Current work in wildlife, rivers, public lands, and climate
10 Year Restoration Plan Environmental Analysis Released by Santa Fe National Forest
“The proposal is a mixed bag,” said Bryan Bird a forest ecologist with WildEarth Guardians. “There are some really good actions like stream restoration, prescribed burning, beaver reestablishment and removing old roads but far too much emphasis on logging and thinning. There is little guarantee that logging and thinning is effective against the kinds of fires we’ve seen in the last decade or two.”
The proposed action contemplates 12 amendments to the existing forest plan. After WildEarth Guardians raised concerns, the Santa Fe National Forest added two action alternatives. One with no forest plan amendments waiving protection of the Mexican spotted owl and another with no construction of temporary roads. WildEarth Guardians requested these alternatives to ensure the forest is considering actions that will not harm water supplies and sensitive wildlife.
“The Jemez River watershed is a critical source of water for recreation, wildlife and downstream farmers and communities,” Said Bird. “Like open-heart surgery, this cherished place needs a sensitive and tactical touch, not an conventional timber sale. Ecosystem restoration and fuel management objectives can be met without throwing out protections for spotted owl and other sensitive wildlife.”
The Santa Fe’s proposed action would log and thin trees on nearly 50 square miles of the forest and 120 square miles of prescribed fire. The proposed action also calls for decommissioning 100 miles of unnecessary roads in the planning area.
Comment Period Ends: 04/15/2014
Documents are available on the web at: http://go.usa.gov/BUVh