Mendocino National Forest staff are seeking input on a proposed, multi-phase, forest-wide prescribed fire and fuels management strategy, according to a press release.
The project would use low-intensity fires ignited under controlled conditions along with manual and possibly mechanical removal methods to help reduce debris and vegetation that could fuel more extreme wildfires in the future.
The Mendocino Prescribed Fire and Fuels Management Project would allow for a landscape-scale environmental analysis for the purpose of prescribed burning and fuel-reduction treatments across the entire forest, excluding designated wilderness areas, according to the press release. 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.
Officials are requesting feedback on the proposed project. Comments citing specific concerns that are submitted during the comment period will allow the commenter legal standing to object to the final decision whether to proceed with the project, according to the press release. Comments are due by May 8.
The public is invited to attend one of two virtual open houses to learn more about the project and ask questions. Both meetings will take place on April 20.
–The first meeting will be from 3-4 p.m. and can be accessed via Microsoft Teams at http://bit.ly/RxFire1. To call into the meeting, dial 202-650-0123 and the conference ID is 920 502 883#.
– The second meeting will be from 7-8 p.m. via Microsoft Teams at http://bit.ly/RxFire2. People can also call into the meeting by dialing 202-650-0123 and the conference ID is 312 405 752#.
Both meetings will be identical in content and format.