Public Comment Sought on Las Conchas Reforestation Project
The public is being invited to comment on a proposal to reforest approximately 1,800 to 2,510 acres of national forest system lands that were burned during the 2011 Las Conchas Fire on the Jemez and Española Ranger Districts of the Santa Fe National Forest.
The purpose of this project is to reestablish forest cover to areas severely damaged by the Las Conchas fire.
This spring, approximately 425,000 ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir seedlings will be planted on 1,800 to 2,510 acres of land within the Las Conchas Fire perimeter located in the Jemez Mountains west and southwest of Los Alamos.
Most of the project area is located on the Jemez Ranger District and a small portion, less than 10 percent, on the Española Ranger District.
The trees will be planted with hand tools. Ponderosa pine will be planted at 222 trees per acre and Douglas-fir at 302 trees per acre.
This project is categorically excluded from documentation in an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. Areas more prone to regrowth with easy access were chosen for this project.
Additional environmental analysis will occur in the future as we continue to assess the burned area for more reforestation opportunities.
Future benefits of this project include: restoring natural hydrological functions, prevention of soil erosion, improved recreational experiences, enhanced scenic vistas, sequestration of carbon, improved air quality, restoration of wildlife habitat specifically the Jemez Mountain Salamander, and provide a source of woody biomass.
Copies of the proposed action and additional information can be obtained from the Jemez Ranger District, P.O. Box 150, N.M. 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025; Espanola Ranger District, 1710 N. Riverside Drive, Española, NM 87532; or Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters Office, 11 Forest Lane Santa Fe, NM 87508.
This information can also be found online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/santafe/landmanagement/projects.
Those who are interested or affected by the project proposal are encouraged to submit their comments, concerns and suggestions.
Only those who comment or otherwise express interest in the proposed action during the comment period will be eligible to appeal the final decision.
The 30-day comment period begins with the publication of the legal notice in the Albuquerque Journal, expected to begin Saturday, Nov. 24 and end Monday, Dec. 24.
Written comments must be submitted to:
Santa Fe National Forest
ATTN: Ken Reese
11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508.
Electronic Comments may be submitted by email in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), and hypertext markup language (.html) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments may also be hand delivered 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays at the above stated address.
Oral comments may be provided during normal business hours via telephone by calling Ken Reese at (505) 438-5451 ... ensure that it is clear that your comments are for the Las Conchas Reforestation Project.