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Council, Idaho
May 3, 2012     The Adams County Record
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May 3, 2012

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Page 22 Wednesday, May 2, 2012 The Adams County Record Record of I:00ecision on Forest Project BY DALE FISK Collaborative Forest Barriers will be placed to Payette National Forest Restoration Grant of $ 2.4 prevent motorized access Supervisor Keith Lannom million that it received near steams. signed the Record of earlier this year. The Mill A non-motorized trail Decision (ROD) on April Creek-Council Mountain approximately 3.7 miles in 6 for the 50,000 acre Mill project is the first project length will be constructed Creek-Council Mountain in the Forest's Weiser- from the Mill Creek Landscape Restoration Little Salmon Headwaters snowmobile parking area Project on the Council Collaborative Forest to Shingle Flat. A 1.0 Ranger District. The Landscape Restoration mile loop trail will also decision, "Alternative 5 Program. "This program- be constructed which modified;' is similar to is part of the Federal intersects the trail near Alternative 5 in the Final initiative to accelerate the the snowmobile parking Environmental Impact pace of forest restoration area at Mill Creek and Statement (FEIS), but is and job creation on our joins the trail one mile to expected to combine National Forests and the east. The loop is part features of all alternatives grasslands and the Payette of the total 3.7-mile trail. as described in the FEIS. is one of the first forests to The loop trail responds Changes to Alternative 5 have a project of this scale to public comment were driven by comments and complexity ready for requesting an easily received from the public implementation" said accessible non-motorized on the Draft EIS, input PNF Forest Supervisor trail. from the Payette Forest Keith Lannom. Project Implementation Coalition, including the Implementation should Due to the size and Roads Committee, and begin this summer with complexity of the selected internal Interdisciplinary the award of a stewardship alternative, the Forest Team review, timber contract for expects implementation Some members of the about 8 million board to stretch over five to ten Payette Forest Coalition feet and a public works years. Fiscal Year (FY) feel the decision to road package contract for 2012 is expect to see the go with Alternative approximately $600,000 following: 5 modified was done of road improvement • Award one without their input, activities, stewardship contract Highlights of the The purpose of the for the Cottonwood changes to Alternative 5 Proposed Action is Timber Sale. The as described in the FEIS based upon the desired timber sale is are: conditions described in expected to produce • Additional 10 miles the Payette Forest Plan, 16,000 ccf. Fuel of seasonal road and is as follows: reduction treatments closures during • To restore forest yarding small hunting season to stands toward diameter understory address concerns on the pre-European trees, and woody the need for more elk settlement historical biomass utilization at security, range of conditions log landings. • Addition of 466 acres and improve habitat • Award a $600,000 of helicopter logging for wildlife species public works road to reduce hazardous such as the white- package to private fuels near homes and headed woodpecker, contractors. The ranches. (This woodpecker is contract will cover • Six miles of an indicator species, activities such as u n a u t h o r i z e d meaning its wellbeing road reconstruction, road previously is an indicator that surface gravelling, recommended for the habitat is healthy and culvert upgrades. full obliteration will for a number of other • Award a contract to instead be outsloped, species.) replace a temporary ripped and seeded. • To contribute to the fence exclosure These roads are not economic vitality protecting streams within the riparian of the communities with a permanent conservation area adjacent to the fence. This will reduce and have few if any Payette National yearly maintenance stream crossings. Forest. required of the cattle With this decision • To reduce wildland permittee. the forest will begin fire hazard in forested After Fiscal Year to implement the stands for resource 2012 the Forest expects to award three more [.     stewardship contracts Friday Monday i over the next three years. 2rid & 4th Saturday i00:oo "N'" 19ol z co, cldw Idaho t L 1 | 208-459-7475 Toll Free 1-800-788-4429 > Cattle Sale Butcher Cattle Sale IO:O0 AM IO:O0 AM SHELL FUEL COUflCIL fOOD 6 fUEL GAS, DIESEL & HIGH VOLUME PUMPS 217 Michigan {Hwy), Council, ID 253=0093 • 24 HOUR CARDTROL • TRUCK SCALES/ • FISH & GAME SHOWER LICENSES • WESTERN TAC • PHONE CARDS * GIFTS • DELl SANDWICHES • BEER ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS & MANY OTHERS TAKEN PLEASE CHECK INSIDE STORE protection and reduce risk in the Wildland- Urban Interface. • To improve recreational opportunities in the Project area Meeting & Announcement On April 4, Keith Lannom, along with Council District Ranger Greg Lesch, met with Payette Forest Coalition members to announce the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Mill Creek-Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project. Much of the information and discussion that followed the announcement concerned decommissioning or obliteration of roads. Lannom pointed out the difference between decommissioning a road, which can mean a range of actions, from putting a gate on the entrance to the road, to taking out culverts, to total obliteration. Greg Lesch explained that the Forest Service now uses the term "unauthorized" road for what they used to call a "nonsystem" road. The public is reminded that a study of a similar project, between Council and New Meadows, is now being studied by the Payette Forest Coalition. Interested members of the public are welcome to get involved. For more information, call the New Meadows Ranger District Office at 347-0300. Lannom signed the Record of Decision on the Mill Creek-Council Mountain project on April 6. That starts a 45-day appeals period that will end on May 21. FEIS The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Mill Creek- Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project is available on the Payette National Forest (PNF) website, and can be picked up at Ranger District headquarters and the Supervisor's Office in McCall. The FEIS discloses the environmental effects of 5 alternatives for a landscape level restoration on 25,000 acres that includes commercial timber harvest, prescribed burning, road removal and realignment, culvert replacement and road re-surfacing, in addition to recreation improvements such as trailhead improvements, trail construction and three new vault toilets. The project aims to restore ponderosa pine stands to historic conditions and improve habitat for white- headed woodpecker, elk, and northern Idaho ground squirrels. It will Mso contribute to the economic vitality of nearby communities, reduce wildfire hazards, and improve recreational opportunities in the area. Key Elements of Alternative 5 Modified The project should accomplish the following: •Landscape restoration on approximately 24,000 acres, accomplishing the following: 5,562 acres of commercial harvest followed by prescribed burning; 2,373 acres of underburn-only treatments in mature stands; 4,020 acres of precommercial thinning or underburning in plantations of which 1,846 acres would have potential biomass removal; and 1,768 acres of burning in scattered timber, shrubland, and grass; Estimated harvest volume is 54,000 ccf /27 mmbf. • The Dewey Creek Road (# 50487) and Joker Creek Road (# 50486) will be realigned. These realignments maintain public access into these drainages. Two other realignments include the Darne Road (#51353) and Bulldog Road (#50901). These realignments total 2.2 miles. • To protect elk security, implement 10.3 additional miles of seasonal road closures. - Burial Services - Pre-planning Options - Cremation ce - Monumenl 221 E. Court 'Weiet, ID 836"/2 (2O8) 414-1234 w€. Lier&aemper:Thomaort oeom • Approximately 5.2 miles of new temporary road construction to access stands for treatment. These roads will be obliterated after use. • Another 18.0 miles of unauthorized roads will be utilized as temporary roads and obliterated. • A total of 22.9 miles of Forest Service System road will be put into long:term closure. • A total of 14.6 miles of Forest Service System road will also be obliterated, including portions of Dewey Creek and Joker Creek roads as described above. • Five culverts that restrict drainage and passage of fish will be replaced. A culvert will be removed on a tributary of Joker Creek as a part of a road re-route. The culvert is on the loker Creek Road, # 50486, which is scheduled for obliteration with the re-route. • Road surfacing of approximately 12.0 miles of road, using crushed rock or pit run sources. • Three vault toilets will be installed, at Shingle Flat, at the Deseret Cabin trailhead, and at Five Corners on Blue Bunch Ridge. In addition to the installation of a vault toilet, improvements at the Deseret Cabin trailhead include a kiosk, improved parking, and a footbridge at an existing ford. Many short (less than 300 feet) sections of unauthorized road in the project area which are currently used by the public for dispersed camping or other types of recreation will be improved by surfacing or other hardening methods. Answers to last week's Crossword