Opportunity to Comment on Smokey Bear District’s Proposed Smokey Bear North Habitat Improvement Project

RUIDOSO, NM. January 8, 2020 – The Smokey Bear Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest is seeking public comments on a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the Smokey Bear North Habitat Improvement Project. Mechanical and hand thinning treatments, as well as prescribed fire, are proposed to improve habitat conditions in the Jicarilla and Patos Mountains northeast of Carrizozo, NM. Treatment methods will vary within implementation units, depending on the habitat characteristics and ecological response the units present. Application of herbicides to prevent resprouting of alligator juniper is included in the proposal. In addition, range, road, and watershed improvements may be needed to improve habitat. Treatments will occur over the next 20 years. The project area covers approximately 130,400 acres in the northern third of the district.

The draft EA describing the proposed action and anticipated environmental effects, with maps, is available online from https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56473.

For additional information about the project contact Andrew Ellis, NEPA Planner, 901 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345; 575-257-4095; Andrew.Ellis@usda.gov.

How to Submit Comments

Electronic comments including attachments may be submitted by email in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), or hypertext markup language (.html) to comments-southwestern-lincoln-smokey-bear@usda.gov. Please include the project title in the subject line. Written comments should be addressed to: Jodie Canfield, District Ranger, c/o Andrew Ellis, 901 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345; or faxed to (575) 257-6174. Please call the district office before faxing any documents. Oral or hand-delivered comments must be received within our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Smokey Bear Ranger District. The phone number is (575) 257-4095.

Anyone submitting a comment is asked to provide their name and email address (preferred) or postal mailing address so they can be added to the project mailing list. Comments submitted anonymously will be considered; however, the Forest Service will not be able to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

Thank you for your interest in the Lincoln National Forest.