If you’ve ever canoed, camped or hiked around Sage Hen Reservoir, you know it’s a popular recreation destination just a few miles from Smith’s Ferry. With campgrounds and actively managed forests, the area also contains ecologically intact roadless areas and crystal clear streams with bull trout.
If you care about this popular area, your voice needs to be heard. Take action and provide the U.S. Forest Service with your comments on forest restoration planning around Sage Hen Reservoir. You have until May 14. For more details on the project and to submit your comment.
Although ICL supports many of the Forest Service’s proposals to restore watershed health, improve and increase habitat for threatened native bull trout, reduce fuel loads to help prevent uncharacteristic wildfire, and improve recreation opportunities, we are concerned about two factors.
First, the Forest Service wants to fast track the project’s environmental analysis, limiting the public’s ability to learn more or have a say. Let the Forest Service know they should conduct a more thorough analysis by conducting a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) instead of an Environmental Assessment (EA). A project of this size will certainly have a significant impact on the environment. An EIS will help make sure the project’s impact is beneficial rather than detrimental.
Second, the Forest Service has proposed constructing as many as 125 miles of temporary roads to support timber harvest. Although they plan to remove these roads and fully restore the landscape following phased project implementation, these roads could lead to an increase in unauthorized use of motor vehicles, cause landslides to fall into nearby streams, and significantly degrade wildlife habitat. Tell the Forest Service to dramatically reduce the amount of proposed temporary roads to lessen the chances of permanent, long-term damage.
With your help, we can put the Forest Service back on the right track with a restoration project that benefits all of us.