Let’s Discuss: The Black Ram Project on the Kootenai

Black Ram protests.

Matthew put together a press release today, and this was part of that:

The Black Ram project in northwestern Montana and the U.S. Forest Service will allow more than 4,000 acres of commercial land, including the cutting of more than 1,700 acres and hundreds of hectares of old trees. These rare, old forests are a carbon storage champion, which reduces the effects of climate change. On June 30, 2022, security forces filed a lawsuit against the Tree and Road Construction Project.

Rick Bass, chairman of the Jacques Valley Forest Council, said: “Primary forests in the proposed Black Ram project on the Cotina National Forest can store up to 1,900 metric tons of biomass per hectare. Forestry is being degraded in broad daylight, racing to cut down the last old forests in the backyard – getting into wet swamps, nowhere to go. Climate change turned into greed.

“This report shows that logging is a critical threat to mature and aging forests,” said Adam Reese, managing director of WildEarth Guardians. “The need for urgent and meaningful protection could not be further clarified and in the meantime we will continue to oppose forestry services when the agency seeks to destroy important habitats for animals such as the Grisley Bears and Canadian Lynx.”

Here is the forest side of the story (from the press release on the last DNA):

Black Ram is a science-based rehabilitation project northwest of Troy, Montg. The project is designed to move into the desired conditions outlined in the 2015 forest plan, including long-term growth and maturity of mature trees in the landscape. The project uses eco-friendly therapies based on traditional ecological knowledge to improve forest health and improve fire, insect and disease resilience and climate change, and to recruit and maintain forest development, which is home to the traditional Cothenian culture of Idaho and the Confederate Salish and Kotenai tribes. Environmental assessment has analyzed an estimated 2.2 million acres of forest over 95,000 acres. 37% of the project area is in the Wildland Urban Interface. Project activities include wood harvesting, mechanical and manual reduction for fuel reduction, wildlife and underwater habitat improvement, ordered incineration, stream rehabilitation, and trail and recreation improvements. More than 2,000 hectares will have less than four percent of the wood area in the project area, including Western White Pine Renovation. There will be no harvest until the 2023 calendar year and only after the additional main habitat has been confirmed for the Bears.

All treatments in designated areas of development are designed to maintain and improve existing developmental characteristics on the landscape and to ensure that they are sustainable in the future as set out in the forest plan. Old-fashioned production is not planned unless it is necessary for public safety or to address pests or diseases. Project goals include restoring large and healthy trees and building resilience in the future. Grisley bear protections will also be implemented and the project will improve the production of hackerberries, which is a major source of food for bears. The project is the result of widespread public participation and government consultation with ethnic groups. The Black Ram project is located in the state of Katunaksa, and the area around the project is important for the culture and religion of the Idaho tribe of Kutenai. “The tribe supports the Black Ram project because it protects our Ktunaxa resources, restores the Ktunaxa Territory forests and builds on our relationship with the United States Government and the United States Forest Service,” said Gary Ittken Jr., Vice President, Idaho Tribe.

As we have seen, Bass is a prolific writer. But to the end-

– Cleaning
– Cut down old growth forests
– Entering the swamp
– Sowing hundreds of hectares of “hundred years” trees .. (not old growth).

“There is no old development except for public safety or the protection of insects or disease,” says Cutenai Forest.
I haven’t seen anything about “swamps” but you can imagine how wet the soil is in EA.
The Kutenai tribe also supports the project.

But the concern in the carbon forest press release was mostly about carbon and old growth. So the questions remain and we can dig into them.

Do KF and RB agree on the definition of “old growth”?
Do KF and RB agree on the definition of “clear cut”?

If KF says, “There is no harvest of old growth,” except for “public safety or to solve pests or diseases,” does the farmer say this is the right behavior?
If not, why not? Where and why do these sources disagree, especially about this project?
Can we go down to the Sylvulcher instructions on the matter?

We’ve been digging into this project on a project in NW California before, and at the end of the day, I think it really helped us understand each other.

What I thought was interesting about the protests was how few there were when the media focused on this particular project. Opponents seem to be the most common of any tree-cutting projects in Region 1. So why the unusual interest rate?
Here is the link to the problem response letter. It is full of links to explanations in EA. I think you can get a good idea of ​​what it’s like to work on these projects by reading the comments, reading the answers and following the links in the analysis.

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