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Stanislaus National Forest Seeks Public Comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment for Rim Fire Hazard Tree Project

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Sonora, CA…The Stanislaus National Forest has issued the draft Rim Fire Hazard Trees (Rim HT) project Environmental Assessment (EA). The Rim HT project proposes to protect public health and safety by removing standing hazard trees and other trees previously felled during fire suppression within and adjacent to high use road corridors and other developed facilities. The draft EA is available online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=43032 .

The Rim HT project area includes high use roads and facilities where varying degrees of fire severity and tree mortality occurred. As the snags and fire-damaged trees weaken and fall, they pose an immediate danger to the lives, safety and property of people in the area. The Rim Fire area is closed due to these dangerous conditions. The current Forest Order prohibits public use until November 18, 2014.

The proposed action would remove hazard trees along 194 miles of high use roads and across 1329 acres of National Forest lands within and adjacent to developed facilities. The project would also accomplish road maintenance on 170.5 miles of National Forest roads.

The Forest Service is requesting specific public comments during a 30-day designated opportunity for public participation beginning with the publication of the legal notice March 11. Specific written comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider.

Comments may be: mailed to the Stanislaus National Forest; Attn: Rim HT; 19777 Greenley Road; Sonora, CA 95370; delivered to the address shown above during business hours (M-F 8:00am to 4:30pm); or, submitted by FAX (209) 533-1890. Submit electronic comments, in common (.doc, .pdf, .rtf, .txt) formats, to: comments-pacificsouthwest-stanislaus@fs.fed.us with Subject: Rim HT.

The Rim Fire started in a remote area of the Stanislaus National Forest on August 17, 2013. During periods of high to extreme fire behavior, the fire made runs of 47 to 78 square miles on two consecutive days. Over the next several weeks it burned over 400 square miles, including 241 square miles on the Stanislaus National Forest, becoming the third largest wildfire in California history.

For additional information regarding this project, contact Jim Junette at the Stanislaus National Forest; 19777 Greenley Road; Sonora, CA 95370; or, call (209) 288-2114.
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