16 Mar 2010, 10:03pm
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin

D-bug Hazard Reduction and Timber Sale Project DEIS Comments Requested

Notice of Informational Public Meeting, Umpqua NF, posted March 4, 2010 [here]

It has been nearly a year since the Forest sent out the D-Bug Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment and review. Since then changes in regional and national policy have kept the project in a state of flux, and the Forest has been evaluating and responding to these policy changes along with the public comments received on the Draft EIS.

The Forest would like to re-engage with the public to share information on the current status of the D-Bug project and allow an opportunity for comment and dialogue on an implementable path forward for this important fuels reduction project.

To facilitate this information sharing and discussion, a facilitated public meeting is planned for:

Friday, March 19, 2010
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Douglas County Library
Ford Community Meeting Room
1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd

Note: Extending Comment Period to Monday June 8, 2009

Umpqua National Forest Reintroduces “D-Bug Plan”

By Chris McKee, KMTR-TV, March 16, 2010 [here]

Roseburg, Oregon - Forest officials with the Umpqua National Forest are getting ready to reintroduce a plan [to] conduct thinning and clean up projects across thousands of acres of forest land in the Diamond Lake Ranger District.
The “D-Bug” Plan is in an environmental impact stage. Over a year ago, the original plan was presented to the public for comment. Lots of feedback came with it, both positive and negative.

Umpqua National Forest officials say parts of the forest land near Diamond Lake have become dangerous. There are two significant problems in the area: heavy fire fuels and an increasing threat of the Mountain Pine Beetle. Joyce Thompson is the Planning and Product Staff Officer for the Umpqua National Forest Service. “Through fire suppression, the forest has gotten denser, thicker, more brush,” says Thompson. “But also the life cycle of Lodgepole Pine is that once it gets to be about 80 years old, its susceptible to Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak.”

According to Thompson, Mountain Pine Beetle levels are at an “epidemic” near Diamond Lake. “When you drive up there, you see the aftermath… you see a lot of dead trees,” says Thompson.

The “D-Bug” Plan is an attempt from the Umpqua N.F. to address those problems. The basic idea is to thin out and clean up heavy fire fuel areas across thousands of acres of forest near Diamond Lake. A few large, dead trees would be removed, but most of the work would involve clearing brush near heavy recreation areas and roads. “We can’t remove all of the risk. The risk is still going to be there. But our hope is that we’ll create a condition where its going to be safer for firefighters to go in there, safer for people to get out when a wildfire does happen,” says Thompson. “It’s not a matter of if, its when a wildfire happens up there.”

The latest draft of the “D-Bug” plan will go up for a public presentation on Friday, March 19th, 2010, at the Douglas County Library. The presentation will take place in the “Ford Room” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

If the Umpqua National Forest gets final approval for this latest plan, it will have to do a “Final Environmental Impact Statement” after that. Forest Officials would like to start on this project this summer.

For a look at more information from the U.S. Forest Service & Umpqua National Forest about the “D-Bug” plan, you can find it online [here]

Copyright 2010, KMTR-TV.

Thanks for the news tip to Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here, here]



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