Public comment sought for dead tree removal plan

A plan for four million board feet of dead trees to be removed later this winter from land scorched by the Waterfall fire will be open for public comment Nov. 1, officials said Thursday.

The proposal calls for dead trees to be removed from 900 to 1,050 higher-density acres on Carson City's west side with helicopters and tractors. Dead trees will also be removed from 40 lower-density acres between the Lakeview and Timberline housing developments.

Mandy Brinnand of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Carson Ranger District said 90 percent of the removal will be done with helicopters.

The purpose of this project is to remove the dead trees to recover their economic value, reduce future fuel loadings, restore habitat and stabilize soils by reintroducing tree and shrub species.

"Removal of dead trees will reduce the susceptibility of future re-burns by removing fuels," Brinnand said. "Seedling survival rates will also be improved because the number of seedlings damaged or killed from dead trees once they start to fall will be reduced."

To help the removal, log landings will be constructed. The landings will be closed and re-vegetated after project activities are complete.

Approximately 410 acres will be planted in the spring of 2006 with 1-year-old Jeffrey and ponderosa pine seedlings. There will be about 100 to 300 seedlings per acre.

Brinnand said the existing road system will be used to access the majority of the project area. No new permanent roads will be constructed. Two temporary roads may be completed to access some of the tractor-based areas.

"These roads total approximately one mile in length and will be closed, re-contoured and re-vegetated after project completion," Brinnand said.

Comments on this proposed action will help prepare an environmental assessment of the action.

"The assessment will be used to determine whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact," she said.

A public meeting will be held Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Sierra Room at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. Williams Street.

The Waterfall fire destroyed 18 homes and burned nearly 8,000 acres along Carson City's west side in July.

To submit a comment

• Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral and electronic comments concerning the proposal will be accepted for 30 calendar days from today.

• Comments must be submitted to Gary Schiff, District Ranger, 1536 S. Carson St., Carson City, Nev., 89701. Phone: 882-2766. Fax: 884-8199. Comments may be submitted in person at the office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays.

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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