Lassen National Forest Seeks Comments

Lassen National Forest Seeking Scoping Comments for the Eagle Lake Weeds and Wildlife Project

The Eagle Lake Ranger District (ELRD) of the Lassen National Forest (LNF) is seeking scoping comments for the Eagle Lake Weeds and Wildlife Project. The project proposes to treat priority invasive plant infestations on up to 30 acres annually, using a combination of manual, cultural, biological and/or chemical methods. In addition, the project would re-establish osprey nesting platforms within the Osprey Management Area that were destroyed by the Whaleback Fire.

The project area encompasses approximately 28,300 acres of Lassen National Forest land located along the shores of Eagle Lake, and within the footprint of the 2018 Whaleback Fire (Township (T) 31 North (N), Range (R) 10 East (E), Sections 2, 3, 10, 21; T31N, R11E, Sections 4, 5, 7, 8 and 18; T32N, R10E, Sections 1-29, 33-36; T32N, R11E, Sections 6, 7, 15, 17-20, 30 and 33; T32N, R12E, Section 7, T33N, R10E, Sections 25, 28, 29, 31-34, and 36; T33N, R11E, Sections 24, 28-33; and T33N, R12E, Section 19 of the Mount Diablo Meridian).

Currently, invasive plants are known to 58 locations, and degrade approximately 20 acres across the project area. There is a need to protect resource areas by eliminating or controlling known priority infestations and to prevent the establishment of new infestations. In addition, the location, severity, and suppression activities associated with the Whaleback Fire have created a very high risk for invasive plant introduction and spread within the Lower Pine Creek watershed. During the Whaleback Fire, fire suppression dozer lines and very high burn severity resulted in considerable ground disturbance, leaving favorable conditions for the establishment and spread of invasive plants. Manual treatments are insufficient to reduce or eliminate these invasive species infestations, and cultural, biological, and/or chemical methods may also be utilized following an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.

The purpose of this notice is to invite you to participate in the planning process. An Environmental Assessment will be prepared with a decision regarding this proposal expected in June 2021. The public is encouraged to submit input as it relates to the proposed action and identify any issues about the anticipated effects from the proposed actions.

For detailed information please visit the forest website https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/lassen/landmanagement/projects. Electronic comments may be submitted to: comments-pacificsouthwest-lassen-eagle-lake@usda.gov with Subject: Eagle Lake Weeds and Wildlife Project. Written comments should be mailed to Carol Thornton, District Ranger, ATTN: Eagle Lake Weeds and Wildlife Project, 477-050 Eagle Lake Road, Susanvile, CA. 96130. For more information on the project, please contact Kirsten Bovee, Assistant Forest Botanist, by email at kirsten.bovee@usda.gov.

Please respond before March 15, 2021 so your input can be considered as we move into the next phase of the NEPA process.