Forest Service seeks comments on Peak 7 Fuels Reduction Project

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – The Dillon Ranger District is seeking comments on a proposal to reduce fuels on White River National Forest lands in the Breckenridge area including the Peak 7 neighborhood, White Cloud and Golden Horseshoe areas. Proposed activities include reducing hazardous fuels and creating Community Protection Zones (CPZs) through mechanical and hand treatments.

The proposed treatment areas were included and analyzed in the 2011 Breckenridge Forest Health and Fuels project. No treatments outside of that 2011 analysis area are proposed. Because the adaptive management framework included in the 2011 decision did not forecast all potential management scenarios, an additional agency decision is required to implement the work needed to achieve fuel reduction needs in the area immediately. The 2011 analysis will be tiered to and incorporated into this new analysis to ensure an informed decision and that all environmental effects of the proposal are understood. 

The proposal includes approximately 522 acres of mechanized treatment, hand treatment, and prescribed pile burning. Community Protection Zone treatment areas would be located adjacent to private lands and extend up to 600 feet from private land boundaries depending on terrain and vegetation levels.

“Due in large part to recent wildland fire activity around Summit County, including the evacuation of the Peak 7 community during the Peak 2 Fire in 2017, the public has a strong desire for more proactive hazardous fuels treatment,” said Bill Jackson, Dillon District Ranger.  “In 2019, my office received 300+ letters of support from the Peak 7 neighborhood for additional fuels reduction in the area. This project is aimed at providing important fuel breaks for residential areas of Breckenridge.”

Project details can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57601

How to Comment:

Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Bill Jackson, District Ranger, c/o Eric White, PO Box 620, Silverthorne, Colorado 80498-0620; FAX: (970) 468-7735. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=57601

Persons commenting should include: (1) name, address, telephone number, organization represented, if any; (2) title of project for which the comment is being submitted; and (3) specific facts and supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider.

Comments will be accepted any time, but are most helpful if submitted prior to March 13, 2020. Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

This project is currently being considered to be categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement using the following authority: Sections 605 of HFRA (16 U.S.C.6591d) – Wildfire Resilience. Hazardous fuels reduction projects in designated areas on National Forest System lands. The hazardous fuels project is within an insect and disease treatment area that was designated by the Secretary under HFRA section 602(b) by March 23, 2018. (HFRA, Section 605(c)(2)(C)). Decisions that are categorically excluded from documentation in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are not subject to an administrative review process (pre-decision objection process) (Agriculture Act of 2014, Subtitle A. Sec. 8006).

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