Ranger District taking public input on Quartzville project

The Sweet Home Ranger District is seeking public input as it prepares an environmental assessment for its Quartzville-Middle Santiam project.

The QMS project area is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Sweet Home.

Stated purposes of the project are:

n To contribute to a predictable, sustainable supply of forest products to help maintain the stability of local and regional economies and markets;

n To improve stand growth, diversity and structure in young, dense plantations within late successional reserves in order to promote late-successional conditions; and

n To sustainably manage the network of roads in the QMS project area by identifying a minimum roads system.

Approximately 7,900 acres would receive a combination of thinning, shelterwood with reserve treatments, dominant tree release, gap creation, and non-harvested skips.

About 14 miles of existing Forest Service roads are proposed for decommissioning and an additional 18 miles of roads are proposed for closure. Many of those roads are currently not drivable due to natural slides and washouts.

Proposed road work would include approximately 275 miles of forest road maintenance and reconstruction.

It would also include constructing approximately 32 miles of temporary road access consisting of five miles of new temporary road and re-opening about 27 miles previously used, low standard, spur roads.

More information, including maps, is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57351.

The project is in initial planning stages and public comments on the project are invited.

Site-specific input on the proposed activities and project area are most helpful, planners say.

Of particular interest is input on:

n Alternative ways to better meet the purpose of the project other than the proposed action, which the Forest Service tshould consider and analyze;

n Any information about the project area, which you believe is important in the context of the proposed activities that you would like the Forest Service to consider;

n Specific, potential effects of the proposal that you are particularly concerned about.

For example, rather than simply stating that you would like a change in a proposed activity or that you would not like an activity to take place, it is most helpful to understand why you desire this. What are your underlying concerns with an activity or action; what are the effects from the activity that concern you?

Comments should be received by Jan. 27, 2020 so they can be considered in the planning process.

Scoping comments can be submitted electronically through cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=57351

Written comments should be sent to:

Joanie Schmidgall

Sweet Home District Planner

4431 Highway 20

Sweet Home, OR 97386

Comments may also be dropped off at the Sweet Home Ranger District Office located at the above address.

The office is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Comments can be faxed to (541) 367-2367.

Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for the project.

Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the USFS with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

The public will have an additional opportunity to comment when the Draft EA is made available.