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BLM plans juniper removal near Crooked River Ranch to reduce wildfire risk

Public input sought on 1,026-acre proposal

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bureau of Land Management's Prineville District is soliciting comments on a draft environmental assessment that analyzes the potential effects of fuels management and wildlife habitat improvement on BLM-administered public lands adjacent to the Crooked River Ranch community west of Terrebonne.

The draft EA outlines treatment options that would change the height and density of vegetation through mowing, hand-cutting or pruning juniper to reduce the risk of a high-severity wildfire.  

The proposed action would treat up to 1,026 acres, which includes 339 acres excluded from the Deschutes Canyon-Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area (WSA) as part of the 2009 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, 677 acres on the south side of CRR, and 10 acres near the Otter Bench Trailhead.  

While some material from the thinning would be made available for commercial and/or public wood collection, other leftover material may be piled and burned. 

The BLM is requesting comments on this draft EA, available electronically at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2001111/510 or by requesting a hard copy from the Prineville District office at (541) 416-6700. Comments due are in writing to the Prineville District, Deschutes Field Office by 4:30 p.m. on April 4, 2021. Please address comments to Jeff Kitchens, Field Manager, with “Steelhead Falls Fuels Reduction Project” on the envelope or in the subject line. Send or deliver to the address above, email BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov or FAX 541-416-6798. If you have questions, contact Guy Chamness, project lead, at the above addresses or phone (541) 416-6719.   

The BLM asks that you please make your comments on this project as specific as possible. Suggestions to do this include. 

  • Identify a different way to meet the purpose of the project. 
  • Provide new information about the proposed actions or the analysis.  
  • Point out a specific flaw in the analysis. 
  • Suggest alternate methodologies and the reason(s) why they should be used. 
  • Make factual corrections.  
  • Identify a different source of credible research, which, if used in the analysis, could result in different effects.  

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so, the BLM said.
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