USFS INFO MEETING THURS ON PINE RIDGE RESTORATION PROJECT

Posted 2 months ago

By John Axtell

NNF&G sign - 3The U-S Forest Service is hosting a public input and information meeting Thursday in Chadron on the Pine Ridge Landscape Restoration Project, a proposal to improve forest and rangeland health in Dawes County.

The meeting runs from 3:00-7:00 pm in the Upper Niobrara-White Natural Resource District Offices at 430 E. 2nd Street. Acting Pine Ridge District Ranger Tim Buskirk says anyone should feel free to come in anytime.

((Tim Buskirk

The Pine Ridge Landscape Restoration Project is intended to help federal land south of Highway 20 between Chadron and Crawford recover from a series of natural disasters highlighted by the devastating wildfires of 2006 and 2012.

The proposed plan calls for removing “dead and down” timber from the fire areas, clearing roads and riparian areas of debris and timber litter from last fall’s blizzard and other storms, and thinning green timber to establish healthier stands and reduce the chances of future major fires

Buskirk says the meeting is a chance for shareholder groups and individuals to learn about the proposal, look at maps with Forest Service staffers, and offer both comments and suggestions.

The Forest Service is currently in a formal 20-day comment period, the only one for this phase of the project. Buskirk says there will be similar comment periods later in the process open to everyone, but only those who give input now will be able to challenge the final plan..

There will be online and printed copies of the proposal and maps available to the public…but there’s no timetable yet for that.