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Sun, March 29

Forest Service seeks comment on 9,123 acre thinning project

FREDONIA, Ariz. - The North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is seeking public comments on a proposal to treat about 9,123 acres bordering Grand Canyon National Park.

The project area is predominantly mixed conifer forest type on the eastern one-third and ponderosa pine with interspersed aspen on the western two-thirds. The ranger district is designing the project with Grand Canyon National Park in an effort to reduce the potential of future uncharacteristic stand replacement fire events.

The Forest Service is analyzing the Tipover Timber Stand Improvement Project under a categorical exclusion. A 30-day public comment period will come after publication of the legal notice in the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper.

The project proposes to use manual and mechanical thinning, along with prescribed burning to reduce tree density from between 1,500 and 2,000 trees per acre to around 200 trees per acre.

The project would thin trees no greater than 12 inches in diameter in order to remove hazardous fuels, and improve canopy spacing and tree vigor, while returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Work would last for three to five years. There is no commercial activity connected with the project.

The 2009 Kaibab Forest Health Focus group identified the Tipover project area as an area in need of treatment to reduce fuels and prevent the loss of key ecosystem components that are currently at risk from uncharacteristic fire.

Maps and more information about this proposed action is available by visiting the Kaibab National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/projects. Comments (written or oral) may be submitted to:

RE: Tipover Timber Stand Improvement Project Comments Attn: David S. Robinson / Project Leader - North Zone Fuels Specialist, USDA Forest Service, North Kaibab Ranger District, P. O. Box 248/430 South Main Street, Fredonia, AZ 86022

Comments via email may also be submitted to comments-southwestern-kaibab-north-kaibab@fs.fed.us. More information is available by contacting Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at (928) 643-8172.

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