Letters from the West

Forest Service plans to cut diseased trees at Bogus Basin ski hill

Dwarf mistletoe is a parasitic plant that kills both Douglas fir and Ponderosa Pine. Much of Bogus Basin has been infected and the Forest Service wants to remove dead and dying trees to slow its advance.
Dwarf mistletoe is a parasitic plant that kills both Douglas fir and Ponderosa Pine. Much of Bogus Basin has been infected and the Forest Service wants to remove dead and dying trees to slow its advance.

A logging project aimed at removing dead diseased trees at Bogus Basin has been proposed by the U.S. Forest Service.

The project would remove Douglas fir and pine infected and killed with dwarf mistletoe, from 3,700 acres within the ski hill's permit area and adjacent forest. The Boise Forest Coalition, a collaborative group of local officials, foresters, environmental groups and recreation interests has already expressed its support.

So if the Forest Service can complete its environmental review without major issues arising, the project could be approved with a categorical exclusion, which allows a shorted permitting period under authority granted Congress in the last Farm bill.

The Boise National Forest is seeking public comment for a through April 11, 2016. The project is being proposed to address public safety concerns within the developed recreation site and along trails while improving forest health and resilience to wildland fires in adjoining National Forest System lands.

The collaboration of local officials with the U.S. Forest Service could speed the completion of the project and is a contrast with a bill before the Idaho Legislature on fire risks, that its sponsors and oppoents say provides no new authority but opponents say undercuts collaborative efforts.

An open house style public meeting will be held to introduce the project. at the Boise Senior Center, 690 Robbins Road The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, from 6:30-8:30 pm.

“We have been working with a multi-interest group called the Boise Forest Coalition on the issues of forest health, public recreation and safety around the ski resort for several months,” said Stephaney Kerley, Mountain Home District Ranger. “The Coalition’s input has been incorporated into the proposal.”

Written comments on the Bogus Basin Forest Health Project can be submitted to Mountain Home Ranger District, 3080 Industrial Way, Mountain Home, ID 83647. More information will be published as it becomes available at:http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47956

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