Forest Service issues decision on salvage, restoration project
COEUR d'ALENE — The USDA Forest Service recently released a decision notice and finding of no significant impact for the Character Fire Salvage and Restoration Project on the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District.
The project area is on National Forest System lands within the perimeter of the 2021 Character Complex Fire in the Eagle Creek drainage, about three miles north of Kellogg.
“There is an urgent need to address public safety, reforestation and salvage the remaining dead and dying trees in the project area,” said District Ranger Dan Scaife. “Removal of these trees will prepare the area for safe and timely restoration and expedite the re-establishment of a more resilient forested landscape, improving habitat conditions for a variety of plant and animal species.”
This decision authorizes salvage operations and fuel reduction on about 3,050 acres within the overall 13,540-acre fire area.
According to a press release, "Salvage logging will provide economic value and benefit, reduce hazards, prepare sites for tree planting to restore forested conditions, and reduce potential residual fuel buildup in the project area."
Tree planting will occur on about 4,500 acres of burned areas with native and more resilient tree species to enhance the overall recovery process. Road work will provide access to treatment units.
Temporary roads will be obliterated after use to protect wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of sediment entering the aquatic ecosystem over the long-term, the release said. No new permanent roads will be built.
Work will begin in August.