Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber

North Savery Project Final Environmental Review Underway

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March 23, 2018
The U.S. Forest Service has released the North Savery Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Record of Decision. The project area encompasses about 45,000 acres in Carbon County, Wyo.
An administrative review period, prior to final decision will run from March 24 to April 23, 2018, during which objections to the proposed decision may be filed by individuals and organizations who submitted specific comments during the public scoping and draft environmental impact statement review periods.
The pending decision would implement vegetation management, transportation system, and travel management actions in the northwest Sierra Madre Range on the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District, Medicine Bow National Forest.
Improving ecosystem health, forest productivity, and restoring landscape resiliency through vegetation, fuels, and road actions is the purpose of the project. The proposal includes up to 6,834 acres of vegetation management, including salvage of beetle-killed pine, pre-commercial thinning, and hazard tree removal along water conveyance ditches, fencelines, and timber harvest access roads.
Also included in the proposed decision are changes to the transportation system in the project area, including changing road maintenance levels, converting road segments to more suitable uses, adding routes to the road system, and decommissioning 20 miles of system roads that are impacting watershed resources.
Vegetation treatments and changes to the transportation system are integral to restoring resiliency to the landscapes and watersheds of the project area so that they contribute to sustainable forest products, recreation opportunities, watershed health, and wildlife habitats in the future.
Two alternatives were analyzed in detail for natural resource impacts in the FEIS: no-action and a final proposed action that reflects cooperating agency and public input from 2015 and comments on the DEIS in 2017.
The final proposed action, which is the agency preferred alternative, includes changes suggested by cooperating agencies and the public:
  • More specific design criteria to protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • Additional watershed-specific design criteria to mitigate cumulative effects
  • Hazard tree clearing on maintenance level 1 roads used for timber harvest access
  • Changes to the transportation system proposal to maintain public access on high clearance roads and allow administrative access to the forest boundary and adjacent state lands.
Paper copies of the FEIS, a summary, the draft decision, and detailed maps are available at the Brush Creek/Hayden District Office in Saratoga; at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Laramie; and at Carbon County branch libraries in Baggs, Encampment, Rawlins, Riverside, and Saratoga, Wyo. Documents are also available online at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47913.
The Responsible Official for this project is Doug Myhre, Acting Brush Creek/Hayden District Ranger.
For additional information on the project or pre-decisional review process, contact Paula Guenther, Environmental Coordinator, at 307.745.2310 or pguenther@fs.fed.us.