Comment sought on Scattered Lands project

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests is inviting comments on a proposed fuels reduction project in Bonner County on the Sandpoint Ranger District. The project area is south of the Pend Oreille River, and west of Lake Pend Oreille, immediately adjacent to the State of Washington state line.

With a mix of National Forest System, state and private lands, the project focuses on reducing hazardous fuel loading that increases the risk for high-severity wildfires, especially adjacent to state and private lands.

The Scattered Lands Project is approximately 6,700 acres of proposed treatments. This project would be completed using the Healthy Forest Restoration Act; one of the purposes of this Act is to “reduce wildfire risk to communities, municipal water supplies, and other at-risk Federal land through a collaborative process of planning, prioritizing, and implementing hazardous fuel reduction projects.” The entire Scattered Lands project area is within designated Bonner County wildland urban interface.

In addition to being fully within county designated wildland urban interface, there are several communities at risk. Communities within the project area include: Oldtown, Blanchard, Edgemere, Westmond, and Granite, Idaho. There are four communities at risk immediately adjacent to the project area, and those are: Spirit Lake, Careywood, Cocollala, and Sagle, Idaho.

How to Comment:

More information on the Scattered Lands Project is posted on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website.

Written comments are requested electronically via the project website. On the right side of the website, click on the “Comment/Object on Project” and submit comments using the comment form. The comment form is available here. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc).

Please put the name of the project in the subject line and please include your name and mailing address. To submit hardcopy comments, please mail them to: Sandpoint Ranger District, Attn: Michelle Norton, 1602 Ontario Street, Sandpoint, ID 83864-9509.

The office is currently closed and unavailable to accept hand delivered letters, unless an appointment is made. Appointments can be made by calling (208) 263-5111.

Your comments specific to the project and the analysis are valuable, please do so by February 8, 2021.

The Forest Service will be hosting a virtual public meeting on January 21, 2021 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM PST. There will be a brief presentation at the meeting, followed by questions and answers on this project. This meeting will take place using Zoom Meeting ID 857 4884 4864 (Passcode 123908). The information to join is listed on the project website.

For more information about this project, contact Jennie O’Connor Card, Team Leader, at (406) 589-7060 or jennie.oconnorcard@usda.gov. To subscribe to emailed project updates, click the “Get Connected” tab and “Subscribe to Email Updates” on the project website.

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