The Forest Service is proposing a massive timber sale, including logging in a roadless area with minimal public involvement in the Salmon River drainage near Riggins, Idaho. The Salmon Face Roadless Area is west of Riggins and contains 9,200- acres of land contiguous with the Hells Canyon Wilderness and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Part of the timber sale would also occur within the Rapid River drainage, a crucial fishery. Public comments are due Friday March 17.
The Forest Service is only taking initial comments on a proposed action (called a scoping letter), even though it would log in a roadless area, and not offer any alternatives. The agency proposes to clearcut 346-acres in 4 separate units in the roadless area. Logging would also take place on over 2,200-acres outside of the roadless area. This sale, without meaningful environmental review, is being shoehorned into a provision that passed in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Talking points to consider
- The rationale for the timber sale in the roadless area is bogus. It would not reduce the risk of wildfire because the communities are buffered from where logging would take place by roads and open non-forested rangeland. And the community is downslope, and miles away from the proposal.
- The proposal clearly includes potential impacts to endangered species habitat. Two project area streams (Squaw and Shingle Creeks) support Chinook salmon and steelhead, and both species are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Shingle Creek is also a tributary of Rapid River (think sediment impacts), which supports threatened bull trout.
- Impacts to sensitive and management indicator species, including old growth are not being adequately addressed with the proposed categorical exclusion.
- The streams in the area do not meet forest plan standards or objectives for fish habitat or water quality. Logging in a roadless area is also a significant impact. A categorical exclusion, which has little analysis, can’t be done for this sale, even under the atrocious Farm Bill exemptions, because it does not meet the forest plan.
- The Farm Bill requires so-called collaboration, so the Forest Service held a meeting in mid-winter in Riggins. The meeting had to be rescheduled due to weather. It was hard for local people to attend, let alone anyone in the region. This single meeting hardly qualifies as meaningful public involvement.
Comments are due March 17 and can be sent via the below comment box or mailed to:
U.S. Forest Service, IPNF-SO
Attn: B. Craig Phillips
3815 Schreiber Way
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815
Windy-Shingle Timber Sale
This comment form is now closed.
End date: Mar 17, 2017
Signatures collected: 11