Forest officials open 30-day public comment period on dunes restoration proposal

Release Date: May 9, 2019

Contact(s): Lisa Romano, 541-750-7075

Waldport, OR: The Forest Service is seeking public input on a draft proposal to restore parts of the Oregon dunes, which includes areas within and just north of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Proposed by the Central Coast Ranger District of the Siuslaw National Forest, the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project aims to improve habitat for native plant and animal species, promote the development of natural processes, and maintain and restore recreation opportunities to meet the objectives of the national recreation area as it was originally designated by Congress.

A draft Environmental Assessment of the proposal was released on May 9, 2019, which marked the start of a 30-day public comment period. The Draft Environmental Assessment is available for review online; paper copies are available by request by contacting the Oregon Dunes NRA office at 541-563-8400.

This comment period follows public engagement opportunities held in 2018 during which the national forest collected valuable feedback on an initial proposed action, which was based in part on a restoration strategy developed by the Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative and described in Saving Oregon's Dunes: The bid to save a national treasure. Since that time, emerging science about habitat needs and status of the Pacific marten in the dunes, as well as US Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to list the marten as a threatened species, resulted in a pared down proposed action that seeks to minimize impacts on marten habitat while still addressing restoration priorities identified in the strategy.

"Input from the public and the dunes collaborative group has been a vital part of our process in developing the current proposed action," said Michele Jones, Central Coast District Ranger. "This proposal represents one step of a much bigger and longer term effort to restore all of the Oregon dunes, which is important to us and to so many of the communities who live, work, and play on the dunes. We're grateful for the ongoing participation we've had from many partners and volunteers to help us bring attention to and restore this special place."

Those interested in the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project can submit comments the following ways:

-Hand deliver comments to the Central Coast Ranger District Office at 1130 Forestry Lane, Waldport, OR, or the Oregon Dunes NRA office at 855 Hwy 101, Reedsport, OR, between 8am and 4pm, Monday - Friday, excluding federal holidays.

-Mail written comments to:

Michele Jones, District Ranger, c/o Donni Vogel, Central Coast Ranger District

P.O. Box 400, 1130 Forestry Lane, Waldport, OR 97394-0400

-Email comments to:

Public comments will help inform the Forest Service's final decision on the project proposal. Only those individuals or organizations that have provided timely, project-specific comments during any of the open public input periods will be able to have any unresolved concerns reviewed through an objection process. For additional information related to this project, contact Mick Mueller, project lead, at 541-750-7077.