The state of Idaho auctioned another U.S. Forest Service timber sale today under Good Neighbor Authority, a state-federal partnership that increases management activities on federal lands in Idaho.
The Hard Rock Timber Sale, located approximately 8 miles north of Priest River on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests was developed using GNA, a federal law that enables the Forest Service to partner with the Idaho Department of Lands to achieve restoration and resilient landscape objectives across ownership boundaries in Idaho.
Idaho Forest Group submitted the winning bid to purchase the Hard Rock Timber Sale, which will treat 520 acres by removing fire intolerant and disease-prone trees and planting more resilient species such as Western larch, Ponderosa Pine, and Western White Pine. The final net value of the timber sale contract is $2,332,546. Three bidders submitted a combined 105 bids, driving the timber sale price up more than $938,000 over its starting price.
The Hard Rock Timber Sale is part of the 2015 Jasper Mountain Project on the Priest Lake Ranger District. The Jasper Mountain Project increases the resiliency of forest stands to insects and diseases and decreases the risk of large wildfires. The project will provide an estimated 8.6 million board feet of timber products to local mills and will support the local economy through job creation. The revenues generated from the sale will reimburse State expenses and provide additional funds for future forest and watershed restoration work including reforestation and road maintenance across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Timber harvesting on the sale could start within a month.
The Forest Service completed the National Environmental Policy Act process for the Jasper Mountain Project, making the sale possible using GNA. The Forest Service completed all field preparation. The IDL prepared the timber sale appraisal and developed the contract, and will administer the sale.
“The money from this sale goes back into projects related to wildlife habitat and watershed improvements such as aquatic organism passage upgrades, transportation improvements, and noxious weed treatments on National Forest System lands in North Idaho,” said Idaho Panhandle National Forests Deputy Forest Supervisor Kim Pierson.
The Hard Rock Timber Sale is the fourth project the Idaho Department of Lands has sold for the Forest Service under GNA. GNA sales sold in Idaho so far cover 1,374 acres of federal forests.