Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact - Emerald Project

The U.S. Forest Service has prepared a draft decision notice and finding of no significant impact for the Emerald Project, which proposes work within the Emerald Creek drainage of the St. Maries River watershed in Latah and Shoshone Counties.


Reconnaissance of the project area indicates that existing conditions for vegetation composition and health deviate from the desired conditions. The project’s proposed action has been selected to improve forest health by increasing resiliency to disturbances such as insects, disease, drought, and high severity wildfire through vegetation treatments including regeneration timber harvest, intermediate timber harvest, pre-commercial thinning, and single tree selection operations at Emerald Creek Campground. Fuels reduction and aspen stand enhancement are also proposed. Vegetation management, associated road work, and prescribed fire would be utilized to achieve these objectives on about 2,741 acres. Vegetation management would include timber harvest on approximately 2,508 acres, creating openings greater than 40 acres in size. Prescribed fire would be used across approximately 188 acres to deal with excess activity fuels.


The Emerald project – decision notice and finding of no significant impact contains the rationale for the decision, a review of the intensity factors and a summary of the proposed action. The environmental assessment contains the detailed proposed action. Please refer to the decision notice and finding of no significant impact for information about eligibility and how to submit an objection. These project documents are available on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54817


The objection period is open from January 19, 2021 through March 4, 2021; however, only those who have previously submitted comments during an official comment period have legal standing to object.


For questions on this project, please contact Chandra Neils, at chandra.neils@usda.gov .