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Forest Seeks Feedback On Hazard Tree Environmental Assessment

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Sonora, California – The public’s opinions are needed to help Stanislaus National Forest shape its Hazard Tree Management Environmental Assessment.

The comment period began on July 20th and will last 30 days. The project proposes the felling and removal of hazardous trees adjacent to roads, high-use motorized trails, and recreation and administrative sites within the forest.

“This is the second time we are seeking comment on this project,” explained Stanislaus National Forest Environmental Coordinator Katie Wilkinson. “We originally sought comments in early April 2023. At that time, the Stanislaus had prepared a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) and made that and other related documentation available for review. Since that time, an Environmental Assessment was prepared in lieu of the DNA. With an Environmental Assessment now available, we’re seeking your comments once again.”

Forest officials advise that hazardous trees are an existing and future safety risk to the public, firefighters, forest service personnel, forest service partners, and contract personnel, whether originating from insects, disease, drought, or wildfire mortality. Left unabated, they may fall on roads and facilities such as trailheads, administrative sites, or within recreation areas and either cause direct injury or death to people, such as a tree falling on a tent with a family sleeping inside. As reported earlier this month, a similar incident actually happened to a mother and several kids camping near Lake Camanche in the Valley Springs area of Calaveras County earlier this month.

“Providing for a reduced hazard environment for both public and administrative use is a priority for the Forest Service,” shared forest officials.