My niece lives in Gilchrist. She camps, hikes and fishes on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. She has heard that the Red Knight timber sale has been proposed on the forest.
Since I am a retired US Forest Service employee, my niece asked me to review the timber sale information to determine if it might affect her recreational activities.
I am writing this letter to alert others who enjoy the Fremont-Winema National Forest about what will occur.
Each national forest has a Forest Plan. The Plan guides the Rangers to assure their projects do not cause significant harm to the natural resources in the vicinity of the proposed project. The Plan standards apply to all proposed projects. Legally, the Plans can be amended only if extraordinary circumstances exist. When this is the case the standards are usually strengthened.
Unfortunately Acting Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck has made a decision to weaken the Plan standards in the Yamsay Mountain area of the Chemult Ranger District to allow the Red Knight commercial timber sale to log large, old-growth trees and exempt the timber sales from the scenery standard in the Plan.
My niece will be contacting Acting Supervisor Beck to ask why the timber sale cannot be designed to comply with the Forest Plan standards. Perhaps you might also wish to contact Acting Supervisor Beck.
Providing opportunities for short-term corporate profit is not an extraordinary situation that requires a Plan amendment.
(USFS retired) Grangeville, Idaho