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Front Page » March 1, 2011 » Legal Notices » Legal Notice Of Decision
Published 1,368 days ago

Legal Notice Of Decision


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Graben Wildlife Improvement and Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project 
USDA Forest Service
Manti - La Sal National Forest

	On February 11th, 2011 Darren Olsen, Ferron/Price District Ranger,
signed the Decision Memo for the Graben Wildlife Improvement and Fuels
Reduction Project.  This decision is categorically excluded from
documentation in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or
Environmental Assessment (EA) because it is consistent with Forest
Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.15, Section 31.2, Category 6 "Timber stand
and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities which do not include
the use of herbicides or do not require more than one mile of low
standard road construction."

	This decision would entail applying prescribed fire on approximately
2720 acres of spruce/fir encroached aspen stands. The Graben area is
in the central portion of the Ferron Ranger District and is bordered
by the Reeder subdivision on the east side and Potters Pond campground
on the north end. The project area was historically aspen stands, but
in recent decades has been invaded by spruce and fir.  Subalpine fir
and Engelmann Spruce have been documented as encroachment species into
aspen ecosystems in the western United States making these ecosystems
vulnerable to large stand replacing fires that are extremely expensive
and dangerous to control.  

	The proposed prescribed burn would entail removing up to 80 percent
of the spruce/fir within the aspen ecosystem. Reduce down and dead
fuels by an average of 50 percent (ranging 20 to 80 percent) over 50
to 80 percent of the high priority treatment areas where the fuel
loading is approximately 25 tons per acre.  Target areas would contain
greater than 40% mixed conifer.  An appropriate post treatment
interdisciplinary team will be utilized to identify any areas within
the treatment units that may need rehabilitation such as seeding or
erosion mitigation.  Sheep grazing will be restricted by only allowing
herding through the units until the aspen seedlings have exceeded an
average height of 4 feet and a density of 2,500 stems per acre.  No
livestock grazing is authorized in treated areas until this
requirement is met.

	It is my decision to implement the wildlife habitat improvement and
fuels reduction activities in the Graben treatment area on the
Ferron/Price Ranger District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. 
Implementation of this project will improve elk and mule deer summer
range and reduce the potential of an intense fire that would be
detrimental to adjacent communities.  Based on specialist reviews, I
have determined that no resource conditions are present that lead to a
finding of extraordinary circumstances (FSH 1909.15 Chapter 30.3 (2))
that might cause the action to have significant effects. 
The Responsible Official is:  Darren Olsen, Ferron/Price District
Ranger, Manti-La Sal National Forest.   A copy of the Decision Notice
is available for public review at the Manti-La Sal National Forest
Supervisor's Office, 599 West Price River Road, Price, Utah 84501 or
on the project website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/mantilasal/projects/

Published in the Emery County Progress March 1, 2011.
    
    

These legal notices, along with those from other fine Utah newspapers, can be viewed at www.utahlegals.com.


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