Forestry wood innovations

presentation in Libby

Local Forester and Society of American Foresters member April Rainey presented a program entitled State and Private Forestry, U.S.D.A. Wood Innovations on Thursday evening, Feb. 28 at the Venture Inn.

Rainey worked a three month detail in Washington, D.C., with other wood products folks from the U.S. and around the world. Results of testing by government and university researchers show that cross laminated timber (CLT) can equal the strength and flexibility of concrete and steel.

Currently, innovative building technology is undertaking constructing large skyscraper design buildings with wood.

Rainey’s very professionally delivered program emphasized encouraging the public to use more wood products, which are a great renewable resource. Expanded use of CLT products could bring economic and social benefits to timber regions such as the Kootenai area of Northwest Montana, once a top timber producing location of the world.

By Brian Baxter




New forest

service project

decision signed

Kootenai Forest Supervisor, Christopher Savage,  announced on Feb. 26 that he has signed the decision for the West Surprise Vegetation Management Project located on the Libby Ranger District.

The signed decision authorizes vegetation management activities on 2,996 acres which includes commercial timber harvesting, broadcast burning, and road management activities which will trend the project area towards desired conditions as described in the Kootenai National Forest 2015 Land Management Plan.

“I am pleased to announce that I have signed the decision memo on the West Surprise Vegetation Management project,” said Kootenai Forest Supervisor Christopher Savage. “This project will implement much needed vegetation management activities, fuels treatments, and roads management activities.”

Public involvement included a public meeting which helped develop the proposed action, identify environmental issues for analysis, and informed the decision. These efforts included discussions with tribes, state and county government, general public, and timber industry representatives.

The West Surprise Vegetation Management project is located approximately ten miles south east of Libby. The project area is 18,108 acres however; treatments/activities will occur on approximately 2,996 acres. While there are non-Forest Service lands in the project area, activities would only occur on National Forest System (NFS) lands. Implementation of this decision is expected to begin in late summer of 2019.

The West Surprise Vegetation Management Project area is designated as part of an insect and disease treatment area in accordance with the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA), Section 602, as amended by the Agriculture Act (Farm Bill) of 2014.

Adjacent to the project area, travelers should be alert for increased vehicle traffic, including logging trucks. The Decision Memo is available on the Kootenai National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54942. For more information about this project, contact John Carlson, Project Leader, at 406-283-7634.

Submitted by Willie Sykes




FSPW scholarship application now available

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness announced last week that the 2019 high school essay contest is now open.

The program is an annual chance for seniors in Libby, Troy, Thompson Falls and Noxon, Montana; and Clark Fork, Sandpoint and Priest River, Idaho, to win a cash prize for the best essay written on the theme, “A memorable wilderness experience.” This may be a story of the author or a story related to the author by a friend or relative. The event may have happened in any wild place, and must show non-motorized activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, berry picking, or horseback riding.

Entries and application forms may be sent by email to sandy@scotchma

peaks.org or by U.S. mail to “Scholarships, P.O. Box 2016, Sandpoint, ID 83864.”

Entries should be between 500 and 750 words, double spaced, ideally in Microsoft Word or a clean hard copy that can be scanned. Entrants should also send a current, high resolution picture of themselves with their entry. Pictures taken in wild places are best.

Prizes of $500 will be given to the best essay overall, as well as the best essay from Sanders and Lincoln Counties, Montana, and Bonner County, Idaho, not including best overall.

This contest has no minimum GPA, nor does it require any plans for higher education. The prizes are paid directly to the winning students upon graduation, and may be used as they see fit.

Entry forms may be downloaded at bit.ly//2019FSPWScholarship. Essays must be received by April 15, 2019

Submitted by Sandy Compton



Snow plow

versus 4B’s sign mishap

The 4B’s restaurant located at 422 W. 2nd St. in Libby had a snow attack unintentionally befall their sign near Hwy. 2. The sign now looks sadly misshapen and dislodged from it’s frame.

Miguel, the 4B’s manager happened to be looking out the window when a snow plow drove by and hit the sign with snow, causing the damage. At this time, it is uncertain if it was a city or county snow plow that ultimately snowed in and potentially damaged the sign. 4B’s will be looking to see if repairs are needed or if it will be an easy fix.

“This happens every year and it’s very frustrating. Usually we just fix it again each year. This year the sign got hit by snow from both directions,” said 4B’s General Manager Chad Brown. “But it’s likely not ruined, it’s fine. When the snow goes down, hopefully we can get the sign out of the snow and fix it. It’s off kilter, but we should be able to slide the panels back in with minimal work. It may just need some screws.”

So, what happens when a snow plow driver accidentally hits a sign or runs over your car? Is there something that you can do to make it right? Or is there a normal understanding that these things just happen? If you or someone you know has been the victim of a snowplow accident or property damage resulting from a snow plow, contact the police or sheriff’soffice to report it. Anyone that is driving should be doing so in a safe manner at all times, especially those who are driving equipment three times the size of an average car.

“If there was or is ever an accident, then it would be thoroughly investigated. And then it would be turned over to our insurance for review of the claim,” said Jim Hammons, Libby’s City Administrator.

Lets also remember that all of our city, state and independent snowplow drivers are doing  the best they can. We are grateful for those who plow us out so we can drive safely on the roads.

By Danielle Nason

Rainey presents about forestry wood innovations at the Venture Inn last week.