Proposed Action

In response to the conditions described in the purpose and need, the proposed action is to effectively treat up to 25,000 acres within the 67,000 acre analysis area. Combinations of mechanical thinning with product removal, mastication, hand thinning, and prescribed fire will be used to shift forest conditions across the analysis area towards agreed upon desired conditions. Emphasis will be on retention of older trees in all forest types, opening up densely closed stands of mid to late seral classes, creating a more open forest environment and improving shrub and grass diversity. The forest ecosystems that will be the primary targets for treatments will be the ponderosa pine, dry mixed conifer, aspen, and mesic mixed conifer, with some treatments in lodgepole and oak/ponderosa types. Vegetative treatments will balance the need to protect important values at risk within and adjoing the project area. Values at risk include but are not limited to the following; private property, utility infrastructure, wildlife habitat and fully functioning rivers and streams. The Proposed Action includes the use of adaptive management principals to enable land managers with public participation to identify management treatments that modify forest structure, pattern, and composition across the landscape to help improve forest resiliency and function in response to the potential for large, high intensity fires and excessive water flows within the Upper Monument Project Area. Adaptive management relies on monitoring change conditions and the result of actions to determine if management changes are needed, and if so, what changes and to what degree.