Virtual engagement session scheduled for Tiger-Mill Project on the Walla Walla Ranger District

Release Date: Aug 10, 2022

Contact(s): Darcy Weseman (541) 278-3722


PENDLETON, Ore. (Aug. 10, 2022) — The Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest will host a virtual public engagement session on Aug. 18 from 4-6 p.m. for the proposed Tiger-Mill Project.

The purpose of the virtual meeting is to introduce the Tiger-Mill Project, discuss project objectives and proposed treatments, and to gather information from the public about values that they would like the Forest Service to consider in project development. The session will be hosted via Zoom and will include opportunities to engage with District specialists and ask questions regarding the proposed action. The Zoom link will be posted on the Tiger-Mill Project page listed below.

The Tiger-Mill Project is located approximately 13 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington and is within and adjacent to the Mill Creek Municipal Watershed. The project, in partnership with the City of Walla Walla, aims to protect and improve water quality within the Mill Creek Municipal Watershed by treating dead and live vegetation around and within the watershed through both mechanical and nonmechanical treatments. The total project area is 38,471 acres. Preliminary proposed actions include commercial timber harvest (11,149 acres), thinning smaller trees (3,268 acres), and landscape-scale prescribed burning (27,737 acres) within the project area.

“Protecting water quality and the health of the Mill Creek Municipal Watershed is one of our top priorities,” said Aaron Gagnon, Walla Walla District Ranger. “This project is designed to reduce the risk of a wildfire negatively impacting this important resource.”

The Mill Creek Municipal Watershed plays a vital role to the residents of Walla Walla and surrounding communities, providing nearly 90% of the City’s water needs. The watershed also provides important habitat for wildlife and fish. The Umatilla National Forest and City of Walla Walla have co-managed the Mill Creek Watershed since 1918 under a unique agreement signed by the Secretary of Agriculture and the City. Protecting the health and resiliency of forested landscapes within the watershed is crucial for reducing runoff of snow, rain and soil, and for maintaining the high quality of the water, which is important to the communities, wildlife, fish and economies that depend on it.

The project proposal is anticipated to be released for a 30-day scoping period fall of 2022. This virtual public engagement session is an opportunity for the public to be involved in the process and offer thoughts on alternative ways the Forest Service can accomplish the project purpose and need. Forest staff are also developing an interactive story map, which will be displayed during the virtual meeting to provide further details on the Tiger-Mill project.

For additional information about the upcoming public workshops, please contact Darcy Weseman, Public Affairs Officer, at darcy.weseman@usda.gov. or Joseph Sciarrino, Tiger-Milll Project Lead, at joseph.sciarrino@usda.gov.

Additional information on the Tiger-Mill Project is available on the website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=62658.

Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.

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