Public comments needed for Center-Johnson timber sale

Center-Johnson Timber Sale

View of Center-Johnson Area from U.S. Highway 95 and the Salmon River (Photo Credit D. Jones)

The Forest Service is accepting public comments for the Center-Johnson Timber Sale on the Nez Perce National Forest. The proposed action is considered a “wildland urban interface” project, offering a false sense of safety from wildfire to the small towns of White Bird and Riggins, Idaho, which are miles away from the proposed timber sale. The project also attempts to sanitize forests from insects and disease, which are part of a forest’s natural cycle. This project is being authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

Tucked in the forested break land west of the lower Salmon River near Slate Creek, the proposal seems excessive given that 3,888 acres of “treatment” are within the 9,855-acre project area. The agency is requesting to commercially log 3,059 acres, pre-commercially thin 22 acres, masticate 70 acres of grasslands, and burn 737 acres of land.

Public comments are due January 5, 2018. Consider incorporating these talking points:

  • The timber sale is proposed for isolated stands of trees surrounded by shrubs and grasslands. Rather than log 3,000 acres, the FS should protect this forested area for species that rely on the cover and habitat it provides for elk, goshawks and pileated woodpeckers.
  • The FS is proposing “grassland mastication,” which includes shredding, chopping and chipping of trees, most likely for livestock foraging.
  • This project area is part of one of the most heavily-grazed areas on the Nez Perce National Forest.
  • The project area is 8 miles from White Bird, Idaho (population of 91) and 15 miles from Riggins, Idaho (population of 261). These communities are downslope from the project area. Fire behavior generally burns uphill, not downslope.
  • Road development in this area could negatively affect small streams that feed into crucial anadromous fish habitat including the Salmon River. The project proposes to decommissions only 1 mile of road, build 12 miles of “temporary” roads, and “improve” 90 miles of existing roads.
  • The watershed does not currently meet water quality standards under the current Forest Plan. Logging will not create an upward trend in this watershed.
  • The FS has not produced an adequate wildlife analysis for this project area.
  • This is the only chance for the public to comment on this project. The documents provided lack enough information for the public to make substantive comments.

Please request that the Forest Service complete an Environmental Impact Statement with alternatives that include real ecological restoration such as eliminating roads and grazing impacts on the landscape. Comments are due January 5 and can be emailed via the comment form below or mailed to:

Jennie Fischer
Salmon River Ranger District
304 Slate Creek Road , White Bird, ID, 83554

Center-Johnson Timber Sale

This comment form is now closed.

End date: Jan 05, 2018

Signatures collected: 5

5 signatures

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