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The city of Bozeman filed a brief in federal court this month asking that a proposed forest-thinning project in the Hyalite and Bozeman creek watersheds be allowed to go forward despite a lawsuit filed by conservation groups.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council filed the lawsuit in April against the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project. Defendants include the U.S. Forest Service, the Region 1 forester and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The city of Bozeman is not part of the case but is offering information through the brief to introduce its concerns about the pending decision.

The Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project calls for burning, harvesting and thinning 4,800 acres in the Hyalite and Bozeman (Sourdough) Creek drainages. Those drainages supply more than 80 percent of the Bozeman area’s water, and thinning efforts there are intended to reduce the extent of any potential wildfires.


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