Salmon River District Ranger Invites Public to Comment on Proposed Center-Johnson Project

Release Date: Dec 4, 2017  

Center Johnson Project SiteJeff Shinn, Salmon River District Ranger, invites the public to comment on the proposed actions of the Center-Johnson project. A collaborative process was used to develop this project and the proposed actions. During the comment period the District Ranger Shinn is requesting feedback from you on the Proposed Action for Scoping during this 30-day comment period. The comment period is to identify any potential issues that have not already been identified during the collaborative process.

Input gathered from the public and data from the Forest Service was used to develop the proposed actions. The collaboration effort, to date, has included: letters mailed to approximately 366 individuals, groups, state and federal agencies, elected officials, cities; a public meeting in March 2017; a public field trip to the project area in April 2017; meetings with the Idaho County Commissioners, the Clearwater Basin Collaborative, and the Nez Perce Tribe; and input from individuals.

Based on observed existing conditions, as well as other supporting information, there is a need to reduce the risk or extent of, or increase resilience to, insect or disease infestation and reduce wildfire risk to the local communities and surrounding federal lands.

During the 30-day comment period, a public meeting will be held on January 3, 2018, at the Slate Creek Ranger Station, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. (PST), near White Bird, Idaho. The objectives of this meeting are to give an overview of the proposed action, discuss existing resource conditions, and answer questions regarding the project.

For your review and comment, a Proposed Action for Scoping document, including a summary of the existing conditions, has been mailed to adjacent landowners, government agencies and elected officials in the area, organizations with an interest in public land management, and any parties who have contacted the Forest Service and expressed interest in the project. This document, including maps, can be found on the Center-Johnson project webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50271.

Written comments in response to this proposal should focus on 1) the proposal 2) issues or impacts from the proposal and 3) possible alternatives for addressing issues associated with the proposal that would still meet the specific needs identified. We are especially interested in information that might identify a specific undesired result of implementing the proposed actions.

The 9,855-acre project area is located approximately 3 miles west of Slate Creek, Idaho, entirely on National Forest System lands in Idaho County and administered by the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The project area includes Deer, Johnson, Joe, Rhett, Sherwin and Christie creeks, tributaries to the Lower Salmon River. The proposed project area is in a Designated Landscape Treatment Area identified by the Governor of Idaho under Section 602 of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA), as amended by the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

The Center-Johnson project proposal includes vegetation and fuel treatment on 3,923 acres and management of 87.8 miles of road.

Vegetation management through timber harvest is proposed on approximately 3,116 acres. Intermediate harvest is proposed on 2,096 acres through commercial thinning (2,075 acres) and pre-commercial thinning (22 acres) to reduce stand densities. Regeneration harvest on 1,020 acres through seed tree (156 acres), shelterwood (826 acres) and clearcut with reserve trees or islands (38 acres) prescriptions. Logging systems that will be utilized include: tractor, tractor/jammer, cable and helicopter. The proposed action includes timber harvest units that create openings exceeding 40 acres in size.

Fuels treatments to reduce hazardous fuels and wildfire risk are proposed on 3,177 acres, including prescribed burning (1,038 acres), activity fuel treatments (2,139 acres) and understory slashing (22 acres).

Grassland treatments, including the removal of smaller diameter trees, are proposed on 70 acres.

Road treatments are proposed on 87.8 miles of road. In association with vegetation management, 0.5 miles of new permanent road construction and 24.6 miles of new temporary road construction following by decommissioning, is proposed. Road treatments such as reconstruction (5.7 miles), improvement (48.8 miles), and maintenance (8.2 miles) are proposed. Gravel placement is proposed on 12.2 miles to improve the road tread and reduce erosion. 13 undersized or failing culverts would be replaced or realigned. Based on the roads analysis for this project, the transportation portion of the proposal includes about 0.5 miles of new road permanent road construction for long term management of the project area. In addition, 11.7 miles of road have been identified for decommissioning, including 0.7 miles that would be decommissioned to a trail.

The Center-Johnson Project will be completed using the authority of the HFRA, Public Law 108-48, as amended by the 2014 Farm Bill, Section 8204. Projects authorized under the HFRA are subject to the Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process (referred to as the "objection process") pursuant to 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and C. Objections will only be accepted from those who have submitted written comments specific to the proposed project during scoping or other public involvement opportunity where written comments are requested by the responsible official (36 CFR 218.5). At this time, the Deciding Official, Cheryl Probert, does not anticipate providing an additional opportunity to submit written comments other than this scoping period.

For more information on the proposed Center-Johnson project or the upcoming public meeting, please contact Jennie Fischer, Team Leader, at jfischer02@fs.fed.us or 208-983-4048. 

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Center Johnson Public Field Trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos:

Above: The proposed Center-Johnson project area, looking into Christie Creek. Photo by Jennie Fischer, USFS.
Below: Forest staff and field trip participants review a map during the Center-Johnson public field trip on April 26, 2017. Photo by Jeannette Dreadfulwater, USFS.