public Affairs Officer Tod McKay.

McKay said that if the trees were not removed, the campgrounds could have been closed because they would be a falling hazard. The removal of the trees will help strengthen the remaining trees against future beetle attacks.

The Forest Service is also removing trees from campgrounds on the Sula and West Fork Ranger Districts, along with thinning infested trees this summer at Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski Area.

Insecticide and pheromones are included in the fight against the mountain pine beetle in the Bitterroot.

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