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U.S. Forest Service will discuss projects

by Christy Chalmers

U.S. Forest Service representatives will discuss several of the projects they are working on Thursday with Douglas County leaders.

Dave Loomis, a planner in the Carson Ranger District office, said he’ll be giving updates on projects that range from a parking area near the Faye-Luther canyon trailhead to a national plan to ban new roads on forest land.

Several of the issues have already been discussed, such as the roadless initiative, which was assailed by residents who wanted more information on the impacts.

Loomis will explain the Forest Service’s preferred alternative to the roadless initiative, which would ban new roads without limiting existing activities.

“The only change would be in future road building,” he said. “With this alternative, we just wouldn’t be building new roads in those areas.”

The initiative could affect 3,142,000 acres of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest throughout Nevada. Another 243,000 acres of Humboldt-Toiyabe land in Alpine, Mono and Sierra counties in California would also be included.

Loomis said the Faye-Luther parking area is still scheduled to be completed this year. The lot will provide parking for horseback riders and hikers visiting the canyon.

Douglas residents can also hear about a pair of forest management plans that are under way. The Northern Sierra Plan Amendment will focus on human uses of 500,000 acres in the Carson Ranger District, which stretches from Hallelujah Junction, Calif. south to Markleeville.

The Sierra Nevada Framework planning process addresses ecosystems on 11 million acres throughout the entire mountain range.

“Together, they form a comprehensive package,” said Loomis. “The big change with the new plan is that we’re going to be looking at a higher level of scenery protection along the Carson front range.”

A series of meetings is planned on both proposals starting June 5.

The county commission meets Thursday at 1 p.m. in the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.