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Smith Ridge Project comments (12/14/20 through 12/28/20)


While Friends of the Clearwater and approximately 23 other groups fight the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act, you can help today to save some of the wolverine’s precious remaining habitat by commenting on a Forest Service proposal to log some of it.

On December 14, 2020, the Forest Service announced a public comment period for the Smith Ridge Project, a logging proposal in the North Fork of the Clearwater (map below). The public comment period is for a short 14 days and runs over several holidays. The deadline to comment is Monday, December 28, 2020. The information released by the Forest Service can be found here.

As you can see from the project area map below, the Mallard-Larkins inventoried roadless area surrounds the project area. The project area contains unroaded lands, which are lands that have roadless characteristics but that the Forest Service chose to exclude from its official roadless inventory.

The Forest Service has proposed regeneration cuts for all of these units. “Regeneration” cuts eliminate most of the mature trees in the logging unit. As you can see from the map below, clearcutting is planned for a majority of these regeneration-logging units. Some of these units border the Mallard-Larkins inventoried roadless area.

I-07_SmithRidge_11x17_ProposedTreatment 20201203

You can download the above map here. FOC added the green lines to depict potential wolverine habitat, including potential denning habitat, using a wolverine map that the Forest Service created approximately ten years ago. Potential wolverine habitat is between the two green lines. The mid-to-northern logging units of the Smith Ridge Project will impact potential wolverine habitat.

Tell the Forest Service that trying to slip this project by the public over the holidays is inappropriate! A reasonable person doesn’t have time to meaningfully comment in such a short amount of time and during a traditionally busy season.

Some initial problems we have identified with the project include the following:

* Logging in unroaded lands surrounded by a roadless area will denigrate roadless characteristics

* Logging that will impact wolverine habitat

* Logging that will impact lynx habitat

* Approximately 30 miles of road reconstruction in very steep country.

You can review Forest Service details here. The Forest Service requires commenters to give their name and address for comments to be included in the project record. Here, the Forest Service has also requested a phone number and email address. If you are commenting on behalf of an organization, the Forest Service requests that information, too.

There are several ways to comment on the project.

1) Mail your comments to

Amy Boykin, North Zone NEPA Planner
North Fork Ranger District
12740 US Hwy 12
Orofino, ID 83544

(comments should be postmarked by December 28, 2020)

2) Email your comments to comments-northern-clearwater-north-fork@usda.gov by December 28, 2020, 11:59 pm PST.

3) Personalize and email your comments to comments-northern-clearwater-north-fork@usda.gov by using our comment form below by December 28, 2020, 11:59 pm PST. By submitting through this website, your email will also be copied to the district ranger in charge of this project (Andrew Skowlund), the NEPA contact for this project (Amy Boykin), and the forest supervisor for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, Cheryl Probert.

Below is a suggested starting point. Please edit and add to make it yours and don’t forget to sign before you hit the “comment now” button. Please note that if you use the below comment form, browsers or browser settings can sometimes interfere with the submission. We recommend that you bcc yourself; if you receive the email, you will know that the agency did, too.

SMITH RIDGE PROJECT (North Fork Ranger District, Clearwater National Forest)

This comment form is now closed.

End date: Dec 28, 2020

Signatures collected: 8

8 signatures

Friends of the Clearwater’s privacy policy is simple. This form was designed to facilitate submitting comments directly to a government agency. If that agency requires personal contact information as part of the comment (e.g., mail and email addresses), Friends of the Clearwater has no control what the government does with information it requires as part of the comment process. As far as the personal information Friends of the Clearwater acquires through this comment form, we will never sell your information or give it away.