Bearlodge isolated parcels hazardous fuels reduction project
March 10, 2022
The Black Hills National Forest is proposing to reduce fire hazard on isolated National Forest parcels adjacent to the western edge of the Bear Lodge Mountains. High fuel loading on these parcels poses a risk to surrounding lands and communities.
The proposed area consists of ten scattered blocks of land. Detailed maps can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=61415.
There is no public or Forest Service access to these parcels. For this reason, the project would be implemented primarily via Good Neighbor Authority agreements with the State of Wyoming, as authorized by Title VIII of the 2018 USDA Farm Bill (Public Law 115–334).
The parcels total 2191 acres. They include 1538 acres of ponderosa pine forest and 223 acres of grasslands being overgrown by pine.
Bur oak woodland, aspen forest and un-encroached grasslands make up the remainder of the area. Most of the pine forest consists of moderately to closely spaced mature trees, often with an understory of saplings.
The Black Hills National Forest is proposing to thin up to 1504 acres of National Forest pine stands that are densely stocked with generally evenly spaced, mature trees over nine inches in diameter, smaller trees or both.
Retained mature trees would be those with fire-resistant characteristics, such as larger trunk diameter and lack of low branches. Encroaching pine would be cut on 223 acres of meadows.
Where mature trees are cut, removal and sale of merchantable material would occur. Non-merchantable cut material would be scattered, chipped, piled and burned, or otherwise mitigated to reduce fire hazard. Seeding of disturbed ground and suppression of noxious weeds would occur as needed.
Comments can be submitted through the electronic comment form located on the project webpage. Comments may also be submitted by means of written comment via the U.S. Postal Service to: Elizabeth Krueger, Bearlodge Ranger District, P.O. Box 680 / 101 S. 21st Street, Sundance, WY 82729.
Comments received in response to this initial request, including names, addresses and any other information provided with the comments, will be considered a part of the public record. Please submit any comments by April 5, 2022.