FWPP DEIS Summary Report

Alternatives 2 and 3 would have the greatest reduction in active crown fire potential: from approximately 57 percent of the project area under the No Action Alternative to 7 percent under Alternatives 2 and 3, compared to approximately 28 percent under Alternative 4. Alternatives 2 and 3 would also result in the greatest reduction in post-fire predicted peak discharge associated with a 100-year storm event (1 percent recurrence interval): 60 percent reduction for Alternatives 2 and 3 versus 30 percent reduction for Alternative 4 as compared to the No Action Alternative. All three action alternatives include a Forest Plan amendment to allow mechanized equipment for thinning on slopes greater than 40 percent (see Forest Plan Amendments in Chapter 2 and Appendix A for more information). For more click here: FWPP DEIS Comparison Summary


FWPP Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Release

Based on input received on the Proposed Action released in April 2013, the US Forest Service (USFS) developed four treatment alternatives, which are analyzed and compared in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which has been released for public comment July 3rd. The public is encouraged to provide feedback during the 45-day comment period ending August 18th. The USFS will use the comments received to develop the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and draft Record of Decision (ROD); these will be published later this year.  Once the FEIS and draft decision are published, there will be a 45-day objection period for those who provided comments followed by a 45-day resolution period.  The final ROD, which will contain the final decision for treatment, is expected early next year (2015).

Two open houses are scheduled at the Flagstaff Aquaplex July 17th and 22nd from 5:00-7:30 PM to review the DEIS. The DEIS, along with a Reader’s Guide, a Map Packet and other supporting information can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/FWPP.

 

 

FWPP Biannual Report (Jan.-June 2014)

In the November 2012 election, City voters overwhelmingly approved (74%) a $10 million dollar bond to fund the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP). Forest treatments will occur primarily on federal lands outside of the City, as well as on City and State lands, within City limits; all treatments are designed to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and subsequent post-fire flooding in the Rio de Flag (Dry Lake Hills) and Lake Mary watersheds. This report highlights significant accomplishments in the first half of 2014.

To view the full report, click here: FWPP Biannual Report – Jan to June 2014.

Proposition 405 – 2012 FWPP Exit Poll Fact Sheet

On November 6, 2012, Flagstaff, Arizona voters over-whelmingly approved a $10 million bond — Question 405, “Forest Health and Water Supply Protection Pro-ject” (hereafter the Watershed Project). This municipal bond project, backed by secondary property taxes, will finance up to $10 million to support planning and im-plementation of forest health and water supply protec-tion projects on 14,446 acres of U.S. Forest Service and State lands primarily outside Flagstaff city limits. This bond authorization is the first payment for water-shed services (hereafter water resources) project im-plemented on national forest lands in the United States that was subjected to voter approval and financed through municipal bonds. Exit polling was conducted by Northern Arizona University (NAU) researchers to understand underlying dimensions of voter support or opposition to payments for water resources.

Read the full report HERE.

FWPP Annual Report — A Summary of the First Year

In the November 2012 election, voters approved a 10 million dollar bond to fund the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) to protect forest health, water quality and supply, and the community in the greater Flagstaff area. Forest treatments will occur primarily on federal lands outside the City and state lands within the City, and are designed to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and subsequent post‐fire flooding in the Rio de Flag and Lake Mary watersheds. Some initial on‐the‐ground work has been undertaken and planning is well underway to begin full‐scale implementation of forest treatments within the next year. This report highlights significant accomplishments in the year since the measure was passed by 74% of Flagstaff voters.

Click the link below to read the full 2013 FWPP Annual Report.
FWPP Annual Report_2013_

Schultz Pass Road construction and temporary closures begin Wednesday, Oct 23

Contractors are beginning resurfacing work tomorrow on Schultz Pass Road (Forest Service Rd 420). Through Friday, travelers should expect delays of up to 30 minutes, and starting October 28, the southwestern stretch of the road will be closed to all entry Mondays through Fridays. Work is anticipated to last approximately two months.

The closure area will start about ¾ mile from Hwy 180 (where the pavement ends), and will extend to the Schultz Tank Trailhead. The “Y” Trailhead at the confluence of Schultz Pass Rd and Elden Lookout Rd will remain open. Schultz Pass Rd and the Schultz Trailhead will still be accessible from the north via Hwy 89 and Elden Springs Rd (FSR 556). High clearance vehicles are required on Elden Springs Rd and the northern portion of Schultz Pass Rd.

Resurfacing will improve Schultz Pass Rd so it is capable of sustaining logging traffic for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. This effort will also result in better driving conditions for the public. Logging activity could begin as early as spring; the nearby Orion Timber Sale is expected to be offered for bid this winter.  

Visitors in the area may have already noticed the orange paint on trees within the Orion Timber Sale, located near FSR420 and the Arizona Trail. These are designated “leave trees”– trees that will not be cut.

The partners of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project will be continuing to move forward with planning and implementing treatments to reduce the risk of severe fire and flooding in the Rio De Flag and Lake Mary watersheds. Some projects that fall within the FWPP geographical boundary, like the Orion Timber Sale, were approved under previous environmental analyses and are ready for implementation. The majority of the project area, however, is currently being analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Visit www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org for additional information.

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Press Release: Pilot Project tests logging equipment and slash piling on steep slopes off Schultz Pass Road

Click here to download the printable version of this press release (.docx)
Visit our Flickr page for photos of the Pilot Project

Flagstaff, AZ — As part of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) that was recently approved by City voters to reduce the threat of severe wildfire in critical watersheds, the Coconino National Forest and City of Flagstaff conducted a pilot project in the Dry Lake Hills watershed off Schultz Pass Road (Forest Road 420). The thinned areas and slash piles are visible from the Arizona Trail.

This project occurred on approximately 10 acres to assess impacts and capabilities of logging equipment – a harvester and a self-leveling feller-buncher – on steep slopes and to assess slash-piling methods. Specialists determined how this equipment maneuvers on the slopes, opportunities to limit soil disturbance, and best methods for stacking slash so it could be consumed efficiently during prescribed burning.

Lessons learned from this pilot project will be used for larger-scale planning in the FWPP.

The debris and slash will be burned within the next two years when the material has dried enough to burn thoroughly, and will most likely occur in the winter when there is adequate moisture to isolate the fire.

To further assess ecological effects, the Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) has established monitoring plots on the site and will be used to track effects on forest structure, fuel dynamics, canopy cover and soil function.

The pilot project is in an area where treatments have already been approved by a previous National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis. Analysis for new areas of treatment within the FWPP is still underway.