The scoping period for the Cliff Knox Project on the Prairie City Ranger District of the Malheur National Forest began July 20.

The public will have 30 days to submit comments, with the period ending Aug. 20, according to a Forest Service press release. People 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 Cliff Knox Project proposes 27,000 acres of fuels treatments, 1,045 acres of fuels reduction along strategic roads, 40,000 acres of landscape underburning and about 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat designations.

Road activities, including construction of 15 miles of temporary road for log haul, closing 14 miles of currently open roads, opening 2.5 miles of currently closed roads, decommissioning 9.5 miles of currently open and closed roads, decommissioning and relocating about 2 miles of roads and confirming closure of 28 miles of past administratively closed roads, are proposed. Additionally, typical road maintenance activities designed to meet forest plan standards and guidelines would be performed.

The Cliff Knox Scoping Package containing the proposed action and maps can be accessed on the Forest Service website at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50433, or a hardcopy may be requested by contacting Kathy Schnider at 541-820-3821 or kschnider@fs.fed.us. Comments should be submitted to Ed Guzman, c/o Kathy Schnider, Prairie City Ranger District, P.O. Box 337, Prairie City, OR 97869 or to comments-pacificnorthwest-malheur-prairiecity@fs.fed.us.

The Prairie City Ranger District will host two open house-style meetings where the public is invited to share information, ideas or concerns, and discuss the proposal with members of the project’s interdisciplinary planning team.

The first will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Prairie City Senior Center, 204 N. McHaley St.

The second is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce, 484 N. Broadway Ave. Burns.

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