BendForest Service seeks public comments on nearly 26,000-acre Cabin Butte forest treatment...

Forest Service seeks public comments on nearly 26,000-acre Cabin Butte forest treatment project SE of Bend

Forest Service seeks public comments on nearly 26,000-acre Cabin Butte forest treatment project SE of Bend

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) —  The U.S. Forest Service opened a 30-day public comment period Friday for a draft environmental assessment on the nearly 26,000-acre Cabin Butte Vegetation Management Project southeast of Bend, using prescribed burning, thinning and other treatments to restore forest health and ease wildfire threats.

The Cabin Butte Vegetation Management Project is located on the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest southeast of Bend and covers 25,804 acres.

The western portion of the project area crosses Highway 97 south of Deschutes River Woods and borders lava flows. Forest Service Road 18 (China Hat Road) goes through the project area, which is adjacent to private lands and 11,600 acres are within the wildland urban interface).

About 1,000 private structures, primarily homes, are within a mile of the project boundary, the Forest Service said in its announcement, which continues in full below.

The environmental assessment can be found on the Deschutes National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56998. A visual story map summary of the project can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/CabinButteStoryMap.

Members of the public also can contact Alicia Bergschneider (Environmental Coordinator) at alicia.bergschneider@usda.gov  to receive a copy of the environmental assessment or to ask questions about the project.

The goal of the Cabin Butte project is to improve the forest condition to make it more resilient to insects, disease and large-scale wildfires.

Prescribed fire and other treatments will be used to reduce hazardous fuels and move the project area back to more historic conditions, prior to fire suppression. In addition, the project addresses road management in the area to reduce impacts to soil, plants and wildlife habitat.

The 30-day comment period opened Friday. Comments received after the close of the 30-day comment period will be considered but will not have standing for objection.  

Comments may be submitted electronically to comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bend-ftrock@usda.gov. Please put “Cabin Butte” in the subject line of your email. Comments must be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf) only. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above, in other formats than those listed, or containing viruses will be rejected.

Comments may also be submitted in writing by mail and sent to Kevin W. Larkin, District Ranger, c/o Alicia Bergschneider, Deschutes National Forest, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701. Hand-delivered comments are discouraged at this time.

The post Forest Service seeks public comments on nearly 26,000-acre Cabin Butte forest treatment project SE of Bend appeared first on KTVZ.

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