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Rim Fire Draft Environmental Impact Statement Released

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The DEIS for salvage logging in the Rim Fire burn area was released on May 16, triggering a 30-day comment period (comments due by June 16). You can view the DEIS at http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/97293_FSPLT3_1652146.pdf

About the DEIS

The DEIS describes a proposal by the National Forest Service that includes: salvage of dead trees; hazard tree removal along roads; fuel reduction for future forest resiliency to fire; and road construction and maintenance. The DEIS studied the following four alternatives.

Alternative 1 (Proposed Action) 
Alternative 1 includes salvage logging on up to 28,326 acres and removal of hazard trees (green and dead) adjacent to 341 miles of forest roads outside of the proposed salvage units, amounting to an additional 16,315 acres. It includes 5.4 miles of new road construction, 319.9 miles of route reconstruction, and 216.1 miles of road maintenance along low standard roads. 

Alternative 2 (No Action) 
Alternative 2 provides a baseline for comparison with the other alternatives. Under Alternative 2, general salvage logging and hazard tree removal adjacent to lower standard roads would not occur. None of the viable timber would be removed from the area, leaving tens to hundreds of tons of wood per acre once these trees fall down. No hazard tree removal would occur adjacent to lower standard roads, leaving thousands of existing hazard trees to fall on their own as a result of natural forces.

Alternative 3 
Alternative 3 responds to issues and concerns related to snag forest habitat, new road construction, wildlife habitat, and soil and watershed impacts. It addresses these issues by proposing additional wildlife habitat enhancement, including biomass removal in Critical Deer Winter Range and a Forest Carnivore Connectivity Corridor (FCCC). It would provide additional soil and watershed protection, and less new road construction. It also would initiate research to help answer wildlife, fuels, watershed, and soils questions.

Alternative 4 
Alternative 4 is similar to Alternative 3, except that it replaces new road construction with temporary roads and drops 2,500 acres of salvage logging in highly suitable blackbacked woodpecker habitat. Alternative 4 proposes the same action items as Alternative 3 for wildlife habitat enhancement, soil and watershed protection, and research.

Comments should be sent to:

Stanislaus National Forest
Attn: Rim Recovery
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370

Or emailed to:

[Subject: Rim Recovery]

If you're interested in commenting on the DEIS, or would just like to be kept abreast of the process, please email Peter Drekmeier at Peter@Tuolumne.org.