The Gallatin National Forest is seeking public comments on the Lonesome Wood Vegetation Management 2 (LW2) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The LW2 project considers the effects of a vegetation management project near West Yellowstone that would treat about 2,900 acres in the wildland urban interface (WUI) along the west shore of Hebgen Lake (FS Road #167).

The original decision and environmental assessment for this project was published in December 2008 and subsequently withdrawn due to the re-listing of the grizzly bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The LW2 project is designed to increase firefighter and public safety, reduce wildland fire risks to private and National Forest System properties in the WUI, and reinvigorate aspen stands in the area. The proposal includes a mixture of fuels treatments including approximately 2,525 acres of forest thinning (mechanized and hand) and 325 acres of small tree removal followed by prescribed burning. Associated activities include road construction, reclamation and re-vegetation.

Nearly 370 acres of the proposed treatments lie within the Lionhead Inventoried Roadless Area and include thinning of mostly smaller trees with prescribed burning.

According to the Gallatin National Forest, Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative because it meets the project’s purpose and need most effectively and incorporates most mitigation and design elements developed throughout the analysis and the 2008 decision.

The comment period is expected to end on or about Nov. 7, 2011. Written comments can be sent to Gallatin National Forest, Attn: Lonesome Wood 2, 3710 Fallon Street Suite C, Bozeman, MT 59718. Comments can be submitted electronically at comments-northern-gallatin@fs.fed.us or via fax to (406) 522-2528.

Copies of the DEIS are available at fs.usda.gov/gallatin