Pine Valley (Dixie) Wildfire Crisis Landscape
The Candy Cliffs of Yant Flat in the Pine Valley Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest is one place where words and photos just really do not suffice. This place has mind-blowing geology, incredible views, other worldly landscapes, along with some of the great desert scenes of Southwest Utah. (USDA Forest Service photo by Kevin S. Abel)
USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore announced expanded efforts to reduce wildfire risk across the western U.S. January 19, 2023. These investments, made possible through the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), will directly benefit at-risk communities and critical infrastructure across three Intermountain landscapes in Nevada and Utah. View Announcement Learn more about the Wildfire Crisis Strategy in the Intermountain Region.
Pine Valley Priority Landscape Project
Encompasses 250,000 acres in the Pine Valley Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest. There is another 150,000 acres of other ownership including private, state and other federal lands. It is a broadscale effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic and undesirable wildfire while increasing the resiliency of the landscape to climate change and other stressors. The strategy is to treat about 63 percent of National Forest System (NFS) lands within the landscape. These treatments will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, improve watershed health, sustain industry, protect recreation and improve forest resilience. The goal for Fiscal Year 2023 is to treat about 6,554 acres on National Forest System land, 10,870 acres in FY 2024, and 50,000 to 80,000 acres over 7 to 10 years.
Forest Supervisor Kevin Wright, Dixie National Forest explains what the Pine Valley (Dixie) Wildfire Crisis Landscape Project, which encompasses 250,000 acres in the Pine Valley Ranger District, is and what it will mean for the community. (USDA Forest Service Video by Kevin S. Abel)
Learn more - Wildfire Crisis Landscape Projects | Project Photo Album | USDA Press Release | Expanding Efforts To Deliver on the Wildfire Crisis Strategy
Values to be Protected
- Pine Valley
- New Harmony
High value recreation areas
- High use mountain bike areas
- Developed campgrounds
- Snowmobile trailheads and trails
- OHV trails
- Wilderness recreation
Important ecosystem services:
- Gas Pipelines
- Community Water Supplies
- Riparian Areas
- Other Infrastructure
Partnerships are Critical
It will take a united effort to meet goals and objectives of the Pine Valley (Dixie) Wildfire Crisis Landscape Project. As it is the top priority for the Intermountain Region and the Dixie National Forest, staff will maximize efforts to use every tool and authority to address the wildfire crisis. With the help of our partners the forest will be working with adjacent federal, state and private landowners through a shared stewardship approach to protect communities and other important resources such as water supplies and habitats from the effects of catastrophic wildfires. A strong education and outreach plan will be developed to build community awareness, support and acceptance for the broad range of tools needed to meet this ambitious goal. The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands have been instrumental in helping build broad support for active management of this landscape. Their help and others are needed more than ever to match the pace and scale of forest management needed to address the wildfire crisis in Southwest Utah. Building on the Dixie National Forests Shared Stewardship Agreement with the State of Utah and Intermountain Region, Dixie National Forest has been working with partners, including private landowners, to identify cross-boundary treatments to work collaboratively to leverage resources to reduce wildfire threats and improve forest and watershed health. This year, funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will provide significant investments in Good Neighbor Authority agreements with Utah Forestry, Fire & State Lands to continue and enhance shared stewardship work that has been ongoing since 2008.
- Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands
- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
- Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative
- Washington County
- Iron County
- Bureau of Land Management
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Utility companies
A team comprised from both forests and partners is developing an action plan. Once finalized, action plan will establish a framework to guide implementation across the landscape. The projects are being characterized by where they land within the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process.
Accomplishments to Date
- Currently no agreements and contracts executed or awarded.
- Task orders are being prepared for an ongoing Crestline project. The current acres being worked on this project are outside (but adjacent) to the priority landscape. We will roll these current task orders into acres on this project. We hope to have agreements and contracts in place by April.
Timber Sale/Stewardship Contracts
- No Timber Sale or Stewardship will be part of this project. The main vegetation is Pinyon Juniper
- Awaiting approval for FY 2024 budget submittal
- The Forests are exploring new, and expanding existing partnership opportunities with Tribes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other State and Local governments, and other non-government forest foundations.
- Prioritizing current projects and evaluating and identifying future projects. Staff are working to maximize resources to efficiently complete existing projects, complete the NEPA planning process for upcoming projects and planning for out-year projects to reduce the fuel loading and improve landscape resilience in the event of a wildfire.