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Ranger: Trees cut for house move

Ranger: Trees cut for house move

Associated Press

LINCOLN (AP) - House movers who felled trees to help squeeze their cargo along a narrow mountain road face a citation, and perhaps a claim for damages, a Forest Service ranger said Friday.

About four trees on Helena National Forest land were cut down to make way for the house transported over Stemple Pass and limbs were removed from others, Ranger Amber Kamps of the Lincoln Ranger District said. The felling, which apparently happened Tuesday or Wednesday, damaged the tops of some other trees on federal land, Kamps said.

An undetermined number of trees were cut on private property, she said.

Big Sky House Moving of Helena received a Montana Department of Transportation permit to move the house. There was no permission to cut trees, the agency's Dan Kiley said.

"This type of stuff is not appropriate and we're not going to allow it to happen," said Eric Griffin, public works director for Lewis and Clark County, which maintains the unpaved road.

A call to Big Sky House Moving on Friday was not immediately returned.

Kamps said the fir and pine trees felled on federal land were "fairly sizable," with diameters of 26 inches to more than 30 inches.

"We are going to pursue a citation for felling trees on national forest land without a permit," said Kamps, who planned to meet with county officials Friday. "We are looking into a claim for damages, as well."

People using the road will see tree stumps, limbs and debris, none of it a travel hazard, Kamps said.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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