Thursday, April 9, 2015
Corps proceeds with Dworshak forest, vegetation management; awards sale of beetle-infested Dworshak timber harvest
On March 3, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the sale of 122 acres of timber in the area east of Dent Bridge at Dworshak Reservoir. The approximately two million board-feet of timber was selected for harvest to contain and control an outbreak of Douglas fir beetle.
The timber sale was awarded to the Idaho Forest Group, of Grangeville, under a competitive-bidding process. Harvest will begin after the migratory bird nesting period, no sooner than Aug. 1. Proceeds from the timber sale - bid at $40.94 per ton or approximately $444,125 - will be used for site restoration after harvest, plus preparation for future timber sales and Dworshak natural resources efforts.
Forest and vegetation management activities are a year-round effort on the 29,318 acres of land surrounding Dworshak Dam and Reservoir.
During the weekend of March 7-9, Natural Resources staff at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir worked with Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest fire crews to conduct prescribed burning in the vicinity of Dicks Creek and Elk Creek Meadows. This prescribed burn is part of the Elk Creek Meadows Stewardship Project initiated by the Corps several years ago to restore ponderosa pine ecosystems. Logging in this area has been completed. Prescribed burning will reduce fuel loads left from logging, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance the area for ponderosa pine regeneration.
The Corps is also developing a Vegetation Management Environmental Assessment (EA) for Dworshak lands based on the project's five-year vegetation-management plan to address forest-health issues and habitat-restoration projects. Planners anticipate inviting public comments for the Vegetation Management EA and an associated draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) planned for spring this year.