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Public input sought on ecosystem restoration

By Ann Bond
Special to The SUN

The Columbine Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest is seeking public input during the early phases of planning for the Fosset Gulch/Northern HD’s Ecosystem Restoration Project. The project is designed to restore forest diversity on 13,646 acres of national forest through a combination of mechanical and hand thinning, commercial timber harvest and prescribed fire. Some units may be offered for commercial firewood opportunities and some for biomass to the Pagosa Area Long-term Stewardship Project.

This proposed project is needed because existing vegetation conditions vary from desired conditions. The goal is to reduce the rate of spread and intensity of fire, maintain condition classes that support desirable fire behavior and increase forest and ecosystem diversity and resilience to disturbance. The proposed action would result in an environment where prescribed fire can be used as a follow-up management tool, and partially reestablish a more natural fire regime. A document describing the need for the project, details of the proposed action and maps can be downloaded at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/sanjuan/landmanagement/projects

For more information, to request to be added to the mailing list for this project, or to submit your input by March 10, please contact: Craig Sullivan, Forester/Project Leader, P.O. Box 439/367 S. Pearl Street, Bayfield, CO 81122. Phone 884-1422. E-mail cksullivan@fs.fed.us.

Input received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record and will be available for public inspection. The Forest Service will consider all input received and issues generated to determine the appropriate level of environmental documentation needed.

This story was posted on February 13, 2014.