The United States Forest Service is proposing a hazardous fuels reduction treatment in the Ashley National Forest area. The goal is to reduce the risks of large, hazardous wildfires. Treatments would include the thinning of shrubs and trees and prescribed burns. Active fire prevention and management practices are vital to keeping our forests healthy, maintaining access to our roads, and protecting our lands, communities, and watersheds from rampant wildfires.
This project includes elements designed to improve and protect hydrological resources in the Ashley National Forest, which drain into the Green River Basin and feed into the Lake Powell and Flaming Gorge areas. Maintaining the health of these forests and watersheds will contribute significantly to filling our reservoirs and and benefiting the area’s aquatic recreation. While we cannot make it snow, we can advocate for better forest management.
The project also includes proposals to create mechanical control lines to keep prescribed fires contained. The USFS has proposed that these control lines (which are essentially new roads) be treated and reclaimed. We believe that these would prove valuable, not only as temporary fire breaks for prescribed burns, but as permanent fire breaks for wildfires and as multiple-use roads. We recognize that adding new roads into the forest service travel management plan involves a lengthy process and should not be done through a prescribed burn plan. However, categorical exclusions allow the forest service to add roads as long as they are under a certain length requirement. Any mechanical lines that could be converted to roads that also fall under that length requirement should be analyzed for long term use.
Please add your voice of support by submitting a comment. Comments are due on April 8, 2022.