Ranger district to share revised plans, timeline in virtual meeting
Because approximately 10,600 acres that had been part of the proposed Twisp Restoration Project (TRP) were burned by last summer’s Cedar Creek Fire, the Methow Valley Ranger District has revised the project to remove the watersheds affected by the fire. The original project area covered about 77,000 acres (120 square miles) from McClure Mountain to Twisp River to Wolf Creek and Chickadee near Sun Mountain.
The district will share an update on the TRP, the revised plans, and a timeline at a virtual public meeting on Wednesday (Jan. 26) from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
An interdisciplinary team of specialists from the ranger district reviewed the almost 1,000 comments received on the project and was on track to release a revision last summer when the Cedar Creek Fire started in early July. Since then, the district has been managing post-fire emergency response while also re-evaluating the TRP to address impacts from the fire.
“The 2021 fire season serves as a reminder of the need to increase the pace and scale of forest-health restoration treatments,” the district said in a news release last week.
Removing the affected watersheds will allow the remaining treatments to move forward without further delay, the district said. The fire-affected watersheds will be evaluated separately for restoration needs.
The TRP would have been the largest forest project ever attempted in the ranger district. It encompassed 11 watersheds and a dozen forest types, from lush forests along rivers to dry forests on steep slopes to some of the few stands of old-growth forest near the Methow Valley.
The TRP is intended to address issues including fish passage and aquatic habitat, wildlife habitat, timber health, wildfire hazard and safe roads and trails.
It included thinning and prescribed burning of trees and smaller vegetation to improve the health of the forest and reduce wildfire risk, and the addition of wood and simulated beaver dams in rivers to enhance habitat for endangered salmon. It also included the addition of new trails and closing of unofficial trails. The ranger district was planning a phased approach over 10 to 30 years.
At the public meeting, the district will provide details about changes to the TRP and the next steps. Materials and information shared at the public meeting will be made available on the project website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56554.
To attend the meeting, go to https://tinyurl.com/TwispUpdates or dial (202) 650-0123 and enter ID 167 629 201#.
For more information, contact Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest silviculturist Eireann Pederson at email@example.com.