Governor Announces Project to Help Manage Federal Lands
Governor Greg Gianforte announced this week a program to help manage Montana's federal lands. The Good Neighbor Authority Timber Sale in Lincoln County is scheduled to begin operations this month. Benefits as a result of this project will include reduction of hazardous fuels in the wildland-urban interface to decrease the potential for high-intensity wildfire, and increased forest resilience to insect and disease occurrence.
“The Good Neighbor Authority Timber Sale in Libby is a promising step forward as we work to more actively manage our federal lands. I’m committed to increasing our use of the Good Neighbor Authority so we can have healthier forests, prevent catastrophic wildfires, improve wildlife habitat, increase recreational opportunities, and bring back good-paying Montana timber jobs,” Governor Gianforte said.
The project is officially named “Skidale” is located near Libby Montana. “The Skidale project is a great example of how agencies working together can get more work done,” Libby District Ranger Nathan Gassmann said.
Established under the 2014 Farm Bill, the Good Neighbor Authority allows states, counties, and tribes to enter into agreements to work as agents of the federal government and provide authorized restoration services on National Forest System Lands. Using GNA, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation entered into an agreement with the Kootenai National Forest to prepare, award, and administer harvest activities for the GNA Skidale project.
The work will be done by Kneller Logging Inc of Libby who was awarded the contract for $45.71 per ton. Operations are expected to start this month. While felling and skidding is in progress, the the trail system will be closed. Trail closure signs will be posted at all access points.