News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Forest restoration plans in the works

The Sisters Ranger District released a draft environmental assessment of the Green Ridge Landscape Restoration Project for a 30-day public comment period last Friday.

The 25,000-acre project area is located about nine miles north of Sisters. The goal of the project is to promote ecosystem sustainability, resilience, and health under current and future conditions in the Green Ridge project area. The assessment addresses both land and water issues.

“After significant interdisciplinary teamwork analyzing the project, we are pleased to announce the release of our draft environmental assessment of the project,” said Ian Reid, Sisters District Ranger.

“I believe we will meet our goals of promoting fire resiliency and forest health; enhancing habitat for northern spotted owls, mule deer, and other important species; and providing forest products and recreational opportunities. During this public comment period, we welcome and encourage public comment on our proposal, including recommendations around which project alternative to

select.”

The project area has a history of mixed land-ownership until about 1943 when most of the project area became national forest managed by the Deschutes National Forest. Historic railroad logging, extensive clear-cut logging, fire exclusion and suppression, and wildfires have impacted the ecological conditions of the area.

The project proposes a variety of treatments in the area, including overstory and understory vegetation treatments, prescribed burning, road closures and decommissioning, and a trail reroute. In total, four alternatives were considered to meet the purpose and need of the project.

District employees will be hosting a public field trip with stops to see different proposed treatment areas on Friday, October 29. RSVP for the field trip by calling the Sisters Ranger Station at 541-549-7700.

The Forest Service’s environmental assessment can be accessed on the Deschutes National Forest project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48454. A copy of the environmental assessment is also available by contacting Lauren DuRocher at [email protected]

Public comments on the proposed project will be taken for 30 days after the October 22 release (till November 19). Comments may be submitted electronically to: [email protected] Comments must be submitted as part of the actual email message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf), or portable document format (pdf) only.

If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification.

Written comments may also be submitted via mail, fax, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Ian Reid (District Ranger) c/o Lauren DuRocher P.O. Box 249, Hwy. 20 and Pine St, Sisters, Oregon 97759.

 

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