Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Seeks Comments on Forest Restoration Project

The official comment period is now underway for the U.S. Forest Service Boulder Ranger District’s proposed forest health and restoration project called Forsythe II. The comment period ends on Jan. 29, 2016.

Instructions on how to comment, as well as the full proposed action, maps, photos and other project information are located on the project website at

An information session will be held from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 11, at the Nederland Community Center to answer questions.

The Forsythe II project proposes a variety of vegetation management activities in the vicinity of Gross Reservoir and Nederland with the primary goals of restoring a more resilient forest; reducing the potential impacts of wildfire on watersheds; providing opportunities for neighboring landowners to create defensible space on the National Forest boundary near their homes; and improving wildlife habitat to benefit species within the project area.

Proposed forest management activities include clear cutting and patch cutting in lodgepole pine; thinning in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer; and selective cutting to maintain and expand aspen groves and meadows. Most of the cut material will be removed or piled to burn during winter months. Broadcast burning and road decommissioning also are being proposed in some areas to help meet the project’s objectives.

In the coming months, scientific specialists will analyze and disclose potential impacts and benefits of these activities on a range of resource values, including wildlife, watersheds, soils, plants, cultural sites, recreation and residential communities. The total area being analyzed includes 3,900 acres, although management activities would occur on only a portion of those acres.

In addition, 1,970 acres will be analyzed to provide landowners the flexibility to create defensible space on National Forest lands adjacent to their property. The amount of defensible space actually implemented will be determined by landowner requests.

Earlier this fall, the public had an opportunity to provide input on the draft project proposal. The project team considered that input, which included more than 80 written responses, as well as feedback provided during a field day with the public, before developing a formal proposed action.

The public now has 30 days to comment on the proposed action. Comments made during this period will help the team develop alternatives. Typically one or two alternatives are developed and considered. Anyone who wishes to object during the decision making process must submit relevant comments during this official comment period, even if they participated during the initial scoping period.

The environmental analysis will be written over the winter months and a decision is expected by summer 2016. If a decision is made to implement any portion of the project, work could begin as soon as next fall.

To receive updates about this project and other Boulder Ranger District news, please email


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