Fire weather watch was issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday morning due to low relative humidity and strong winds. Our outlook is for Friday reaching highs in the mid-60s with lows in the upper-20s. A warm-up will follow through the weekend with highs Sunday reaching into the mid-70s and lows in the low-40s. No precipitation is in the forecast.
The Rim Lakes Forest Restoration Project, first titled the Rim Lakes Forest Health Project, was sent out with an opportunity for public comment in late 2007. In September of 2011, a Legal Notice was published announcing the availability of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for review and a 30-day objection period.
At this time, the forest is moving forward with the project’s analysis by developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As we considered the analysis presented in the EA, we concluded it would be in the best interest of the project and the public to better describe the desired condition and amend the Forest Plan, allowing the project to move toward those desired conditions described in the proposed action. Moreover, in considering the full scope of amending the Forest Plan, we believe the disclosure requirements (or expectations) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are best served by developing an EIS. The final EIS is scheduled for release in September 2012.
The project proposes forest restoration treatments through uneven-aged selective cutting of trees and broadcast burning, in ponderosa pine, pine-oak, and dry mixed conifer forest stands on the Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. These treatments will be applied along the Mogollon Rim west of and in the vicinity of Forest Lakes, Ariz.
A public open house is scheduled for April 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Frontier Room of the Navajo County Public Health Building, 600 N. 9th Place in Show Low, Ariz. Members of the interdisciplinary team will be available to discuss the project.
The Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is looking for courteous, helpful and enthusiastic volunteers to fill vacancies for campground hosts at several locations in the Rim Lakes Recreation Area on the Mogollon Rim. For more information, please call Lorraine Cuevas at (928) 535-7352.