Forest Service seeks Fryingpan plan comments
The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest is seeking comments on its proposal on plans for vegetation management in the upper Fryingpan watershed in Eagle and Pitkin counties.
Comments will help the Forest Service complete an environmental assessment used to determine whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact. The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District will host an informational meeting about the project from 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Carbondale Public Library at 320 Sopris Ave.
“The proposed Upper Fryingpan Vegetation Management Project is about creating a healthier future forest in the Fryingpan watershed,” stated Kevin Warner, acting district ranger. “As land managers we ask the question, what kind of forest do we want 20, 30 and 50 years down the road? The answer is a resilient forest that continues to provide ecological benefits.”
Natural disturbance agents, such as wildfire and bark beetles, play important roles in developing forest structure, composition and ecological processes. Depending on scale and intensity, these natural disturbances can have both positive and negative effects on the environment and the resources people value. The lack of young forest within the upper Fryingpan landscape could make forests more vulnerable to large-scale insect epidemics, wildfire and drought induced mortality.
“Most of the forests we’re evaluating in the Fryingpan watershed originated in the late 1800s after large-scale wildfire and subsequent salvage logging,” stated Brett Crary, project lead and silviculturist for the White River National Forest. “Since that time, there have been few smaller scale disturbance events that could have created more of a mosaic of different-aged forests within the watershed.”
The Upper Fryingpan Vegetation Management Project proposes to increase tree age and size-class diversity within the project area. Through management practices such as group selection harvest, clearcut with leave tree, and coppice cuts (aspen clearcuts) openings would be created that allow for the establishment of young trees. Combined, these actions would be expected to create a forest ecosystem that is more resilient to large-scale wildfire or insect outbreaks.
The treatments are designed to improve wildlife habitat, would create fuel breaks to protect infrastructure, and would create an opportunity for sustainable forestry practices.
For more information on this project visit the project website: http://tinyurl.com/FryingpanPlan.
How to Comment:
Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 60 calendar days after Oct. 6. Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Karen Schroyer c/o Brett Crary, Forester/Silviculturist, P.O. Box 309, Carbondale, CO 81623-0309, FAX: (970) 963-1012. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to http://tinyurl.com/FryingpanComments.
People 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 to consider. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments will have eligibility to file an objection. Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record. Additional information can be obtained from Brett Crary, 970-328-5899, firstname.lastname@example.org.