The 45-day comment period for the Ragged Ruby Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Malheur and Umatilla national forests began Nov. 2.

The Ragged Ruby Project proposes alternatives for upland restoration activities (8,210-9,200 acres), prescribed burning (31,500-34,000 acres), road activities (11.6-12.4 miles temporary road construction, 2.9 miles road opening, 7.3 miles road closure, 1.7 miles road decommissioning, 1.2 miles conversion of road to trail, 9.9 miles seasonal wildlife road closures modified and 25.3 miles confirmation of past administratively closed roads), recreation opportunity improvements (2.8 miles new trail construction, 8.4 miles co-designation of roads as trails, 5.1 miles trail un-designation, four new trailheads, three new parking areas at trailheads, four trailheads un-designated and one interpretive sign installed) and forest plan amendments. Additionally, typical road maintenance activities designed to meet Malheur Forest Plan standards and guidelines would be performed.

Comments must be postmarked or received within 45 days, Dec. 17.

An open house is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Juniper Hall at the Malheur National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 431 Patterson Bridge Road, John Day, OR 97845. From 5:30-6:30 p.m., the format will be an open house style with members of the interdisciplinary team available to answer questions about the project. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a group round-robin session where people can provide feedback.

The Ragged Ruby Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49392 or by contacting Sasha Fertig at 541-575-3061 or sashafertig@fs.fed.us.

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