The 30-day scoping period for the Ragged Ruby Project on the Malheur National Forest – Blue Mountain Ranger District and the Umatilla National Forest – North Fork John Day Ranger District began on Friday, March 24, with publication of the Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement in the Federal Register.
The public will have 30 days to submit comments, with the scoping period ending on Monday, April 24. Persons who submit specific written comments during this designated opportunity to comment, or the future 45-day comment period on the draft environmental impact statement, will have standing to object to the project.
The Ragged Ruby Project proposes: upland restoration activities (9,030 acres); watershed, fisheries and wildlife restoration (ecological riparian treatments and large wood treatments along approximately 35-56 miles of streams, 10 acres of aspen restoration and installation of bat gates at 2 mine adits); prescribed burning (34,000 acres); road activities (decommissioning 1.9 miles of road, closing 6.4 miles of currently open road, confirmation of previous administrative closure of 26.7 miles or road, opening of 2.8 miles of currently closed road, relocation of 0.2 miles of road, addition of 2.5 miles existing roadbed onto system as closed and construction of 10 miles of temporary road); and recreation system changes (3.3 miles of new trail construction, 9.1 miles of trail co-designated on existing roads and 5.1 miles of trails being un-designated, with 18.7 miles of trail remaining on the system).
The proposed action may also include forest plan amendments to change Dedicated Old Growth boundaries, reduce satisfactory and/or total cover, remove trees greater than or equal to 21 inches diameter at breast height and harvest in late and old structure stands.
The document can be accessed on the Forest Service website at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49392, or you may request a hardcopy by contacting Sasha Fertig at 541-575-3061 or email@example.com.
Written comments must be submitted to Dave Halemeier, c/o Sasha Fertig, Blue Mountain Ranger District, P.O. Box 909, John Day, OR 97845.
The Blue Mountain Ranger District will hold an open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at the Grant County Regional Airport Conference Room, 720 Airport Road, John Day, OR 97845.
Participants will have the opportunity to contribute information, ideas or concerns, and discuss the project with members of the project’s interdisciplinary team. From 5-6 p.m., the format will be an open house-style with members of the interdisciplinary team available to answer questions about the project. At 6 p.m., there will be a group round robin session with participants afforded the opportunity to share what they most value about the planning area and what they would like to see happen as part of the project.