The following press release was issued by the United State Department of Agriculture Forest Service:
Mendocino National Forest staff are seeking input on a proposed multi-phase, forest-wide prescribed fire and fuels management strategy. The project would use low intensity fires ignited under controlled conditions, along with manual and possibly mechanical removal methods to reduce debris and vegetation that could fuel more extreme wildfires in the future.
Mendocino officials issued a letter today requesting feedback on the proposed project. Comments citing specific concerns that are submitted during the comment period allow the commentor legal standing to object to the final decision whether to proceed with the project. Comments are due by Saturday, May 8.
The public is invited to attend one of two virtual open houses on Tuesday, April 20, to learn more about the project and to ask questions. The first meeting is from 3 to 4 p.m. via Microsoft Teams at http://bit.ly/RxFire1. A call-in only option is also available at 202-650-0123 (conference ID: 920 502 883#).
The second meeting is from 7 to 8 p.m. via Microsoft Teams at http://bit.ly/RxFire2. A call-in only option is also available at 202-650-0123 (conference ID: 312 405 752#). Both meetings will be identical in content and format.
The Mendocino Prescribed Fire and Fuels Management Project would allow for a landscape-scale environmental analysis for the explicit purpose of prescribed burning and fuel-reduction treatments across the entire forest, excluding designated wilderness areas. This would afford additional opportunities for the Mendocino National Forest to treat more acres in a timely fashion by taking advantage of geographic and seasonal conditions, while avoiding delays and inefficiencies associated with developing individualized, smaller-scale proposals.
Reducing the buildup of hazardous fuels supports forest officials’ goals of promoting healthier, more resilient forest stands.
“Taking a condition-based, landscape-scale approach to fuel reduction and fuels management will allow the forest to more quickly and effectively mitigate wildfire risks where it’s needed most and when conditions are most beneficial,” said Mendocino Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson.
The project also includes an alternative proposal to use mechanical methods, in addition to manual treatments, to remove vegetation or thin dense stands of trees in combination with prescribed fire. A project description and maps can be found online at https://go.usa.gov/xHC52.
Why do government officials think it’s a good idea to have public meetings on April 20th?