Decision on Jacob Ryan tree project

The North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has issued a Decision Notice on the Jacob-Ryan Vegetation Management Project.

The Jacob-Ryan Vegetation Management Project will involve prescribed burning and thinning trees less than 18 inches diameter at breast height (DBH) in about 26,000 acres of ponderosa pine forest around Jacob Lake and the surrounding area. The purpose of the project is to reduce ladder fuels, fuel loads and fire-flame lengths to better manage fires; and, to reduce stand densities to promote a sustainable size class distribution in an uneven-aged forest.

By implementing thinning and prescribed burning, the remaining trees will have access to light, moisture and nutrients for increased growth. The resulting stand structure will better resemble the historic patterns of age, size and understory that would be able to withstand frequent, low-intensity fires.

Implementation of the Jacob-Ryan project will also retain and promote mature and large trees, which will enhance the amount and quality of old growth on the forest, and improve the habitat and foraging opportunities for the northern goshawk and its prey species.

Project implementation is expected to begin later this year. During implementation, no trees over 18 inches DBH will be cut. Also, no presettlement trees, regardless of size, will be cut. Presettlement trees are those with characteristics indicating they are more than 130 years old.

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