Public Scoping Notice for Soldier Mountain WUI Project

The Hat Creek Ranger District is starting analysis on the Soldier Mountain Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Project (Soldier Mountain WUI Project, Project) located near the communities of Glenburn and Dana, California, Township 37 North, Range 4 East, Sections 5–8, 17–20 and Township 37 North, Range 3 East, Sections 12, 13, and 24. The project lies within a WUI zone that has been prioritized for treatment due to a combination of excessive fuel levels, proximity to residences and critical infrastructure, and frequency of public use.

The primary purpose of this project is to reduce fuel levels and increase fire resiliency on approximately 3,000 acres of forested and brush-dominated habitat on the Hat Creek Ranger District. The combination of fuel and vegetation changes (primarily driven by fire suppression, past management, and a warming and drying climate) within and surrounding the Soldier Mountain WUI project area has resulted in a landscape that is less resilient to disturbances including wildland fire, drought, insects, and diseases. Much of the forest condition in the area is outside of the natural range of variability, as tree mortality and decadent brush are present at higher levels than would naturally occur in this forest type. Consequently, restoration actions are needed to reduce the risk to wildland fire and move the project area towards healthier and more resilient conditions. This project is supported by the Burney-Hat Creek Community Forest and Watershed group.

The Proposed Action and Purpose and Need are available on the Lassen National Forest web page at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=59023.

The Forest Service is seeking your input as it relates to the proposed action and identification of any issues about the anticipated effects from this proposed action. Please respond by December 12, 2020, so your comments may be fully considered as we move through the decision-making (“NEPA”) process with this project.

Comments, written or oral, may be submitted to: Andrew Hart, Acting District Ranger, Hat Creek Ranger District, PO Box 220, Fall River Mills, CA 96028, (530) 336-5521, FAX: (530) 336-3337, during normal business hours. Hat Creek Ranger District Office’s business hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Electronic comments, in acceptable plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), or Word (.doc) formats, may be submitted to: comments-pacificsouthwest-lassen-hat-creek@usda.gov using Subject: Soldier Mountain WUI Project.

Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-76) and the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) (Pub. L. No. 113-79), projects that are categorically excluded are not subject to pre-decisional administrative review or administrative appeal. Further, they are not subject to legal notice and comment under the pre-decisional administrative review process (36 CFR 218.23).

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, are part of the public record for this proposed action. A decision regarding this proposal is expected in late December 2020 or January 2021. Thank you for your interest and participation in the environmental analysis process.