The 47,000-acre project area lies within the Lower Beaver Creek, Frazer Creek, Summit Creek, Chiliwist Creek, Benson Creek, Alder Creek-Methow River, Texas Creek-Methow River, French Creek, and Swamp Creek sub watersheds east of Twisp, Washington.
Proposed management activities include pre-commercial thinning, commercial thinning, regeneration harvest, aspen release harvest, hand and machine debris piling, ladder fuel reduction treatments, underburning, construction of hand fire line and machine fire line. These management activities will result in the removal of saw timber and non-saw timber for use in area sawmills, pulp mills, wood pellet manufacturers and electric power generating facilities.
“Past timber harvest and fire exclusion within the project area have resulted in extensive changes in forest vegetation during the past century,” said Matt Castle, district fire management officer. “The proposed activities in these areas will help to restore the resiliency of the forests to insects, disease and wildfire.”
The proposed project addresses the need to thin dense forest stands, to reduce fire hazard on national forest lands within the wildland-urban interface, to improve forest health, and the need to modify some existing road systems to provide for long-term resource management, recreation use, and reduced impacts on aquatic and wildlife habitats.
“We’re asking area residents and those interested in management of these areas of the Methow Valley Ranger District to review this proposal and send us their comments so we can develop the best plan possible,” Castle said.
“We really appreciate people taking the time to comment on our projects,” said Michael Liu, Methow Valley District Ranger. “Comments help in developing alternative approaches to accomplishing our objectives. The involvement of more people offers different perspectives, helping to ensure that we more fully consider the potential effects of our planned activities.”
Maps and additional project information are available at the Methow Valley Ranger District office in Winthrop and online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/okawen/landmanagement/projects
Comments should be sent by February 4, 2013 to District Ranger Michael Liu, Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 W. Chewuch Road, Winthrop, Washington, 98862. Comments may also be sent electronically to email@example.com .