NEW MEADOWS -- The Payette National Forest is seeking public comment on the Little Red Goose Forest Resiliency Project on the New Meadows Ranger District of the Payette National Forest.
A recent USDA Forest Health and Protection report identified the need to “adequately address the Douglas-fir tussock moth outbreak” currently affecting the proposed Little Red Goose project area.
This project area is 8,800 acres in the Little Salmon River subbasin in Upper Goose Creek, Six-mile Creek, and Lower Goose Creek between McCall and New Meadows. According to the report, this area is also being impacted by the western spruce budworm, Balsam woolly adelgid, mistletoe, and root and butt rots which is compounding the effect on trees in the area.
“In order to quickly address this insect outbreak and the impacts to our forest, this project would focus vegetation treatments in the areas of high insect activity and tree mortality, as well as adjacent stands that are at risk,” said Erin Phelps, News Meadows District Ranger. “Treatments would be designed to increase the resiliency of the remaining trees and also to reduce hazard tree risk to forest visitors and infrastructure found in the Goose Creek area along roadways and the Last Chance Campground.”
Proposed treatments would occur on up to 3,000 acres identified within the larger 8,800-acre area with activities including commercial thinning, non-commercial thinning, commercial firewood removal, slash treatments (lop and scatter or pile burning) and broadcast prescribed burning.
“We recognized a need to focus our efforts and do what we can to give the area a chance to bounce back from the high stressors related to insects and disease,” added Phelps.
A preliminary assessment of the project has determined it falls within a Categorical Exclusion as authorized by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act, specially section 603 regarding insect and disease to reduce the extent of/or increase resilience. This project will adhere to the specifications of that authority.
Interested parties should submit issues pertinent to this proposal in writing by Oct. 21. Comments will help inform the environmental analysis and decision-making process.
For information: visit the Little Red Goose project webpage at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56833.