Hochatown Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment

30-day Comment Period Initiated

HOCHATOWN, Okla. -- The environmental assessment (EA) of the Hochatown Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Vegetation Management Project is now available for public comment.  The EA fully describes the proposed action, four alternative actions, and the analysis of effects for each.

The proposed action includes fire line and fuel break construction, timber harvests, road construction and wildlife habitat improvements on approximately 6,250 acres of public lands near the tourism community of Hochatown and Broken Bow Lake.  These actions are designed to improve fire resiliency and forest health.

The additional action alternatives are similar to the proposed action, with some key differences.  The four alternatives to the proposed action are outlined in the EA for the Hochatown project including a ‘no-action” alternative. The other three action alternatives include changes to the proposal based on input received during the scoping process, including one that removes the use of herbicide, one that makes the view of firelines more aesthetically pleasing from private property, and one that changes proposed harvest methods.

The environmental assessment includes graphics and maps to clarify the alternatives and describes the pros and cons of each. 

To read the EA, navigate to the project’s webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52139.  When the page opens, select the Analysis tab under Project Documents to find the EA.  Documentation is also available for review at the District office in Hochatown. 

The next step in the process is a formal notice and comment period that allows interested members of the public, and groups, to submit comments.  This opportunity to comment ends 30 days following the August 27, 2019 date of publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record.  All comments must be in writing and submitted through formal channels.  A copy of the legal notice text is also posted at the EA location described above, as well as the opportunity to comment public letter, both providing detailed instructions on how to comment.

If after reading the EA, you have further questions about the proposed action, alternatives, or the commenting process, please contact District Silviculturist Alex Schwartz at (580) 494-6402 ext. 117 or alex.schwartz@usda.gov

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ouachita/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD662125