The Sisters Ranger District plans to announce Tuesday a draft decision notice and final environmental assessment on a large-scale vegetation treatment project in the Green Ridge Area near Black Butte.
Following the decision, they will open a 45-day objection filing period for those who have previously commented on the project.
“The Green Ridge Landscape Restoration project proposes the range of treatments needed to make the overall Central Oregon landscape more resilient to wildfires, insects, and disease,” said Holly Jewkes, Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest.
“Recent investments made through the Forest Service 10-year Wildfire Crisis strategy will support this work.”
Public comment on the project was initially opened in October 2021.
The decision would authorize realignment and parking lot improvements on Green Ridge Trail #4025.
It would cut off around 5.25 million board feet of timber and includes all connected actions such as tree planting.
The alternative chosen in the draft decision includes up to 19,437 acres of thinning, mowing, and prescribed fire treatments.
It also authorizes restoration of aspen and cottonwood stands and 268 acres of hand thinning of small trees around meadow edges in prime mule deer habitat.
The alternative also includes authorization of 35 miles of road closures and 20 miles of road decommissioning, with some unauthorized roads.
This will reduce disturbance to core habitat for mule deer and other wildlife species.
Given declines in mule deer populations in the area over the past several years, the road closures and decommissioning are an important aspect of the project.
“We are excited to release the draft decision notice and edge one step closer to implementing this important project,” said Ian Reid, District Ranger for the Sisters District.
“I feel the selected alternative best balances resource protection of sensitive areas such as northern spotted owl habitat with active management of treating fuels, closing unnecessary roads, and providing forest products to local economies.”
Only individuals or organizations that previously submitted specific written comments during a designated opportunity for public comment may object to this draft decision within 45 days.
For more information regarding the objection process please contact Lauren DuRocher at 541-316-9686.