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Healthy Forests Initiative - Fact Sheet

Making A Difference
Fishlake National Forest - Utah

[image] A picture of a catastrophic fire - high intensity - high resource.

The Pahvant Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project was selected as one of ten Healthy Forests Initiative national pilot projects. The Pahvant project is an interagency fuels treatment project coordinated between the Fishlake National Forest; the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fillmore Field Office; the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands; and the communities within Millard County, including Kanosh, Fillmore, Scipio, Cove Fort, Holden and Meadow.

During the past ten years, local authorities have expressed concerns regarding increasing fire risks and resources damage to their communities. Previous wild fires had already threatened the towns, burning adjacent watersheds severely enough to trigger flooding.

It was clear that action needed to occur quickly to decrease the threats of uncharacteristically intense and severe wildfires, and secondary effects such as flooding. Using the traditional environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to complete this fuel reduction project could have taken up to three years to initiate the Pahvant Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project. Using the new authorities provided under the President’s Healthy Forests Initiative, the environmental assessment and decision were signed in August 2003 and the project commenced in January 2003.

[image] A picture of mature pinyon-juniper and mountain brush adjacent to a residence in the wildland urban interface zone

The Bureau of Land Management - Fillmore Field Office Manager and the Fishlake National Forest - Fillmore District Ranger, decided to implement hazardous fuels reduction activities on approximately 14,300 acres along the west side of the Pahvant Mountain Range. Vegetation will be hand-cut, and then burned by hand.

Eventually, approximately 7,300 acres of National Forest lands and approximately 7,000 acres of BLM lands containing sagebrush-grasslands, pinion-juniper, and Gambel oak will be treated in seven units, ranging from about 500 to 4,900 acres. Treatments will begin in 2004. Thanks, to the new authorities, the entire project will be completed in 2008 resulting in healthier forests and rangelands.

The Pahvant Interagency Fuels Reduction Project was nominated for the Annual Forest Service Chief’s Gridlock Breaking Award in 2003.

For more information on the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and the Healthy Forests Initiative, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/projects/hfi/ or http://www.doi.gov/hfi/newhfi/

US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

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