USFS Ripley field trip

By Dawn Manchester


On Wednesday, May 8, a small yet diverse group of adventurous community members met at the Libby Airport at 10 a.m. to take part in the Ripley Project Field Trip.

The group of enthusiastic community members explored most of the Forest Service’s Ripley field project while having their questions answered by Libby District employees. While on the trip, they visited many different aspects of the project. Some of the most basic topics of conversation included fire and fuels, pre-commercial thinning, roads, and partnerships.

The total area of the project field is approximately 28,210 acres, according to Willie Sykes from the U.S. Forest Service-Kootenai National Forest. The project is located east of Libby and Highway 2 from Kootenai River south to the McMillan Mountain area.

“The field trip was a great way for interested people to come out and see for themselves potential vegetation management, roads issues, and desired outcomes from management in this area,” said Sykes.

Main focuses for the project include forest health issues, including insects and disease, hazardous fuels reduction, restoration, watershed improvements, and noxious weed treatment.