SANDPOINT, Idaho — A stand of lakeside cedar trees that Idaho residents rallied around to preserve has sold for about $900,000 during an Idaho Department of Lands timber sale.

Coeur d’Alene-based IFG Timber bought the 52-acre (210,000-square-meter) property on Lake Pend Oreille’s shoreline, The Bonner County Daily Bee reported (http://bit.ly/2vTaI3S ) on Thursday.

The state Department of Fish & Game manages the land. It decided to log the parcel because about 40 acres (162,000 square meters) was inaccessible to the public.

In opposition, residents formed a group called Friends of Sunnyside Cedars to voice their concerns. The group argued the sale would create a loss of habitat, endanger the remaining trees and increase fire danger and sedimentation.

State officials, however, said the sale will improve habitat for white-tailed deer, reduce fuel loading and improve conditions for ponderosa pine regeneration.

The group and state worked together to find alternatives for the land, such as developing an easement or a new point of public access. But the two parties were unable to identify funds to pay for the alternate ideas, according to the Department of Fish & Game.

“It’s not going to be clearcut,” said Jeanne Bradley, a forestry resource supervisor with the state Department of Lands.

On average, 33 larger trees per acre will be left standing, although there are up to 45 trees per acre remaining in some spots, said Nick Capobianco, a Department of Lands resource specialist.

The money raised from the timber sale will be used to pay for the Department of Fish & Game’s wildlife habitat improvement projects. It will also be specifically used to repair a road that was damaged by a beaver dam breach on Rapid Lightning Creek.


Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com

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