The Kaibab National Forest has released the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Warm Fire Recovery project and is seeking public comments. The DEIS is available on the forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai.
The Warm Fire Recovery project addresses part of the overall restoration needs for the approximately 40,000 acres that burned during the fire suppression phase of the Warm Fire.
The project area is four miles south of Jacob Lake and 14 miles north of the Grand Canyon National Park boundary on the North Kaibab Ranger District.
The DEIS documents the analysis of the no action and three action alternatives. The action alternatives proposed include many common features including the following:
Only fire-killed trees without green needles would be salvaged.
The majority of salvage activities would occur on slopes under 20 percent, with short spans of activities on slopes under 30 percent.
The transportation system required to access salvage operations is in place. No new roads would be constructed under any alternative.
Conifers would be planted on approximately 9,980 acres within high and mixed-high fire mortality areas where limited and poorly distributed seed sources currently exist.
Alternative 2 is the agency-preferred alternative. It includes salvage harvest of fire-killed trees on 9,114 acres. This alternative emphasizes the breaking up of continuity of large fuels over the long term and reforestation to accelerate the development of desired forested conditions that can be sustained with fire as an ecosystem process.
The Kaibab National Forest will be accepting comments on the DEIS until April 14.
Submit written comments to Kaibab National Forest, Forest Supervisor, c/o Lois Pfeffer, 145 East 2nd St., Powell, Wyo., 82435; faxt to 307-754-8199. Hand-delivered comments may be delivered to Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's Office, 800 South 6th St., Williams, 86046, between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays.
The Warm Fire was started by lightning on June 8, 2006, and was managed for resource benefit for approximately two and a half weeks. On June 25, fire management strategy shifted from wildland fire use to suppression after the fire increased in activity and moved outside its designated boundaries.
The fire burned more than 39,000 acres after the shift in management strategy, including several miles along Arizona State Highway 67, the main route to the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park.