The US Forest Service has issued a final advisory on the Honey Badger Forest Management Project and northern Idaho could see impacts from the project as early as this summer.
The Honey Badger Project covers 52,600 acres of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, including more than 60% of the Lake Hayden watershed, an area that is at high risk of fire, insect infestation and disease .
The project will improve forest health, reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires, maintain or improve water quality and habitat, and improve sustainable recreation options.
Residents and visitors will see the effects of Project activities all along the eastern slopes of Hayden Lake, although changes will take time to materialize. Full implementation of the project will span the next 20 years.
This year could see the start of prescribed burns in areas not subject to tree felling. Timber harvests, ranging from thinning to clearcutting depending on the health of the forest, will not begin until 2025, with one or two contracts being awarded each year thereafter.
Each harvest will be closely followed by prescribed burning and reforestation over the next five years.
According to IPNF District Ranger Daniel Scaife, many factors can influence the timing of timber sales and the implementation of prescribed fires. Factors such as unexpected wildfire cleanup, existing projects like the Kootenai Fuels Project, climate criteria, weather and firefighter availability may affect the Honey Badger’s schedule in the future.
Monitor the Forest Service’s Honey Badger Project web page for updates.