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Public input is needed on a proposal for forest restoration work in the Mount Annie and Little Bonaparte Mountain area northeast of Tonasket, Washington.
Based on preliminary analysis, which involved comparing existing landscape characteristics to what was likely the historic condition, the Tonasket Ranger District has drafted a proposal for the Annie Restoration project. The proposal includes thinning, prescribed burning and timber harvest designed to bring the vegetation more in line with historic conditions; meaning more ponderosa pine, tamarack and aspen, but less Douglas-fir and a more open tree canopy.
The current landscape characteristics include western slopes dominated by Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine, while north and east slopes mostly have Douglas-fir, Engleman Spruce, subalpine fir, western larch and lodgepole pine. Aspen patches occur frequently across the landscape.
Heavy defoliation from western spruce budworm has taken place over the last five years and while bark beetles are not currently active in the project area, past attacks have left behind a lot of downed trees.
Portions of the area treated in the 1980’s and 1990’s have regenerated and need to be thinned.
Interested individuals are encouraged to join Forest personnel on a field trip to look at the project area on Saturday November 16, 2013 from 9:00-4:00.
“The intent of the field trip is to provide an opportunity for resource specialists and interested public an opportunity to go out and look at the project area together,” said Dale Olson, Tonasket District Ranger. “It is a chance to discuss the existing and historic condition while talking about silvicultural and fuel treatments that are being considered. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to visit one-on-one with the people who are interested in helping us chart a course for restoring this landscape.”
Those interested in participating in the field trip are encouraged to contact Phil Christy, Interdisciplinary Project Team Leader, at 509-486-5137.
The Ranger District will finalize their proposed action in late November and will analyze it over the coming winter.
“I know that sometimes, people think that our minds are already made up about what we’re going to do out there,” said Olson. “The truth is we manage these forests for the millions of Americans to whom they belong. We really do want to hear what people have to say and we incorporate that input into our analysis process.”
A decision on the Annie Restoration Project is anticipated in June of 2014. To be most helpful, written comments on the project need to be received at the Tonasket Ranger District at 1 West Winesap in Tonasket by November 28, 2013. Comments may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.