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Public comment sought on Beaver Aspen Management Project

The Pre-Decisional Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Beaver Aspen Management Project is available for 30 days for public comment and review. The EA is available for download from the San Juan National Forest website at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/projects.

The project area is located in the Beaver Meadows area, generally 11 miles northeast of the town of Bayfield, Colorado and is within the Columbine Ranger District, San Juan National Forest, Colorado. This action is needed to stimulate regeneration of aspen stands in a landscape currently reflecting various stages of aspen decline or mortality.

The Proposed Action is to treat up to 1,146 acres of aspen-dominated forest, using coppice treatments within stands reflecting various stages of aspen decline and succession. Coppice cutting is a regeneration method in which all trees in the stand are cut and the majority of the regeneration is from sprouts or root suckers. Actions would include removal of overstory and understory trees and shrubs to stimulate aspen suckering. A variety of forest products are expected from these treatments, including aspen sawtimber, pole timber, and biomass, utilizing commercial and non-commercial contracts or permits. Approximately 4 miles of temporary roads would be needed, then rehabilitated at the end of the project. The Proposed Action includes a set of Design Criteria which will lessen impacts to other resources, and the adoption of a few of the recommendations made in the Beaver Meadows Travel Analysis Process.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 days following the date of publication of a legal notice announcing the comment period in the Durango Herald. The estimated date of publication is April 27, 2011, and the estimated end of comment period would be May 27, 2011. The publication date of the legal notice is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely on dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.

Written comments must be submitted to: Dave Crawford, Beaver Aspen Project Leader, Columbine Ranger District, P.O. Box 439, 367 S. Pearl Street, Bayfield, CO 81122. Comments may be faxed to: Attn: Dave Crawford @ (970) 884-2428. Hand delivered comments may be submitted to the Columbine Ranger District (address above) between the hours of 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic comments must be submitted to: comments-rocky-mountain-san-juan-columbine@fs.fed.us.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection.

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