Contractors are scheduled to begin fuel reduction work on the first units of the Marshall Woods project area on July, 13, within the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek said the project has been many years in the making, and is finally ready to start.

"We've been working on this project since 2009, primarily with the Lolo Restoration Committee," Hensiek said. "In 2015 we kicked off the public comment period and so lately, there's been a lot of public input."

Hensiek described the scope of the project.

"This project will generally in the lower Rattlesnake in the national recreation area, over to the Woods Gulch area and then over the hill into the Marshall Canyon area," she said. "The goals included not just forest restoration, but also recreation, weed control and eradication. and dealing with some of our watershed issues.The first phase we'll be working on is thinning some of the most high priority areas, and that will be in the Rattlesnake corridor in the trail vicinity, and that's scheduled to start on July 13th."

The public is asked to use caution in this area as there will be heavy equipment operating beginning mid to late July.

Hensiek said the project is being funded by the National Forest System and from a pot of money that they compete for in high priority fuel projects, along with funding directly from their Washington D.C. office.