Public Comments Sought on the Proposed Granite Meadows – Public Meeting November 27, 2018

New Meadows, ID– The Payette National Forest is seeking comments on the proposed Granite Meadows Project.  A public meeting is scheduled for November 27, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:00p.m. at the Forest Supervisors office (500 North Mission Street, McCall, Idaho 83638).  Forest Service personnel will be available to share the project proposal and answer questions.

The Granite Meadows Project is the fifth project on the Forest that is part of the Weiser - Little Salmon Headwaters Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Project.  The Granite Meadows Project encompasses approximately 83,000 acres on the McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts of the Payette National Forest, and is located north of New Meadows and north and west of McCall, primarily in the Little Salmon River watershed.

This project is based in part on recommendations provided by the Payette Forest Coalition (PFC).  The PFC is a collaborative group whose recommendations are structured to meet the intent of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act (CFLRA).  The PFC members represent stakeholders from a broad range of interests, including the environmental community, timber industry, recreational groups, and state and county government.  For more information on the PFC visit their website at www.payetteforestcoalition.org  

The purpose and need of this landscape-scale project is to improve conditions across multiple resource areas including;

  • Forest conditions and ecosystem function
  • Wildfire resiliency
  • Watershed health
  • Recreation.  

Regarding vegetation, the intent is to move toward, restoration and management of wildlife habitat, with an emphasis on but not limited to addressing the need to maintain and promote large tree forest structure, early seral species composition (e.g. aspen, western larch, ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir), and forest resiliency; and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic and undesirable wildland fire.

Recreation improvements would include:

  • Improving the existing trail system by establishing trails where appropriate, and removing user-created trails that negatively impact natural resources
  • Replacing or repairing existing recreation facilities, including restrooms and lake amenities;
  • Evaluating authorized and unauthorized roads identified for decommissioning for possible conversion to motorized or non-motorized trails
  • Managing or improve dispersed recreation opportunities by hardening and improving sites, closing some sites, and/or install informational signs
  • Managing roads (including relocation), posting signage and/or considering closure orders  where conflicting use may occur
  • Improving skier experience and safety through vegetative treatments within the Brundage Mountain Resort’s ski area.

How to Comment and Timeframe

The Environmental Protection Agency published a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Proposed Action in the Federal Register on October 31, 2018. Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 45 days following that date. The publication date of the NOI in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for a proposed action documented in a DEIS.  Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.

The preferred method to submit comments is electronically via the project webpage and must be submitted to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/granitemeadows .  Simply click on “how to comment” on the right side of the page and fill out the web form with your comments.

Written comments must be submitted to Keith Lannom, Forest Supervisor, Payette National Forest, 500 North Mission Street Building 2, McCall, Idaho 83638 or by fax to 208-634-0744. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Electronic comments may also be submitted in a format such as an email message, pdf, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and Word (.doc or .docx) and must be sent to comments-intermtn-payette@fs.fed.us.  Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required.  A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.  For objection eligibility each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request.

All comments received will be published with authorship information in the public reading room on the project webpage.  Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection.

The project file is posted on the Payette National Forest web site at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/granitemeadows  For additional information, please contact Erin Phelps, New Meadows District Ranger, New Meadows Ranger District, 208-347-0300.

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