Bridger-Teton National Forest seeks comments on Skyline Proposal near Pinedale
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 15, 2015
The Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is seeking public comments on the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project being analyzed under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, located north of Pinedale in Sublette County, Wyoming.
Under the Proposed Action, approximately 2,440 acres would be treated to reduce fuels utilizing mechanical equipment, prescribed burning, and a combination of these treatments. The treatments will reduce the risk of high severity wildfire and increase public and firefighter safety in the event of a wildfire. No new or temporary road construction will be authorized.
The Pinedale Ranger District hosted a public meeting in February to discuss the proposed project. The meeting was an opportunity for the public, interested parties, and cooperators to learn about the project and join in a collaborative group that will work together with the Forest Service in developing the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project. Fire Management personnel, resource specialists, and the Pinedale District Ranger were on hand to answer questions and discuss the issues related to this proposed project. Comments from the meeting have been reviewed and are addressed in the scoping document.
The vegetation in the proposed project area consists of conifer-encroached aspen, lodgepole pine and Douglas fir stands. The aspen stands are losing vigor with age, and conifer trees are becoming dominant which increases the risk of crown fires in these stands. The lodgepole pine stands pose an increased fire risk due to mortality from a mountain pine beetle epidemic. The mortality led to local woodcutting activities leaving large volumes of slash on the forest floor which has created heavy fuel loads. The dead standing hazard trees are a threat to the public and firefighting resources.
This comment period represents the only opportunity for the public to comment on this proposal prior to the objection process. Only those who submit "specific written comments" on the Proposed Action during this 30-day comment period will be eligible to file an objection. The opportunity to comment will end 30-days after the scoping notice appears in the Casper Star Tribune.
The scoping document and information on the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project is available on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/btnf/projects.