Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Little Naches Upland Restoration Scoping Initiation 08/31/20
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 8:33 am 
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Monday August 31, 2020 16:06 PDT

You have shown interest in landscape restoration projects on the Naches Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The information provided below initiates the pubic scoping for this new landscape project located in the Little Naches River valley and is now available for your review.

Dear Interested Citizen:

The Naches Ranger District is proposing a vegetation management project located in the headwaters of the Little Naches River on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in the State of Washington. We are calling this project the Little Naches Upland Restoration and are inviting you to comment on the proposal and be a part of the planning process. The Little Naches Upland Restoration project follows previous restoration harvest and thinning activities associated with the Huckleberry and Little Crow Restoration projects in the Little Naches watershed. Landscape scale and site-specific restoration in this watershed has been the focus of the Little Naches Working Group and are essential components of our partnering organizations shared efforts in the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative.

What is Being Proposed?

The project proposes commercial harvest, non-commercial thinning, pile burning in post-treatment units, and road decommissioning in Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA). Proposed treatments are consistent with the Wenatchee National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and Northwest Forest Plan land allocations. The project area includes the following Northwest Forest Plan allocations: Late-successional Reserve (LSR), Managed Late Successional Area, Matrix, Administratively Withdrawn, and Wilderness. Commercial harvest is proposed in matrix and non-commercial thinning is proposed for overly dense stands in LSR and matrix. Pile burning is proposed to reduce hazardous fuels post-treatment. Legacy roads in an IRA adjacent to proposed treatment areas will be decommissioned. There are no activities proposed on private land within the project area.

Why this Work is Needed?

The proposed activities will help restore the Little Naches landscape to conditions more consistent with natural disturbance regimes. Improved resistance and resilience to forest disturbance over the long-term will provide more productive wildlife habitat while also achieving Forest timber target that supports a sustainable restoration economy.

Timber stands in the project area have been impacted by past timber management practices and historic fire management that resulted in fire being excluded from the landscape. Many stands have shifted to a dense, homogeneous forest structure, including several sections of former Plum Creek timber land recently acquired by the Forest Service. Young trees have quickly and fully occupied these areas, out-competing nearly all understory species. There are many plantation-like stands throughout the project area with high stem densities and stagnated growth. The activities proposed for this project can:

Restore plant and wildlife habitat.
Improving conditions for special vegetative habitats, such as huckleberry patches
Maintaining and improving habitat for species of concern
Reduce tree density in stands exhibiting closed canopy stem exclusion and in plantations.
Promoting a change in species composition, reducing stand densities, and trending towards historic conditions in moist and mixed conifer stands
Provide diverse and complex forest structures for associated wildlife habitats
Provide jobs and associated economic benefits to the local community.
Maintaining critical infrastructure and workforce for the wood products industry
Supporting local economies and businesses
Offsetting the management costs of non-commercial thinning
Harvesting timber sustainably, providing for a future timber base
How will this Proposal be Evaluated?

The Naches Ranger District is analyzing the project through an Environmental Assessment (36 CFR 220.7) to evaluate the potential impacts from proposed activities, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This proposal will also comply with the Wenatchee Forest Land and Resource Management Plan; the Northwest Forest Plan; the Endangered Species Act; the Clean Water Act; other national guidance; and Forest Service regulations.

How Do I Submit Comments?

We invite you to comment on the proposed Little Naches Upland Restoration project and to share your knowledge of the area with the planning team. Your comments will help identify potential issues and concerns with this proposal. Comments will be most useful if received by September 30, 2020. You can:

Submit comments electronically through our web-based Comment and Analysis Response Application (CARA) available at the project web page:      https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58517

Attachments to comments must be submitted in one of the following three formats: Microsoft Word, rich text format (.rtf), or Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf). Emails submitted to addresses other than through CARA, those in other formats, or those containing viruses will be rejected.
If you do not have computer access, you may mail your comments to Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy 12, Naches, WA 98937, ATTN: Joan St. Hilaire.
Comments received in response to this initial request, including names, addresses, and any other information provided with the comments, will be considered a part of the public record, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and released if requested. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents. It is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations to ensure their comments are received in a timely manner.

Joan St. Hilaire is the Interdisciplinary Team Lead and can be reached at 509-653-1439 or joan.sthilaire@usda.gov.

Thank you for your interest in the management of your National Forest lands. We look forward to hearing from you.

A draft Environmental Assessment should be available for public review by spring of 2021. The final analysis and draft Decision Notice are expected in the summer of 2021. Implementation will follow in the fall of 2021.

-USFS-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 9:13 pm 
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elevation of project area: 3200- 4800 ft. above sea level.

project calls for no clearcutting (regeneration harvesting)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 8:25 am 
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Thursday September 17, 2020 08:08 PDT

USDA Forest Service Little Naches Upland Restoration Update

You are subscribed to the Little Naches Upland Restoration for USDA Forest Service. Project information has recently been updated.

United States Department of Agriculture - United States Forest Service

Little Naches Upland Restoration Project

Online Open House - Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

Two Zoom Sessions Offered. No password required: 

4-5pm @ https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83286787204?pwd=dmFGZmhxaEpPRVhPQUNUK01Kb0RkQT09

6-7pm @ https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89931186650?pwd=WjhpN0FCdHVsNWFEejJNMnAyeXpOQT09

This online meeting will be guided by the project storymap, which can be found here: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=cc493b47b6c247c587f58db21e2a0d19


WHY? Healthy forests matter. Your voice matters. The Forest Service is seeking public comment on this upland forest restoration project.

Visit the project page and storymap to learn about the proposed treatments, and where to submit comments: https://data-stga.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_project_exp.php?project=58517

Scoping Comment Period is August 31 thru September 30, 2020.

Restoration work in the Little Naches River valley is on-going with our partners in the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, the Little Naches Working Group, the Washington Resource Conservation & Development Council, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and many more.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

phone: (509) 653-1401

address: 10237 Highway 12, Naches, WA 98937.

For your information:

Citizen's NEPA guide - https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/get-involved/Citizens_Guide_Dec07.pdf

Citizen's NEPA guide in Spanish - https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/get-involved/citizens-guide-spanish.pdf

-USFS-

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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