by Katherine Mozzone
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Conservation groups continue to fight against proposed logging and road-building in Bozeman’s Watershed and East Boulder Creek.
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court, Tuesday, against the two projects.
The Forest Service says it wants to clear some of the vegetation along roads and other areas to reduce the risk of a large wildfire.
Project managers say fire is the number one potential risk to the city’s water supply.
Yet, representatives at the Alliance for the Wild Rockies say the area should be left alone.
“It’s the number one recreation area for the forest service and to turn around and treat it this way, I think is a little bit questionable and maybe even disgraceful,” says Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ Steve Kelly.
Instead, Kelly says they want to Forest Service to back off and work on alternatives.
“Come up with a plan that really tries to enhance and manage the recreation and wildlife and get off this notion that they need to go up there and cut the trees down to protect people from fire. It doesn’t work. Fires run through big areas, clear cut areas. It doesn’t get any thinner than a clear cut,” says Kelly.
Alliance for the Wild Rockies reports the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Timber Sale is a ten-year logging project that authorizes over three thousand acres of logging. They say the East Boulder Timber sale would authorize 650 acres of logging and 2.1 miles of new road construction.