Forest Service officials are currently working on a plan related to salvage efforts in the wake of the Barry Point fire of 2012.
Amanda McAdams, District Ranger for the Bly and Lakeview districts of the U.S. Forest Service, said that a draft environmental assessment has been forwarded to the USFS’s regional office for review.
Three action alternatives were developed for salvage work, McAdams said, as the agency prepares for public review.
The first option would call for no action, while a second option calls for a potential harvest of 15,000 acres out of a 43,000-acre burned area. The breakdown in this option would include 5,000 acres of roadside acres and 10,000 acres of a moderate or high mortality area, McAdams said.
This would encompass only about one-quarter to one-third of the area, as far as harvest is concerned. This area excludes a significantly sized area of woodpecker habitat, she said.
The third option takes into account stakeholder (the Lakeview Stewardship group, Lake County Commissioners, environmental groups, etc.) concerns and also excludes additional areas for woodpecker habitat.
A diameter limit of 26 inches would be in effect, and larger trees would not be cut unless deemed a hazard, McAdams said.
This option also would afford roadside tree removal for safety measures along administrative use roads, McAdams said.
The draft environmental assessment document is slated for delivery to the Lakeview Stewardship group within a two-week period, and then out for public review within six weeks, McAdams said.
“Quite frankly, it depends on the level of comments we get from the regional office and the stewardship group,” she said of the total timeframe for shovel-ready work.
McAdams noted that the Stewardship Group’s role in the process has been a very important one, as the Forest Service is recognizing concerns related to salvage work on a collaborative level as they continue to gain an understanding of stakeholders’ concerns.
This past December, the Stewardship Group pulled together wildlife impact information and worked with other industrial and environmental groups on the needs of the area, McAdams said.
Salvage work could commence by the end of June or early July, depending on whether an appeals process follows a decision, she said.