Ochoco National Forest
Projects that are completed, inactive, cancelled, or were changed or stopped through our involvement, may be found in the Library section on the Ochoco NF Archive page.
No Forest Plans are being reviewed at this time.
Ochoco Forest Supervisor
Ochoco Summit Trail System Project
This project was introduced to the public in 2009 as a project proposal. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released for comment in January 2013. Detailed information on this project can be found on the Forest Service web site at Ochoco Summit Trail System.
The draft DEIS summarizes the project as follows: "This Draft Environmental Impact Statement analyzes four alternatives related to the development of a trail for motorized off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on the Ochoco National Forest. Alternative 1 is the no action alternative, which would not develop or designate trail for OHVs. Alternative 2 is the proposed action; it would create a 170-mile trail network, providing areas intended for use by motorcycles, ATVs, and Jeeps and 4 x 4 trucks. Alternative 3 would create a 101-mile trail network, providing areas intended for use by motorcycles and ATVS, and would not designate a trail system intended for jeeps and 4 x 4s. Alternative 4 would create a 212-mile trail network, providing areas for all three classes of off-highway vehicles. The Responsible Official has identified Alternative 3 as the preferred alternative."
The Sierra Club takes great exception with implementing any of the Alternatives other than Alternative 1, No Action. The impacts of increased OHV usage on existing forest experiences and values that are currently available in this public land would be too great, and the expenditure of precious funds for just 0.2% of users is not justified. The Ochoco’s would be irreparably degraded should this project plan proceed.
The full text of our comments on this DEIS can be read at Ochoco Summit Trail DEIS Comments.
Lookout Mountain Ranger District
McKay Fuels and Vegetation Management Project
The Ochoco NF is conducting a NEPA analysis of a proposal to use commercial timber harvest, pre-commercial thinning, grapple piling, hand piling, and prescribed fire in the McKay Creek watershed for vegetation management and treatment of fuels. The Draft EIS was issued in March 2013: it analyzes three additional alternatives (including the No Action Alternative); the significant issues associated with the proposal; and the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of implementing any of the alternatives.
The McKay project area is located on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest, about 11 miles northeast of Prineville, Oregon. The approximately 25,526 acre project area falls within McKay Creek watershed.
The Forest Service rationale for the project states: "Based upon direction from the Ochoco Forest Plan and opportunities identified in the McKay WA, the Lookout Mountain Ranger District has determined that within the McKay project area: 1. There is a need to strategically reduce forest vegetation density and fuel loadings to reduce the risk that disturbance events such as insect, disease and wildfire will lead to a loss of desired forest conditions. 2. There is a need to increase or maintain large tree structure and hardwood abundance and diversity in RHCAs while meeting the need identified in point #1. 3. There is a need to contribute to the local and regional economies by providing timber and other wood fiber products now and in the future."
The Sierra Club has analyzed the Draft EIS and submitted the following comments to the Forest Service:
- Thinning will be conducted in riparian areas without an adequate buffer zone;
- The expansion of the Highland Material Source gravel mine will have significant impacts on water quality, however no water quality monitoring is required;
- Protection measures for nesting Goshawks are not included;
- The limitations provided for removal of snags that present a safety hazard are not adequate;
- The impact of constructing seven miles of temporary roads and reconstructing 11 miles of permanent roads are not adequately analyzed;
- We question whether a Forest Plan Amendment should allow cutting of Late Old Successional Reserves.
The full text of our comments to the Forest Service can be read at McKay DEIS Comments 4-29-13. Forest Service documents related to this project are available at McKay Fuels and Vegetation Management Project.
Paulina Ranger District
No projects being tracked at this time.