Coalition proposes forest restoration in Blackfoot, Clearwater, Swan river valleys

Excerpts:

Heal the forest, clear the stream, kill the weeds and build the trails. Pay the logger, help the wildlife, fight the fire, save the mill.

"That's the way forward, is to look at our forests and our communities at the landscape level," said Scott Brennan. "That's the only way out of gridlock."

Brennan, who works with the Wilderness Society, has been meeting lately with lumbermen and economic developers and U.S. Forest Service officials, and together they've assembled an optimistic plan for restoring both forests and local economies.

If successful, their proposal will bring in $90 million over the next 10 years, an ambitious and unprecedented investment in woods work, covering lands in the Blackfoot, Clearwater and Swan river valleys.