Forest Service Signs Camp Cooks Project Decision

Release Date: Jun 8, 2018  

(Gladstone, MI) -- District Ranger Charlie Marsh and Forest Supervisor Cid Morgan recently signed Decision Notices finalizing the planning process for the Camp Cooks Integrated Management Project located in Delta and Schoolcraft Counties (see map below). The project analysis and decisions support a variety of forest management activities including vegetation treatments, road modifications, and riparian and wetland conservation activities.

Project Area Map for Camp Cooks EA

“We are pleased that the Camp Cooks decision reflects public input and prepares us to implement numerous resource and restoration projects that are well-integrated to simultaneously benefit a range of resource concerns – from timber to trails, from roads to riparian areas, and so on,” stated Ranger Marsh.

What kinds of projects are included in the decision?

  • Vegetation treatments include prescribed fire, non-native invasive plant treatments, wildlife habitat improvements, logging and regeneration. Benefits of these treatments range from reduction of hazardous fuel levels to improvement of habitat for piping plover, deer, ruffed grouse, cavity-nesters and pollinators.
  • Road modifications include reconstruction, temporary construction, new construction, conversion of road to OHV trail, and decommissioning. Benefits of these treatments include providing public access to the Forest, preserving public access to private lands, providing access to vegetation treatment areas, mitigating resource impacts and maintaining road-density goals identified in the Forest Plan.
  • Riparian and wetland conservation activities authorized by the decision include riparian structure repair, bank stabilization and sedimentation basin reclamation projects, and culvert replacement. Objectives of these projects include maintenance of cover for fish; restoration of natural stream function, reduced sedimentation, and reclamation of sediment spoils; and reduced erosion and sedimentation from roads and waterways.

For complete list of activities and objectives, see the Decision Notice and the Environmental Analysis.

Per the National Environmental Policy Act, public involvement is a standard part of the Forest Service’s Environmental Analysis process. The decision reflects consideration of the environmental analysis, including significant public involvement, which began in September of 2016 when the Forest Service requested public comments on the initial proposal. The Forest addressed numerous concerns by extending the initial comment period and hosting public meetings.

Public comments were then used to adjust and develop alternative proposals. In response to public input on Camp Cooks, the national forest adjusted its proposal to respond to public concerns. Also, motorized trail projects were removed from the Camp Cooks project and shifted to the Forestwide Comprehensive Trails Analysis so that the public would have more time to assist the agency in developing those specific project proposals. This trail project is ongoing.

There was some public confusion between the Camp Cooks project and another project in the same area. At the same time the Camp Cooks scoping began, the Forest was finishing analysis for the proposed Nahma and Northern Grade Multi-Use Trail from Highway 2 to the town of Nahma. The decision authorizing the development of the multi-use trail was signed on May 25, 2017. The Forest is currently working with partners to implement this decision.

For more information about the Camp Cooks Integrated Management Project decision, please contact the Forest Service’s Hiawatha West Zone NEPA Coordinator, Chris Williams, at 906-474-6442.

About the U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as such is part of the federal government’s executive branch. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world. National Forest System lands provide 20 percent of America’s drinking water. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

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