Project would remove dead trees along forest roads

Beetle-killed trees may be removed along 750 miles of roads, in six campgrounds and in 11 administrative sites within the Helena National Forest because the trees could fall down and hurt people.

Forest officials propose felling standing dead and dying trees that are within 1.5-tree heights — between 75 and 175 feet — from the edge of scores of roads, beginning in the spring of 2009.

The trees could be left on site, stacked or chipped, or removed from an area. Depending on the number of dead or infected trees in an area, the forest officials said they believe when the project is completed the impacted areas could look either like an area that’s been thinned, or a clearcut with scattered regeneration.