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NEPA projects taking place on districts

Among the “small NEPA” projects the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests announced in a May 27 letter are several taking place on local ranger districts. On the Red River Ranger District are projects calling for electrical lines are to be buried along Road 222D near Dixie and test drilling for gold in the Siegel Creek drainage. On the Salmon River Ranger District are projects calling for culvert replacement in Peasley Creek and placer mining exploration in the French Creek drainage. On the Lochsa-Powell Ranger District is a project calling for tree planting in the area burned by last summer’s Woodrat Fire.

Avista Buried Electrical Lines project

“The need for this project is to provide electricity to private landowners with inholdings along Road 222D,” according to the May 27 letter. “This would allow these remote owners to pump water potentially needed for fire suppression.”

Avista is proposing to install about a mile of buried electrical line 36 inches deep in the right-of-way along Road 222D, for which Idaho County holds an easement. The county’s consent would be required, and work would take one week to complete this summer or early fall.

Project contacts are Molly Puchlerz, 942-0303,, or Andy Schmidt, 765-7226,

Blue Ribbon Test Drilling project

“Goldski, LLC is proposing to exploratory drill to test for gold values on unpatented mining claims to determine if sufficient quantities of valuable minerals exist to warrant further development of a mining operation” in the Siegel Creek Drainage,” according to the May 27 letter. “The northernmost test sites would be accessed by taking State Highway 14 to Forest Road 222 (Red River Road), then to Forest Road 1182C. The southernmost sites would be accessed by taking State Highway 14 to Forest Road 222, then on Forest Road 1182 (Siegel Creek) for approximately 3.5 miles.”

The proposal is for a total of six drills sites each approximately 30 feet by 50 feet in size, with up to two holes per site testing 750 to 1,000 in depth. The operation would require 500-1,000 gallons of water per day. The work would start this summer and would be completed in one year.

Project contact is Marty Jones, 983-5158,

Peasley Creek Culvert Replacement project

“Peasley Creek, a tributary to the South Fork Clearwater River, provides ideal spawning and rearing habitat for Snake River steelhead…at the confluence of Peasley Creek and the mainstem,” according to the May 27 letter. “While the culvert currently on State Highway 14 at Peasley Creek accommodates most high flow events, it acts as a barrier to aquatic organisms, including Snake River steelhead, due to high flow velocities and a drop at the outlet.”

The proposal is to remove the existing culvert at milepost 23 of State Highway 14 and replace it with a bottomless structural plate arch culvert. The Nez Perce Tribe and the Forest Service would fund the project, and the Forest Service would be required to coordinate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as the state Department of Water Resources and Department of Lands. Work would start in July 2017 and take 3-5 weeks to complete.

Project contacts:Anne Connor, 476-3745,, or Mark Johnson, 621-3561.

Rebel/Beat Street Placer Exploration

“Jason Streeter has submitted a plan of operations for placer exploration,” according to the May 27 letter. “The proposal is for excavating up to 100 six-inch diameter test holes for the purpose of testing placer gravels for mineral values.”

Access to the project area would be by Forest Road 221 from Grangeville to Forest Road 9321 to Forest Road 9328, and the letter notes that a reclamation bond “sufficient to cover the cost of all anticipated surface disturbance will be submitted by the operator before the plan of operations is approved and before work may begin.”

Work is proposed for the summer of 2016 and would be completed within one year.

Project contact is Marty Jones, 983-5158,

Wildfire Tree Planting project

“This project is a continuation of the Wildfire Tree Planting project on the Lochsa Ranger District scoped in December 2015,” according to the May 27 letter.

This project calls for seedlings of western white pine, western larch and ponderosa pine to be planted in stands that burned last summer, amounting to about 320 acres in seven stands, by a contract crew using hand tools.

Work would be done in the fall of 2016 or in the spring and fall of 2017, and would take two weeks to finish.

Project contact is Clare Brick, 963-4208,


The letter is public record and it is published in full at It is also available on the forests projects website:


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