Forest Service delays logging decision
The U.S. Forest Service has extended the deadline for making its response to two environmental groups objecting to a logging plan in a watershed that supplies the bulk of drinking water to 30,000 Helena residents.
The Independent Record reports (http://bit.ly/17XEmyh) that Deputy Regional Forester Jane Cottrell extended the deadline from last Friday to Dec. 18.
The proposed logging is also near the Red Mountain Flume that carries water to Chessman Reservoir, a holding area before the water is sent to the Helena Water Treatment Plant.
Officials say the flume would be threatened in the event of a wildfire, and that the aftermath of a wildfire could lead to sedimentation in the reservoir.
The Montana Ecosystems Defense Council and Native Ecosystems Council contend the logging plan is flawed.