Input needed to craft Forest Restoration Proposal on Mt. Hull; Open House Jan. 9

Meeting at Tonasket Ranger District from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Hosting this public meeting early in the process will help us develop a comprehensive restoration project. More input and involvement will lead to better decisions in our collective effort to care for National Forest lands and deliver sustainable benefits to people.”

Matt Reidy, Tonasket District Range

TONASKET– Mt. Hull is known locally for Bighorn Sheep, Whistler Canyon Trail and the distinct cliffs that make up the western slope. While some restoration work has occurred on the National Forest System lands in that area in recent history, maintenance and further work are needed to address areas of overgrown dense forest, transportation concerns, and fire risk in the wildland urban interface.

In 2018, the Forest Service is looking for community input as they begin the path toward restoring approximately 20,600 acres near Mt. Hull.

To foster a resilient and adaptive ecosystem in the Mt. Hull area, the Forest is proposing to:

  • Move vegetation conditions toward what was present historically and what will better allow for resiliency in changing climates
  • Access better scenic views along the 1200 mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
  • Improve wet meadow conditions in Haley Canyon
  • Align the road system with the current and future transportation needs in the area
  • Reduce potential flame lengths and acres of crown fire

Landowners, who neighbor the nearly 30 miles of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Boundary around the project area, likely remember the Rocky Hull Fire of two decades ago, or the more recent Wildhorse and Wilcox Fires. The ever-present risk from wildland fire is increased in the Mt. Hull area because the trees and brush are too crowded and the species of trees that are beginning to dominate the landscape are not resilient to fire effects.

Some of the initial data collection and modeling has been done, and we’re excited to be taking a little different approach this time,” said Tonasket District Ranger Matt Reidy. “We’ve got some great data from past soil surveys that give us a glimpse into what vegetative conditions were historically. We’ve used that information to further inform the model outputs and the photo interpretation, crafting a set of restoration treatments.”

Now that we have an initial proposal for treatments, we’re looking to see what’s been missed, what more should be considered and whether there are additional or alternate activities that would meet restoration needs. We want to involve interested groups and organizations, tribal interests, government agencies, and individuals early in the development of this project to reap the full benefits of collaboration.”

Tonasket Ranger District is hosting an open house to discuss the proposed Mt. Hull Restoration Project. The Open House will be held at the Tonasket Ranger District Office, 1 west Winesap in Tonasket, on Tuesday, Jan. 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Forest staff will be present to converse about the proposal, ideas for alternate treatments and concerns about the proposed restoration activities.

Hosting this public meeting early in the process will help us develop a comprehensive restoration project,” said Reidy. “More input and involvement will lead to better decisions in our collective effort to care for National Forest lands and deliver sustainable benefits to people.”

Written comments can be dropped off at the meeting, submitted online at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=51107 or sent to Luke Cerise, Project Lead at 1 West Winesap, Tonasket Washington 98855. Maps and other details about the proposed treatments are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project?project=51107 and an interactive map with photos relevant to the Mt. Hull Restoration Project can be found at: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ad2cf4414a884f3b8cd4952ded7f942e.

 

About Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien is a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest