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Healthy Forests Initiative - Fact Sheet

Making A Difference
Sam Houston National Forest - Texas

[graphic] An image of the Four Notch-Boswell Creek Watershed Healthy Forests Initiative Pilot Project.  The image shows a fire burning in a stand of trees.

Recognizing a crisis of forest and rangeland health, President Bush proposed the Healthy Forests Initiative (HFI) in August 2002, and directed federal agencies to develop administrative and legislative tools to restore ecosystems to healthy, natural conditions and assist in executing the National Fire Plan. The HFI helps effectively reduce the accumulation of hazardous fuels and restore wildfire-damaged areas, helps land managers respond more quickly to insect infestations, disease epidemics, and invasion by weeds and lessens the time and documentation required to meet environmental regulations.

The Four-Notch-Boswell Creek project takes advantage of the new guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality on simplifying environmental assessments thus decrease the paperwork so the project can move forward.

The Four-Notch-Boswell Creek Watershed project in the Sam Houston National Forest includes approximately 8,650 acres of national forest surrounding primarily residences and buildings of the Phelps community, rural churches, adjacent private timber lands owned by International Paper, and habitat for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

The project’s purposes are to reduce hazardous fuels, reduce the southern pine beetle (SPB) hazard, improve endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) habitat, and improve forest health.

Prescribed fire and thinning will reduce the future risk of large destructive wildfires, reduce the potential for damage to property and natural resources, and improve firefighter and public safety.

The planned management actions will also result in the reduction of SPB hazard and help maintain the pine-dominated forest communities on the uplands that is important recovery habitat for the RCW on the Sam Houston National Forest.

The Environmental Assessment may be reviewed at the Texas Healthy Forests Initiative Page link at www.southernregion.fs.fed.us/texas.

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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