Comments sought on planting

The North Kaibab Ranger District is seeking comments from the public on its proposal to plant ponderosa pine and Douglas fir seedlings on about 1,600 acres within the Warm Fire area.

The areas proposed for planting were harvested in the 1980s and contained mostly young trees. The 2006 Warm Fire killed not only the young trees, but also most of the nearby mature seed-bearing trees, so natural regeneration of native tree species in the areas is unlikely.

The district is proposing to hand plant about 500,000 ponderosa pine and Douglas fir seedlings in these areas in the spring of 2008.

Interested citizens can submit comments about this project to Steve Boyer, Warm Fire Reforestation project leader, by postal mail at North Kaibab Ranger District, P.O. Box 248, Fredonia, Ariz., 86022.

Comments can also be submitted by fax to 928-643-8105, via e-mail to comments-southwestern-kaibab-north-kaibab@fs.fed.us.

Comments may also be hand delivered weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to the North Kaibab Ranger District office at 430 South Main St. in Fredonia.

This reforestation project is not associated with the Warm Fire Recovery Project that proposes salvage logging, reforestation and fuels reduction on about 10,000 other acres of the fire area.

American Forests, a nonprofit citizens' conservation organization, has awarded the North Kaibab Ranger District a $58,000 grant to fund reforestation efforts in the Warm Fire area.

The group's Wildfire ReLeaf's ecosystem restoration and tree planting initiative is designed to plant millions of trees in environmentally sensitive areas scorched by wildfires of recent years, such as along stream banks that provide critical fish and wildlife habitat and slopes threatened by erosion.

American Forests is the nation's oldest nonprofit conservation organization and a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration. For more information, visit their Web site at www.americanforests.org.

For more information about the Warm Fire Reforestation Project and other Warm Fire recovery efforts, visit the Kaibab National Forest's Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai.

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