Forest Service issues draft decision for Muddy Pass
The White River National Forest has released its final environmental assessment and draft decision notice/finding of no significant impact for the Muddy Pass Sheephorn Project, located on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, in Eagle County.
The draft decision notice will authorize a variety of timber harvest methods and prescribed burning on over 9,700 acres. In addition, it will authorize range and road improvements, wildlife habitat improvements, and will convert non-system route 993.W1 into a National Forest System Road.
“This is an exciting project with some great benefits to forest health and the local communities,” District Ranger Aaron Mayville said in a press release. “Thanks to everyone who provided comments and provided input into the active management of your national forest.”
The selected alternative best meets the purpose and need of the project while balancing effects to natural and social resources. Furthermore, it demonstrates how sustainable forestry practices can be implemented in a way that not only provides a supply of timber for local and regional industry, but also improves wildlife habitat and creates ecosystem resilience by increasing forest diversity across the landscape.
The release of this draft decision initiates a 45-day objections period. Individuals who submitted timely and specific written comments during the combined scoping and comment period (Nov. 1 —Dec. 31, 2018) have eligibility to file an objection to the draft decision notice.
The supporting documents are available for download on the White River National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=53148. Hard copies may be reviewed at the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, in Minturn.
Objections, including attachments, must be filed via postal service, email, hand-delivered, or messenger service to: Objection Reviewing Officer, Planning Department, U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, 1617 Cole Blvd, Building 17, Golden, 80401. Faxes can be sent to 303-275-5134 or e-mailed to SM.FS.firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours for hand delivery are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.
Objections must be submitted within 45 calendar days following the publication of this notice in the Vail Daily. The legal notice was expected to be published Sept. 12. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Those wishing to object should not rely upon dates or time frame information provided by any other source.
Facing traffic woes and oncoming growth, officials are looking at road improvements.