With a draft decision now out on a proposed public lands treatment project outside of Grangeville, the Forest Service has opened the process for public objection.

Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, has prepared a final environmental assessment and draft decision notice and draft finding of no significant impact for the End of the World project, based on the analysis conducted by an interdisciplinary team and public input.

The 49,565-acre project area is located approximately six miles south of Grangeville, entirely within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

“The actions of the plan include management of vegetation through timber harvest, fuels treatments, grassland treatment and completing associated road activities such as new road construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, gravel placement, culvert replacement (or removal) and road decommissioning,” said team leader Zoanne Anderson.

According to the agency, the project is designed to reduce the risk of insect and disease infestation, wildfire to local communities and surrounding federal lands, improve water quality and aquatic habitats and restore forest vegetation, dry meadows, and grasslands to a healthy condition

The End of the World project is subject to the objection process, Anderson said. Those individuals or entities who previously submitted comments during the scoping and comment period on the proposed action are eligible to file an objection. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project.

The End of the World Project was formally started two years ago this month. As reported in Free Press coverage, the work was warranted under then-Governor Butch Otter as part of a national insect and disease treatment area through the 2014 Farm Bill/Healthy Forest Restoration Act.

The project area suffers from forest health issues that have created fuel loads in a region historically prone to fires; more than 100 starts were recorded during 1987-2017. The project area falls within a forested area of northern Idaho designated in 2012 at a mortality risk of 25 percent or greater due to insects or disease.

Documents are available to review online: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52541.

For information: Zoanne Anderson, Zoanne.anderson@usda.gov .

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