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Requesting Input: Eastern Sierra Climate and Communities Resilience Project (ESCCRP)

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (EA) OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT FROM NOVEMBER 16 THROUGH DECEMBER 18, 2023

WHAT IS THE PROJECT? 

Whitebark Institute is assisting the Inyo National Forest in carrying out a plan for ecological forest restoration on approximately 58,000 acres surrounding the Town of Mammoth Lakes. In the face of rapidly increasing climate stressors, the need for proactive forest management action is urgent. 

This effort will make the forested landscapes we love more resilient to anticipated future threats from climate change which include, high severity fire, extended drought, mass beetle outbreaks and changes in precipitation timing and amounts. These actions will also work to reduce the risk in the Town of Mammoth Lakes from catastrophic fire events and give emergency firefighting forces tactical options as they continue to encounter increasingly challenging and complex fire scenarios.

Where are we in the process?

The Inyo National Forest has announced the beginning of a 30-day public comment period (through December 18, 2023) for the ESCCRP Draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA considers input from the public scoping period in November 2022. In some cases, issues identified in scoping led to refinements of the Proposed Action, additional clarification, or additional alternatives considered (see Section 1.9 of the EA for more information).

Key issues that were raised during public scoping are listed below.

  • Project size

  • Treatments in Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA)

  • Effects to mule deer and sage-grouse

  • Phasing of National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Consultation

  • Levels of snag retention.

 

From the public input, the Project team has considered the following alternatives:

  • A smaller project (see Draft EA Section 2.3.2 for more information)

  • Removing Treatments in IRA from the Project (see Draft EA Section 2.1.6)

What can I do?

Familiarize yourself with the ESCCRP proposed action.

  1. Read the FAQ section.

  2. Read the full ESCCRP draft Environmental Assessment to get clarity on any questions you may still have.

  3. Submit your comments in a timely manner.

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