Work to thin 1,770 acres of Bitterroot National Forest lands between Lake Como and Lost Horse Canyon will get underway in the next couple of weeks. Pyramid Mountain Lumber Co. of Seeley Lake was awarded the timber contract for the Como Forest Health Project on the Darby Ranger District this week.

“We will be working to put in some of the initial roadwork in the next couple of weeks,” said Pyramid resource manager Gordy Sanders. “We’re still a few weeks out before we begin harvesting.” Sanders expects that most of the harvest work will be completed through the winter months. “We should be there until spring,” he said.

The project’s focus is improving forest health and reducing hazardous fuels while maintaining the scenic qualities of the area popular for recreation. The project calls for a commercial timber harvest on 1,040 acres and non-commercial thinning on another 730 acres to reduce tree density. The project also calls for use of prescribed fire.

The project area was identified as “high priority” for fuels reduction in the wildland-urban interface as part of the Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The Lake Como area is one of the most popular recreation areas on national forest lands in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region.

From The Missoulian: