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More timber sales planned in national forests

Nov 30, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

The U.S. Forest Service has several timber sales planned for this winter in both the Lander and Dubois areas.

About 344,000 cubic feet of the timber set to be put up for bid is located off Long Creek Road, about 20 miles northwest of Dubois. That timber is mostly salvage of lodgepole pines killed by bark beetle.

Roughly 69,300 cubic feet of timber also set for sale is located near the Fremont County Youth Camp off of the Loop Road.

Another package of timber near Townsend Creek is also set to be put up for auction. The volume of that timber hasn't yet been calculated.

Yet another currently unspecified volume of timber near Union Pass is set to be put up for bid.

Geyser Creek

The forest service is also planning to re-offer the Geyser Creek timber sale in 2018. The product went without a bid earlier this year.

Rick Metzger, Dubois-area ranger for the Shoshone National Forest, said it's unusual to have a timber sale go without a bid. Not since the national economic recession of 2007-2009 has it been difficult to find bidders, Metzger said.

The Geyser Creek offering included both live and dead trees. Metzger said he believes that combination was unattractive to potential bidders, especially those who are just looking for dry fire wood.

In the planned re-offer, Metzger said the live and dead trees will likely be separated out as individual packages.

USFS did get a successful bidder for its most recent timber sale: more than 503,000 cubic feet of lodgepole pines and fir trees that went for sale on Nov. 13. That sale required nearly seven miles of road construction at a cost of almost $18,400 -- not including the price of the timber itself. That timber is located northwest of Dubois.

Burns

USFS has also been completing numerous controlled burns of beetle kill in the Shoshone National Forest this fall.

Metzger said that, whenever possible, USFS prefers to sell timber rather than burn it.

"We'd much prefer to have a timber sale, because that means people are paying us, rather than a controlled burn, where we're absorbing that (cost)," he said.

Metzger said there are no circumstances in which his office has chosen to burn timber that was feasible to sell.

However, some timber lies in remote locations that Metzger said are impossible to access using temporary roads at a reasonable price. Only in those circumstances, he said, are controlled burns used.

To find more information on any of the timber sales, contact Braden Kuhlmann at 455-4165 or bjkuhlmann@fs.fed.us.

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