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Extensive Planning In Preparing For Hazardous Fuel Reduction
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Author:  crow [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:01 am ]
Post subject:  Extensive Planning In Preparing For Hazardous Fuel Reduction

Phase 1 – Extensive Planning involved in Preparing for Hazardous Fuel Reduction
The Gila National Forest has a target of ~25,000 acres of hazardous fuels reduction for Fiscal Year 2018. The Black Range Ranger District has three prescribed burns planned for this year: (1) Area 74, Units 9 and 10, (approximately 9,000 acres), (2) Indian Peaks, Unit 16, 20 (approximately 3,700 acres), and (3) Indian Peaks, Unit 13 (approximately 7,300 acres).

The first step involved in the Area 74 planning process is completing a burn plan. The purpose of a burn plan is to provide a description of the burn area, objectives to be achieved, target weather conditions, hazards that may be encountered, personnel needs and safety, and contacts to make prior to burning. The draft Area 74 burn plan has been submitted to the Region 3 Southwestern Regional Office for a technical review and is expected to be approved in March.

The Area 74 Burn will take approximately three weeks to complete. The planned area is reviewed to ensure appropriate NEPA guidelines are achieved; due to the size and complexity, it is being reviewed at the Regional Office level. The Gila NF is coordinating internally to ensure appropriate number of personnel to support on-the-ground efforts are scheduled and to ensure our ranger districts have the opportunity to complete their planned hazardous fuels reduction projects.

The next step after Regional Office reviews and approves will be biological clearances to ensure we account for the Mexican spotted owls in the burn area. The Forest Service will be coordinating with private landowners, grazing permit holders, N.M. Department of Transportation, N.M. Division of Forestry, and county governments. Implementation will then be weather dependent and Dennis Fahl, Black Range Fire Management Officer, stated that they are hoping for the right weather window in mid-late May.

The Indian Peaks burn units are not as technically complex, so Regional Office coordination is not required. That said, the Black Range is working closely with the Socorro and Albuquerque Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices to potentially burn on both BLM and National Forest System lands when units 16 and 20 are burned. In addition to federal lands planned for prescribed burning, some private lands and State Trust lands are being identified to ensure appropriate fire intervals are maintained on a more landscape scale. More information will be provided in future news releases on the Indian Peaks prescribed burning.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

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Marta Call

Author:  BigBird [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Extensive Planning In Preparing For Hazardous Fuel Reduc

Hmmm. I wonder if, instead of burning, the forest service could open up these areas for people to come in and collect the deadwood for firewood and kindling; it would save the air pollution

Author:  crow [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Extensive Planning In Preparing For Hazardous Fuel Reduc

This is still a great idea as it was when it first came up on gilacommunity 15 years.

Her's a GNF project that may show a change of attitude "Wood Chips At Gatton’s Park Fuels Treatment Project" I posted a few days ago.

Author:  mimbresgranny [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Extensive Planning In Preparing For Hazardous Fuel Reduc

There might be a couple of problems in opening such planned burn areas to the public. First, the purpose of the burn is not to burn trees but the scrub that has grown, died and dried around them. That is not what people want to pick up nor what contractors could make a profit from. This kind of burn is controlled by the humidity in the air, to dry and it burns to fast and hot and to wet it will smolder and not move along. So they pick days when the fire will crawl at a steady pace and not climb into the trees. Second, I believe they don't necessarily want to remove all the fallen limbs. The current understanding of the ecosystem includes decay and habitat for all kinds of organisms. When they are removing larger debris it is piled by machine into the "slash piles" and that is where the pickers could find useful branches but most of it is thin stuff and pine needles which, again, no one wants and there is danger in pulling such piles apart.

I applaud the wood chip project but it is about a reclamation area and they don't want the public in the work area for safety reasons and, I suspect, also because they don't want indiscriminate deforestation. We expect the contractors to be paying close attention to their instructions.

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