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					Red Zone Safety Project Preliminary EA 12/12/2008                                         Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequences




                                     Chapter 3
            Affected Environment
      and Environmental Consequences
  Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3-2
  Forested Vegetation ............................................................................................................ 3-5
  Public Safety and Recreation ............................................................................................ 3-10
  Fire, Fuels and Firefighter Safety ..................................................................................... 3-16
  Aquatics and Soils ............................................................................................................ 3-25
  Wildlife ............................................................................................................................. 3-50
  Cultural Resources ............................................................................................................ 3-61
  Treaty Rights .................................................................................................................... 3-65
  Transportation ................................................................................................................... 3-67
  Scenery ............................................................................................................................. 3-74
  Roadless Areas ................................................................................................................. 3-77
  Noxious Weeds ................................................................................................................. 3-83
  Endangered, Threatened, Proposed, or Sensitive Plants .................................................. 3-89
  Social and Environmental Justice ................................................................................... 3-101
  Other Disclosures ........................................................................................................... 3-102




Introduction                                                                                                                                    3-1
Red Zone Safety Project Preliminary EA 12/12/2008               Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequences



Introduction
This chapter discusses the existing conditions of the resources and the anticipated effects of each
of the alternatives.

“Affected environment” is a term that refers to the existing biological, physical, and social
conditions of an area that are subject to change, directly, indirectly, or cumulatively as a result of
a proposed human action. Information on affected environment is found in each resource section
under the heading “Existing Condition.”

Several resource sections make references to resource reports that are in the project record.
These resource reports provide more detailed information than is presented in Chapter 3.

The references listed in Chapter 4 and cited throughout Chapter 3 establish the consideration of
the best available science being used to complete this analysis.

Framework for Cumulative Effects Analysis
For each resource addressed in this Chapter, past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future
activities were considered, along with proposed activities of the Red Zone Safety Project, to
determine cumulative effects. Activities displayed in tabular form in Appendix A were a starting
point for that consideration. Other source materials for cumulative effects considerations include
watershed analyses (Upper Sycan WA, 2000, Chewaucan WA, 1999, Dairy/Elder WA, 1998,
Silver Creek WA, 1997). These provide a summary of the existing conditions and a history of
management activities that may have influenced them.

 "Cumulative impact" is defined in the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA
regulations as the "impact on the environment that results from the incremental impact of the
action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions .. ." 40 CFR
1508.7.

The cumulative effects analysis in this EA, for each resource, focuses on those past actions and
activities whose effects have a geographical and timing overlap with the direct and indirect
effects of the proposed action or alternatives. Such a relationship defines relevancy for the
cumulative effects analysis.

Several factors specific to the Red Zone influence the approach to the cumulative effects analysis
in this EA. The overall area identified as “The Red Zone” includes just over 330,000 acres.
Twenty five subwatersheds have activity proposed within them by the Red Zone Safety Project.
These 25 subwatersheds total over 530,000 acres (see table below).

Of the total acres within the Red Zone, about two-thirds are National Forest System lands. The
remaining one-third are mostly private, through about 10,000 acres of BLM-managed rangeland
is included in the far northeast section of the Red Zone. The largest share of the private land is
industrial forestland, much of which was harvested during the 1980s or early/mid 1990s. These
areas are now characterized 10 to 20 year old lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine plantations.
The National Forest system lands have had a variety of vegetation management actions over the
past 18 years. These have been of relatively low magnitude and scattered through the

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subwatersheds of the Red Zone (see Appendix A). Lodgepole pine, which characterizes a major
portion of the forested vegetation in the Red Zone, has not been a management focus for the
agency during the period recorded in Appendix A. Many subwatersheds have had none or very
minimal vegetation management activity at since about 1994. For example Horse Glade Creek,
Brownsworth Creek, Meryl Creek, Dairy Creek, Upper Sycan River have all had less than 100
acres of vegetation management in the past 14 years.

As noted, the proposed Red Zone Safety project is scattered through 25 subwatersheds. The
amount of proposed project activity within any of the 25 subwatersheds varies between 0.1
percent of the subwatershed (in the case of Sycan Marsh, Deming Creek and Brownsworth
Creek) to 3.8 percent of the subwatershed in the case of Paradise Creek. Twenty of the 25
subwatersheds in the Red Zone would have implementation on less than 1.8 percent of the
subwatershed, by the Red Zone Safety Project.

IN general, these background factors present a limited potential or „opportunity‟ for a
geographical and timing overlap to occur between the residual impacts from past actions and
the direct/indirect effects attributed to the alternatives of the Red Zone Safety Project.

Table 3.1 Distribution of Proposed Activity by Subwatershed
                                                       Subshed Acres
 Subwatershed      Total Subshed     Subshed Acres     with Proposed           % of Subshed
                        Acres          in Red Zone       Activity in           with Proposed
                                                           Action                 Activity
                                                        Alternatives
Foster Creek                24434             11392               301                1.2
Sycan Marsh                 56649                42                  9               0.1
Chocktoot Creek             21539              8644               281                1.3
Log Spring                  10638             10415               149                1.4
Long Creek                  11309             11309               202                1.8
Upper Sycan
River                       38434             36861               968                2.5
Shake Creek                 13628              6404                65                0.5
Worlow Creek                20229              6386                57                0.3
Wooley Creek                17260             14772               375                2.2
Merritt Creek               35227              9084               111                0.3
Chewaucan
River                       21815              8997               262                1.2
Paradise Creek              16019             16019               606                3.8
Bear Creek                  14328             14327               225                1.6
Horse Glade                 13036              7720                69                0.5
Upper North
Fork Sprague R              29298             29298               801                2.7
Elder Creek                 25623             21773               657                2.6
Coffeepot Creek             14694             12401               130                0.9
Meryl Creek                 18347             16875                56                0.3

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                                                            Subshed Acres
 Subwatershed         Total Subshed        Subshed Acres    with Proposed       % of Subshed
                          Acres             in Red Zone       Activity in       with Proposed
                                                                Action             Activity
                                                             Alternatives
Cain Creek                     18116                18116              157             0.9
Lower North
Fork Sprague R                 26681                24393              323             1.2
Dairy Creek                    22300                14004              173             0.8
South Fork
Sprague River                  25199                 3571               77             0.3
Deming Creek                   14437                 9688               11             0.1
Upper South
Fork Sprague                   16190                 6661              104             0.6
Brownsworth
Creek                          12895                 7155               18             0.1




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Forested Vegetation

Regulatory Framework
Guidance for this project analysis derives from a complex layering of laws and regulations
developed over the past century. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 is the basic law
that governs vegetation management treatments on National Forest System lands

Management requirements relevant to silvicultural practices are summarized as follows:
   Section (a) Resource Protection: Management prescriptions shall (3) be consistent with
      resource values involved, and prevent long lasting hazards and damage from pest
      organisms, using principles of integrated pest management. The basic principle in the
      choice of strategy is that, in the long-term, it be ecologically acceptable and compatible
      with the forest ecosystem and the multiple use objectives of the plan; (5) provide for and
      maintain diversity of plant and animal communities to meet overall multiple-use
      objectives.

       Section (b) Vegetative Manipulation: Management prescriptions shall (1) contain
        multiple-use goals; (2) assure that lands treated can be adequately restocked; and (3) that
        lands are not chosen for greatest dollar return; (5) avoid permanent impairment of site
        productivity;

       Section (c) Silvicultural Practices: Management prescriptions must (1) be suitable; (7)
        prevent increases of forest pests.

       Section (g) Diversity: Treatment activities designed to maintain the diversity expected in
        a natural forest might be modified slightly to meet the desired future condition of the
        area.

Fremont National Forest LRMP Direction
See Chapter 1 of this EA for information about the 1989 Fremont National Forest Land and
Resource Management Plan (LRMP) as it pertains to vegetation management within the project
area.

LRMP Appendix D-2 (Regeneration): Minimum stocking of seedlings, unless amended by site-
specific guidelines, will be 100 trees per acre. A site specific guideline is established for this
project. In order to maintain a relatively open condition longer in the safety corridors that are
proposed next to primary public use roads and in campgrounds, minimal to low stocking is
acceptable.

Since the project primary purpose is to improve safety, an analysis to characterize the proposed
timber sale(s) and its associated watershed(s) for patterns of stand structure by biophysical
environment in comparison to the Historic Range of Variability (HRV) is not necessary under
the “Regional Forester's Eastside Forest Plan Amendment No. 2, Alternative 2, As Adopted.”

Forested Vegetation                                                                               3-5
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Affected Environment
The vegetation present in the area is a cumulative product of the site, the climate, available
vegetative reproductive factors and the past disturbance events, both natural and human. In this
sense, the “cumulative effects” analysis in the Forested Vegetation section of this EA is
addressed by considering those past events (through reporting current condition) and then going
forward by discussing direct and indirect effects of the alternatives. Effects from human initiated
past activities, given their small scale and scattered nature (see Appendix A), are dwarfed by the
results of the insect epidemic itself. Mountain pine beetle has long been the most destructive
bark beetle in Oregon. Outbreaks are generally driven an abundant, older lodgepole pine in
overstocked stands.
(Forest Health Highlights In Oregon, 2007; http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/nr/fid/as)

Tree Mortality from Insect Epidemic
Mountain pine beetle infestation was observed on the Fremont-Winema National Forests in the
early 1990‟s within mature stands of lodgepole pine at the southern portion of the Silver Lake
Ranger District. This area, referred to locally as the “Red Zone”,” over the past eight years has
reached an epidemic size of approximately 330,867 acres in which 203,029 acres are under
management of the Forest. The „Red Zone” has had approximately 150,000 acres affected by
mountain pine beetle with tree mortality by stand ranging from 10 percent to 100 percent. Tree
species mortality has been 76% lodgepole pine, 18% ponderosa pine and 6% 5-needled pines
(western white pine, whitebark pine and sugar pine). Field reconnaissance in 2008 observed
western and mountain pine beetle attacking ponderosa pine and 5-needled pines of all sizes that
are in a stressed condition due to inter-tree competition or drought. Mature lodgepole pine that
are generally older than 80 years of age larger than 9 inches diameter breast height (DBH) and
denser than 90 trees per acre are susceptible to infestation by the mountain pine beetle. (Eglitis,
2008). This epidemic level has been killing lodgepole pine trees greater than 4 inches dbh.

Since this is a large ongoing epidemic with acres affected constantly changing, the best sources
for geographic location and relative size are aerial insect and disease surveys. Two excellent
sources are Oregon Department of Forestry found at:

        http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/PRIVATE_FORESTS/fh.shtml
        under Statewide I & D Cooperative Aerial Surveys; and

        U. S. Forest Service found at www.fs.fed.us/r6/nr/fid/as/.

Plant Associations Within the Project Area
Plant associations are displayed to give a general condition of the tree species diversity and
amounts for this project area. Plant associations are classified by the Pacific Northwest Ecoclass
Codes for Seral and Potential Natural Communities (Hall 1998), in particular for the Red Zone
area “Plant Associations of the Fremont National Forest, R6: Ecol – 79-004 (Hopkins 1979).
The enclosed chart is a rough estimate of acres by Ecoclass for the safety treatment work
adjacent to roads in the red zone. The majority of the area has a mixture of conifer species the
tree type refers to the dominant species for a climax overstory. The stands that are not pure
lodgepole even-age do have a mixture of cohorts and ages.


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Table 3.2 Ecoclasses Represented within the Red Zone Safety Project, Project Area
 Ecoclass        Community Description                                  Tree Type             Acres
 CLC111          Lodgepole pine - whitebark pine /gay penstemon         LP                    75
 CLG315          Lodgepole pine / strawberry - fescue                   LP                    1013
 CLG415          Lodgepole pine / squirreltail - long-stolon sedge      LP                    1016
 CLH111          Lodgepole pine - quaking aspen / strawberry            LP                    5
                 Ponderosa pine - juniper / mountain-mahogany - sage /
 CPC211          fescue                                                 PP                    260
 CPS211          Ponderosa pine / bitterbrush / fescue                  PP                    358
 CPS217          Ponderosa pine / bitterbrush - manzanita / fescue      PP                    338
 CPH311          Ponderosa pine - quaking aspen / bluegrass             PP                    204
 CPS121          Ponderosa pine / mountain big sagebrush / bluegrass    PP                    570
                 White fir - lodgepole pine /long-stolon sedge -
 CWC311          needlegrass                                            WF                    293
 CWS313          White fir - ponderosa pine /snowberry /starwort        WF                    1216
 CWC412          White fir - ponderosa pine - sugar pine / manzanita    WF                    34
 CWS117          White fir - ponderosa pine / manzanita - Oregon grape  WF                    28
 CPS211          Ponderosa pine / bitterbrush / fescue                  PP                    107
 CPS212          Ponderosa pine / bitterbrush / needlegrass - pumice    PP                    7
 CJS112          Juniper / low sagebrush / fescue                       JUNIPER               361
 SD1913          Low sagebrush /fescue - squirreltail                   SHRUB                 612
 SD2913          Big sage - bitterbrush /bunchgrass                     SHRUB                 21
 NRCJ            Rocky - scattered juniper                              ROCK/J                28
 NRSX            Rocky - scattered big sage                             ROCK/S                45
 SXCP            Shrubland ponderosa pine                               SHRUB                 42
 SXCJ            Shrubland juniper                                      SHRUB                 8
 CPCJ            Ponderosa pine - juniper low amounts                   PP                    13
 MX              Meadow, grass - sedge                                  MEADOW                342
 W,WX,WL,WR Water                                                       WATER                 3
 NRR             Rocky land with minimal vegetation                     ROCK                  5
 NULL OR NON-CODES                                                                            20
                                                                        Total                 7024

Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1 - No Action
Under this alternative, no cutting and removing danger/hazard trees, dead trees, green stand
thinning, planting or activity fuels treatments, unless authorized by another planning process,
would occur in response to the purpose and need.

Unthinned areas would continue to succumb to the beetle pressure. Dead trees would partially
shade the ground limiting ground vegetation. Surviving small trees and natural regeneration
would at first minimally occupy the site. Over time, it is expected that lodgepole pine and white
fir species would increase and 5-needle pine and ponderosa pine would decrease from these sites


Forested Vegetation                                                                               3-7
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due to the shade, seed source availability and lack of quality seed bed for pines. Large amounts
of down wood and thick duff layers inhibit germination of pine seedlings.

Alternative 2 - Proposed Action
Both Alternatives 2 and 3 would leave live non-danger/hazard trees that are over 21 inches dbh,
and any size 5-needle pine.

This alternative targets treating lodgepole pine trees that may still be green but are still highly
susceptible to mountain pine beetle or wind breakage. Creation of relatively open conditions, in
order to contribute to the effectiveness of safety corridors, is a primary reason for the thinning
proposed with this alternative.

Lodgepole pine trees that are less susceptible to mountain pine beetle are generally less than 6
inches dbh, with good vigor demonstrated by live crown of at least 30 percent. (FHN Mountain
Pine Beetle, 2007). Thinned lodgepole pine becomes susceptible to wind breakage. For this
project, the assumption was made that lodgepole pine less than 45 feet tall are less likely to
become a safety concern as a result of wind breakage hitting a road. Thus, the proposed action
would cut and remove all live lodgepole pine that are greater than 45 feet tall (if less than 21”
dbh). Lodgepole pine trees less than 45 feet tall with a live crown of at least 30 percent would be
thinned to 30 foot spacing. Leaving these lodgepole pine trees provides some green tree cover
and variety in horizontal structure for the safety corridor. The thinned trees would have less
competition for site resources. Due to the ongoing beetle epidemic, it is difficult to estimate the
overall amount of surviving lodgepole pine that may be thinned, but it‟s estimated that about 30
percent of the project area would receive the above treatment.

Ponderosa pine trees would be thinned around reducing inter-tree competition thus improving
individual tree vigor. It‟s estimated that about 30 percent of the project area would receive this
treatment.

White fir and juniper would only be cut if within competition zone to ponderosa pine. It‟s
estimated that about 20 to 30 percent of the project area would have residual white fir and 6 to 10
percent of the area would have residual juniper.

Summarizing the above estimates, which are subject to change with the ongoing beetle epidemic,
it is expected that about 30 to 50 percent of the project area would have residual trees in a
thinned condition, and about 20 to 30 percent of the area would be in a dense forest condition.
The remaining area would be in openings.

These treatments would leave more green trees remaining than Alternative 3. These residual
trees when unthinned are still providing inter-tree competition. The healthy trees would survive
and growth would be allocated to the most vigorous trees. The stressed trees would further go
into stem exclusion and provide more ground and ladder fuels and a bridge for crown fire across
the project area. The most proactive way to manage this epidemic is to keep stocking levels and
stand density low around the susceptible pines. (Eglitis, 2008)

Natural reforestation especially for lodgepole pine is expected to occur. To keep an open
condition longer in time minimal to low stocking is acceptable. Artificial reforestation such as
Forested Vegetation                                                                                3-8
Red Zone Safety Project Preliminary EA 12/12/2008             Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequences


planting would occur around recreation sites or for genetic diversity. With such a widespread
epidemic and large numbers of dead and dying trees there is potential to have limited seed
source. Planting around recreation sites would be coordinated with recreation specialists.
Objectives for planting density would emphasize maintaining an open condition, not fulfilling
full stocking for timber management.

Alternative 3
Creation of even more open conditions than would result from Alternative 2, in order to
contribute to the effectiveness of safety corridors, is a primary reason for the thinning proposed
with this alternative.

Alternative 3 differs from Alternative 2 in its treatment of live lodgepole pine, white fir and non-
old growth juniper.

This alternative would cut and remove all <21 inch dbh live lodgepole pine, white fir and non-
OG juniper. It is estimated that this treatment would occur on approximately 50 to 80 percent of
the project area; subject to changes due to the ongoing beetle epidemic. The only residual white
fir would be trees greater than 21” on roughly 5 percent of the area. Residual juniper with old
growth character would remain on less than 1 percent of the area.

Since all white fir and lodgepole pine trees less than 21” dbh would be removed, remaining
ponderosa pine trees would dominate the site. The residual ponderosa pine trees would have
minimal inter-tree competition thus improving individual tree vigor.

Overall, it‟s expected that about 30 to 50 percent of the area would have residual trees in a
thinned condition and about 50 to 70 percent of the area would be in an open condition.

This treatment would reduce more tree vegetation in the safety zone, reduce residual tree
hazards, reduce crown fire, and reduce crown bulk density. Because of the development of the
safety zone, growth would be allocated to the most vigorous species, predominantly ponderosa
pine, and inter tree competition would be reduced dramatically. Understory reinitiation would
have the chance to survive because the stand would be open enough to provide resources and
growing space for ponderosa pine seedlings.

Retention of large trees, five needle pines and planting would have the same effects as described
above for Alternative 2.

Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
Both action alternatives would be consistent with Forest Vegetation Management requirements
with the Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and other direction
listed in the Regulatory Framework for Forested Vegetation.

Alternative 1 would not meet multiple use goals and resource protection.



Forested Vegetation                                                                              3-9
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Public Safety and Recreation




Introduction
Public safety is identified as a primary project purpose (see Chapter 1). Effects to recreation
opportunities are closely related.

Regulatory Framework
Forest Service Manuals and Handbooks, the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and the Fremont
National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP or “Forest Plan”) are clear that the
Forest Service has a responsibility to maintain the safety of its roads, trails, and other related
sites for use by the public.

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Forest Service Manual 7700 (Transportation System) directs that “Danger trees will be managed
for safe use of the transportation system by all users. Safety is the predominant consideration in
road operation and maintenance and takes priority over biological or other considerations.”
(7733.03 – Policy). Acceptable management actions in relation to danger trees include
(7733.34):
     Eliminate danger trees for which the potential failure zone includes any portion of the
        traveled way or clear zone.
     Close the road segment if the hazards can not be eliminated

The Highway Safety Act of 1966 (23 U.S.C. 402, Pub. L. 89-564) “Authorizes State and local
governments and participating Federal agencies to identify and survey accident locations; to
design, construct and maintain roads in accordance with safety standards; and promote
pedestrian safety.”

The 1989 LRMP for the Fremont National Forest provide the overall strategy designed to guide
the management of the Forests. The following Forest Plan direction pertains to roads/safety:
     The Forest Plan sets as a goal, “a safe and economical transportation system providing
       efficient access for the movement of people and materials” (p.51).
     All system roads will be operated and maintained to protect the resources, perpetuate the
       intended road management objective, and promote safety (p.116).

The LRMP also lists Forest goals and guidelines regarding Recreation. There are 25 recreation
sites within the Red Zone. The following Recreation goals in the LRMP pertain to the project
area and the surrounding areas within the Red Zone analysis area:

       To provide for developed recreation opportunities in a natural-appearing forest setting.
       To provide for a variety of recreational opportunities within all levels of the recreation
        opportunity spectrum (ROS).
       To provide opportunities for a non-motorized recreation experience, with a high degree
        of isolation from sights and sounds of human activities, in a natural setting, which may
        have very subtle alterations [note: this goal applies to portions of the Red Zone (such as
        the Brattain Butte Semi-primitive non-motorized Recreation Area) that are adjacent to
        proposed project activity.]

Affected Environment/Existing Conditions
Although there is always some risk in travel on forest roads, the current number of dead trees
greatly exceeds this implied level of safety. To date no known negative consequences relating to
public safety has occurred in the Red Zone. However, research in Oregon shows that dead,
mature lodgepole pine trees begin to fall after three years and that 50 percent of the mountain
pine beetle killed trees were on the ground after 8 years and 90 percent were down after 14 years
(Mitchell and Preisler, 1998). It is anticipated that many of the dead trees in the Red Zone will
fall across roadways and in developed recreation sites. This situation will create threats to public
safety either directly or indirectly and/or will increase the potential for property damage. Dead
and dying trees contribute to potentially unsafe condition in several ways:


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        a.) They increase the potential for persons or property being struck by falling trees.
        b.) They increase the potential for trees falling and blocking roadways, thus preventing
        both emergency and non-emergency ingress and egress (entrance and departure).
        c.) The amount of dead and dying trees poses a significant threat for more catastrophic
        fire events due to increased fuel loads.

This section will address a.) and b.). See “Fire/Fuels and Fire-Fighter Safety” elsewhere in
Chapter 3 for additional information pertinent to b.) and c.).

Recreation use in the Red Zone includes hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking, and
sightseeing. A significant increase in use occurs in the fall during hunting season. The
following twenty five locations are used to varying degrees by the public:

        Lee Thomas Forest Camp and Trailhead
        Campbell Lake Campground
        Deadhorse Lake Campground and Trailhead
        Marster Spring Campground
        Chewaucan Crossing Trailhead
        Jones Crossing Forest Camp
        Slide Lake/Slide Lake Trailhead
        Hadley Butte (viewpoint and hang glider launch site)
        Withers Lake
        Hanan/Sycan Trailhead
        Rock Creek Forest Camp
        Currier Springs Trailhead
        Pike‟s Crossing Forest Camp
        Sandhill Crossing Forest Camp
        Bald Butte Lookout (summer rental)
        Hanan/Coffeepot Trailhead
        Auger Creek Trailhead
        North Fork Sprague River Trailhead
        Gearhart Mountain Wilderness access points
        Lookout Rock Trailhead
        Demming Creek Trailhead
        Boulder Springs Trailhead
        Mitchell Monument

Dispersed camping use is common at numerous other sites. The overall area has been used for
recreation since at least the 1920s. For some, use of popular sites such as Deadhorse and
Campbell Lakes has become a family tradition.

To date, recreation improvements at several campgrounds in the Red Zone have incurred damage
due to falling trees (a picnic table at Rock Creek Camp, an outhouse at Lee Thomas, etc.).




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Environmental Consequences

Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Public and employee access would be randomly changed as trees fall over due to wind events,
lightening storms, snow load, root rot, and heart rot. This would require a substantial investment
of patrolling the main roads to assure that they remained open so that roads may be driven to
allow for fire suppression, evacuations, and daily travel by both parties.

Under the No Action alternative, hazardous trees could be felled and removed from roads and
recreation areas as guided by Forest Service Manual direction. However it is expected that crews
and equipment, including Forest Service crews and existing arrangements with Oregon
Department of Corrections programs, or new agreements with others, or personal use fuelwood
gathering would not be sufficient to fell and remove increasing numbers of trees. Consequently,
certain roads and developed sites may have to be temporarily closed to public use until funds are
available for hazardous tree removal. It‟s not fully predictable which sites could be impacted
next, but already the popular Deadhorse and Campbell Lakes recreation complex, which receives
thousands of visitors each summer, has had to be intermittently closed for safety reasons relating
to both dead and dying trees and the felling that is on-going in an effort to create a safe
recreational setting. In addition, danger tree felling operations on Forest Road 28, a main
connecting route though the Red Zone have caused delays for the motoring public.

If the only mechanism available for responding to situation are Forest service manual directed
maintenance operations it is expected that roads and recreation sites, throughout the Red Zone
would experience early season opening delays, and temporary delays during the busy summer
and fall seasons for the next 5 to 10 years. Current inventories indicate that developed
campgrounds in the Lee Thomas /Sandhill Crossing area may need to be closed to public use
during the summers of 2009 or 2010. Facilities at many other locations within the Red Zone
may need to have partial closures beginning in 2009 or 2010. Any number of recreation sites
within the Red Zone could have delayed openings because the magnitude of removing the hazard
trees would be greater than could be accomplished using forest crews alone. Infrastructure in
closed campgrounds, such as toilets and picnic tables, would continue to be damaged by falling
trees if the sites are closed and hazardous trees are not removed.

For those facilities or roads that remain open, the level of risk that is associated with driving or
recreating even in relatively safe settings would steadily increase as large numbers of dead trees
that have died in the past 2 to 4 years, transition to a 4 to 6 years dead condition. Dead, mature
lodgepole pine trees begin to fall after three years; 50 percent are expected to fall within 8 years
after death (Mitchell and Preisler, 1998). Forest Roads 3411 and 3372 are both likley to need
closure within several years if no action, or piecemeal actions are the only available strategies to
deal with the problem.

Dispersed Recreation: Most of the popular dispersed recreation or primitive campsites are
located next to roads and trails. Consequently, use of these areas would be limited by access in
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getting to the area or by physical closure of the site from fallen trees. As trees continue to fall
across roads, access in many parts of the forest would also be limited, thus having an adverse
impact on other dispersed recreation activities such as driving for pleasure, hunting, wildlife
viewing, fishing, etc.

Trails: Hiking on the numerous trails in the area could become limited once trees start to fall
across the access roads to trailheads. It is anticipated that unauthorized routes may be created
around stretches of roads that are blocked, which could lead to soil erosion and compaction and
watershed damage from routes created without a design.

Emergency Ingress and Egress: For all forms of public use, including recreation, there is a
second consideration besides the risk of being stuck by falling trees. In the event of a wildland
fire, either within the Red Zone or approaching the area from the outside, effective travel
corridors, free of down material and fuels, would become critically important for public safety.
With the no action alternative, through time the possibility would increase that in a fire situation,
one or more main travel corridor would not have adequate clearance for recreational vehicles,
and automobiles leaving the area, just as fire fighting resources were arriving. The risk of
potential injury or loss of life in this circumstance would be greatest on a busy July Fourth or
Labor Day weekend.

Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 2 would allow timber sales, stewardship contracts, public works contracts,
cooperative agreement, use of volunteers and Forest Service workforce to implement a suite of
safety improving measures within a full 300 foot wide corridor centered on 199 miles of Forest
Road and within 25 Recreation Sites. Contract mechanisms could be focused on highest use
roads and sites where greater numbers of hazardous trees exist. Limited availability Forest
Service crews could concentrate on areas requiring fewer trees to be removed. Consequently,
more areas would be open to the public after the hazardous trees have been felled and removed
and more recreation opportunities would be available. Camping, driving for pleasure, wildlife
viewing, hunting, fishing, could be fully enjoyed by the public. Removal of the hazardous trees
in recreation sites before they fall would also help protect the infrastructure (e.g. picnic tables,
outhouses, etc.).

Dispersed campsites that are located within 150 feet of roads may still be available for public use
after hazardous trees have been felled and removed from the adjacent roads. However, dispersed
campsites beyond the road clearing limits would not be available for use unless other actions
occur at a later time. Consequently, there may still be a decrease in the number of dispersed
campsites available for public use under Alternative 2.

Trails: Access to trails would be maintained by keeping roads open to 12 identified trailheads
within the Red Zone. However, keeping the trails themselves open is a separate matter, outside
the scope of this proposal. Trail maintenance would be subject to funding and/or volunteer
agreements.


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Emergency Ingress and Egress: The clearing of 199 miles of road corridors would improve both
public access and fire fighter response strategies and timeliness.

Alternative 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 3, because it uses a more extensive green stand thinning prescription, would result in
a more open condition in the 150 zone each side of the 199 miles of project road. It is expected
that this would produce a longer term improvement in public safety, including emergency ingress
and egress, than Alternative 2. In other respects, the effects of Alternative 3 would be the same
as described above for Alternative 2.

Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
Both action alternatives would be consistent with the Fremont National Forest Land and
Resource Management Plan and other direction listed in the Regulatory Framework for Forested
Vegetation.

Alternative 1, in order to be compliant with public safety requirements would likely lead to the
closure of selected roads and recreation sites as early as 2009, but highly likely by 2010. Doing
so would reduce attainment of the LRMP recreation goals of providing for developed recreation
opportunities in a natural-appearing forest setting and providing for a variety of recreational
opportunities within all levels of the recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS).




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Fire/Fuels and Fire-Fighter Safety

Introduction
Employee (Fire-Fighter) safety is identified as a primary project purpose.

This section will analyze the current condition, alternatives, and planned fuels treatments for the
fire resource for the Red Zone Safety project area and outline the objectives established for the
fire resource in the Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).
It will also examine the implications for fire-fighter safety in the event a fire does occur within
the Rd Zone

For this project, removal of residual activity fuels is the first option. For the treatment of the
residual slash after the proposed vegetative treatments slash disposal burn methods include
jackpot burning and pile/burn. Piles could include machine piles that are created through
yarding with tops attached or hand piling of material away from the landings. Organic residues
would be left at levels to meet LRMP S&G‟sresidual slash after the proposed vegetative
treatments by using jackpot burning and pile/burn.

Regulatory Framework
The LRMP lists Forest goals and guidelines regarding Fire Management. The following Fire
Management goals in the LRMP pertain to the project area and the surrounding areas within the
Red Zone analysis area (p.118):
    A fire Protection and fire use program that is cost efficient and responsive to land and
      resource management goals and objectives will be provided and executed.
    All wildfire will receive an appropriate suppression response utilizing a strategy of
      confine, contain, or control.
    Wildfire that threatens life, property, public safety, or improvements will receive
      aggressive suppression action using a control strategy.

Forest Service Manuel 5100 (Fire Management) directs that “in conducting wildland fire
suppression, responsible officials shall give first priority to the safety of firefighters, other
personnel, and the public. Consistent with this priority, responsible officials shall conduct
wildland fire suppression in a timely, effective and efficient manner.” (5130.3) In choosing a
suppression strategy “The primary criteria for choosing fire suppression strategies and tactics are
to ensure the safety of the public and firefighting resources while minimizing suppression costs,
resource loss, environmental damage, and the threat of wildland fire escaping onto non-federal
lands.” (5130.3)


LRMP Management Area Guidelines are:
  MA-2: Endangered and Threatened Species
     Bald eagle management areas are the highest priority for wildfire suppression if potential
     for damage to habitat is high.

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      Fuels Management activities (including fuels treatment) will be evaluated for effect on
      nesting peregrines or hack sites.
      Fuel treatment by fire around active nest sites will take place outside nesting season
      (March 1 to July 15) if fire activities and smoke would affect nesting eagles.
    MA-5: Timber and Range Production
      Timber harvest, fuels treatment, and site preparartion activities should strive not to
      damage residual trees. A suggested sequence of activities to include at year 3 to 5: Treat
      fuels, protecting residual regeneration where feasible (prescribed fire should be strongly
      considered, both to reduce hazard and to control species composition).
    MAs 3 and MA-14: Old-growth Habitat
      Natural fuels management will take place in old-growth areas only to meet old-growth
      habitat objectives.
      Old-growth areas should be a high priority for wildfire suppression.
    MA-15: Fish and Wildlife Habitat and Water Quality
      Machine constucted fire lines should not be constucted in riparian areas during fire
      suppression activities. Perpendicular crossings, with susequent rehabilitations, are
      permitted, but discouraged if alternatives exist.
      Use of prescribed fire will be limited to:
          Burning of activity fuels located in the upland portion of the Streamside Management
          Unit.
          Burning of natural fuels for the purpose of enhancing riparian dependent values.

Best Management Practices for Fire Suppression and Fuels Management
     F-1. Fire and Fuels Management activities.
     F-2. Consideration of water quality in formulating prescribed fire prescriptions.
     F-3. Protection of water quality during prescribed fire operations.
     F-4. Minimizing watershed damage from fire suppression efforts.
     F-5. Repair or stabilization of fire suppression related watershed damage.
     F-6. Emergency rehabilitation of watersheds following wildfires.

The Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program review Final Report, December 18,
1995, directs that prescribed fire, from either management ignited or natural ignitions, be used in
a safe, carefully controlled, cost effective manner as a means of achieving management
objectives in Forest Plans. Current conditions on millions of acres of wildlands increase the
probabilty of large, intense, fires. These severe fires increase the risk to humans, to property, and
to the land upon which our social and economic well-being is so interwined. The policy has
been developed for several reasons but primarily to provide for fire fighter safety by reducing the
hazardous fuel loading and to reduce suppression costs of large fire suppression.

Current Conditions

Historical Fire Regimes
The fire regime concept is a generalized way of characterizing the historic role fire played in an
ecosystem, describing fire effects and vegetative conditions that likely contributed to historic fire
behavior (i.e., flame length, fire size, and crowning/scorching potential). The fire regime
concept does not provide a means to judge the role of fire as either beneficial or detrimental.

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Four historic fire regimes (Agee, 1993) are thought to have existed in the Red Zone analysis
area: low severity, moderate severity, mixed severity, and areas of little influence. The Red Zone
Safety analysis area contains four historical fire regimes, Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine,
Mixed Conifer, and the Juniper/Shrub regimes. Historic fire regimes vary depending on the
forest zone type. Fire frequencies generally decrease with elevation. South facing slopes are
more susceptible to large fires than north facing slopes.
Stand development within the ponderosa pine types was associated with frequent, light surface
fire (5-15 year fire-free intervals). This scenario is referred to as the Low Severity Fire Regime.
Climax lodgepole pine forests have a moderate severity fire regime. A combination of low,
moderate, and high severity fire occurs in space and time. The average fire return interval is 60-
80 years.
Historically, stand development within the mixed conifer plant were associated with both crown
fire and mixed severity surface fires with a relatively short return (5-50 year fire-free intervals).
This scenario is similar to the Moderate Severity Fire Regime described by Agee (1993).
Juniper woodlands are classified as both infrequent, severe surface fires (more than 25 year
return intervals) and short return interval crown fires (25-100 year return intervals (Agee 1993).
This scenario is referred to as the Low Severity Fire Regime.
Studies conducted in the mixed conifer zone suggest the historic fire regime was characterized
by average return intervals of 10 to 40 years and low intensity burns (Agee, 1993). These
frequent, low intensity fires were very effective in suppressing shade tolerant firs and cleaning
up the accumulated fuels on the forest floor. White fir becomes a major dominant in the absence
of frequent fires because it tolerates understory competition more than pines (Agee 1990).
Active fire suppression and the removal of numerous overstory pines have allowed the
understory of some stands to become dense with true firs. These understory trees create a ladder
fuel effect with limbs reaching to the ground and crowns reaching into the overstory. These
ladder fuels allow fires to burn into the crowns of the overstory, killing trees at all levels. Due to
the reasons stated above, the fire regime in many of the white fir zones of this analysis area have
been changed to one of infrequent, high intensity burns.
 Juniper woodlands have changed considerably over the past century. Fire was probably much
more common in the areas into which junipers has expanded. There are clearly areas in which
fire effects were always minimal, that is why the old-growth juniper communities exist.
Fire starts within the Red Zone are from two sources. The first is lightning which mainly occurs
from mid-July through mid-September. The second is human caused ignitions. These can occur
from mid-may thru mid-November, with a majority of the human caused starts corresponding to
the higher recreation use within the Red Zone due to hunting season.

Current Fire Hazard
The probability of fire can be estimated by combining fire risk and fire hazard. Fire risk is the
chance that a fire will occur. It is normally obtained through fire history analysis (average
number of fires for a given area). Fire hazard is the fuel, topography, and weather conditions
that affect fire spread and intensity. Fuel is the only parameter that can be directly manipulated
to reduce or increase the amount of fire business.




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Fire Risk
The Red Zone Safety analysis area is primarily within the Fremont Fire Occurrence Zone 3 and
has a rate of 0.157 fires per year occurring per 1,000 acres. This occurrence zone reflects a high
fire frequency on the forest.

Fire Hazard
Current fire hazard for this analysis area can also be characterized by assigning one of the
thirteen standardized fire behavior fuel models as described by Anderson (1982). These fuel
models display varying levels of flame lengths and rates of spread for given weather and fuel
conditions. The fire behavior fuel models used to describe the fuels in this analysis area are fuel
models 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, & 10. Fuel models 1 & 2 are a grass fuel, fuel models 5 & 6 are brush
fuels, and while fuel models 8, 9, & 10 are associated with timber stands. Fuel models are
effective in predicting the fire behavior for surface fires only (does not take into account the
spread of fire caused by spotting or torching fire behavior).
Slope, aspect, and the vertical (ladder fuels) and horizontal continuity of the stands must also be
considered to evaluate the potential for torching, spotting and crown fires, which are associated
with most stand replacement fires. These factors are included in the analysis area fire hazard
analysis. There are numerous stands in this analysis area that could readily support a crown fire
due to the horizontal and vertical continuity of the stands. Fire behavior would dramatically
increase when crowning, torching, or spotting occurs.
A full description of these fuel models and associated fire behavior characteristics can be found
in "Aids to Determining Fuel Models for Estimating Fire Behavior" (Anderson, Hal E.; April
1982: GTR INT-122).
The predicted fire behavior characteristics for the timber fuel models in the analysis area are
estimated based on the 90th percentile fire weather for the area. The 90th percentile weather for
this analysis area was determined using the weather observations from Coffeepot Remote
Automated Weather Station (RAWS) located within the analysis area approximately 1 mile north
of Coffeepot Flat. These weather observations were recorded at 2:00 PM each afternoon during
the fire season (June 1 to September 30) over the last 10 years.
The fire behavior predictions were computed using the fire behavior prediction program
BEHAVE which is based on the fire spread model by Rothermel (1972). These predictions are
for surface fires only, and do not consider the possibility of torching, spotting, or crown fires.
The fire behavior estimates below have an accuracy of + or - 50%. The weather and
topographical inputs used for these predictions are as follows:

                Slope                               20%
                Aspect                              Southwest
                Wind Direction                      250 degrees
                Midflame Wind Speed                 5 mph
                Temperature                         90 degrees
                Relative Humidity                   15%
                1 hr. fuel moisture                 3%
                10 hr. fuel moisture                5%




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Table 3.3 BEHAVE fire behavior prediction outputs for the timber fuel models:
          Fuel Model               8               9              10
Flame Length (ft.)                1.4            3.8              6.0
Rate of Spread (ch/hr)             3              13              11
Size in 1 hour (ac)               0.3            6.0              4.3

These outputs approximate the fire behavior that could be observed on the 10% hottest, driest,
and windiest days that occur between June 1 and September 30. They do not approximate the
actual observed fire behavior for any given day or site. These outputs are used to help determine
areas that would be high priority for fuels treatment or to help determine suppression needs in a
general area.

Overall fire hazard/fire risk within this analysis area is much greater than the Fremont-Winema
as a whole. The Forest Service has an active fire prevention program to help reduce the number
of human caused fires, but the only way to reduce the fire hazard in the analysis area is to
directly manipulate the fuels. Current fire hazard within the analysis area is mostly due to the
epidemic levels of mountain pine beetle infestation that has resulted in high levels of lodgepole
pine mortality in the area. These stands could support a crown fire currently and are a significant
fire hazard.

Environmental Consequences
Effective treatments to reduce fire hazard include treatments that lower existing fuel
concentrations, lower future fuel concentrations, or decrease the ladder fuels (brush and small
trees) which provide vertical connectivity into the crowns of the overstory trees. Commercial
thinning, underburning, lop and scatter, and pre-commercial thinning may be effective in
reducing fire hazard.

Fire Risk (the chance a fire may occur) would stay approximately the same in all the alternatives
except for the possibility of an operations fire from the harvest and post treatment activities in
the action alternatives.

The action alternatives would allow for a breaking up of continuous blocks of high fire hazard
areas. This breaking up of the high hazard areas would have an effect on a fire moving through
the area. The intensity of the fire would be less, which in turn may alleviate some of the
environmental damage and also the forward movement of the fire would be slowed down,
allowing for a chance of suppressing it.

Alternative 1 (no action)
The "no action" alternative proposes no new projects at this time. Fire suppression actions
would continue. In the short term, (one to five years) the fire hazard would remain constant, at a
high risk. In the future, dead or dying trees would fall down increasing the fire hazard. Natural
fuels (pine needles and other dead vegetation) would continue to accumulate. Natural processes
of decay are not likely to remove the down and dead woody debris before the next fire cycle. As
the available fuel increases, so would the potential for a large stand replacing fire.
The risk of injury to firefighters would increase as the fuel loadings and fire hazards increase.
Larger, fast moving fires would put firefighters at an increased risk to injury or death.
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Suppression costs would increase due to larger fires and the increased need for mechanized
equipment and aircraft. Potential for resource damage caused by fire suppression efforts would
increase.
There are numerous problems for firefighters when fires are ignited within the Red Zone. The
access and egress to these fires are slowed down because of the numerous trees that have fallen
across the roads. This slower response time can lead to larger fire sizes at the time of initial
attack. Trees may fall behind firefighters cutting off their road egress from a fire compromising
their safety. As the trees begin to fall on or by the roads access and egress become more
difficult. The roads listed for treatments can be used as possible contain lines for fires. The use
of these roads would take many work hours/days to use as control lines because of the number of
snags present that would have to be felled prier to using the roads as possible containment lines
for safety of firefighters. As time goes on and more trees fall another problem develops for using
these roads as possible containment lines, that is the amount of ground fuels. These ground fuels
would take many work hours/days to complete before using the roads as possible containment
lines. The ground fuels are also potential ladder fuels to the remaining green trees. The added
ladder fuels would cause additional spotting potential and compromise safety of firefighters if
the ground fuels are left in place.
If a large fire were to occur, it could eliminate critical wildlife habitat. It could take up to 100
years to replace this loss of habitat. When large amounts of dead and down debris increase and
there is an increase in ladder fuels, a fire would burn very hot and exhibit extreme fire behavior.
Such fire behavior could result in loss of productivity and biodiversity in the stands, surface soils
could be severely damaged and could take many years to recreate. Soil erosion could occur in
some of the analysis area following an intense post-fire precipitation event. Increased fire
intensity also means loss of snags and downed logs important for habitat.

Action Alternatives - Slash Treatment Options
The following are general potential effects that could occur from various slash treatment options
with the action alternatives.

Yarding with tops attached
The tops and limbs are left attached to the last log of each tree as it is yarded to the landing. The
tops and limbs are machine piled and burned at the landing or utilized as chips or fuelwood.
Effects of this treatment is possible damage to residual trees due to scraping as the trees are
yarded to the landing. This treatment reduces the activity fuels in the unit by removing the dead
and down woody material that was created by the logging. Soil compaction may occur if soil
moistures are too high. Reducing the fuel loadings through yarding tops attached decreases the
fire intensity and may prevent the stand from being destroyed by planned or unplanned fires.
When landing piles are burned, the soil beneath and around the landing pile can become severely
burned.

Handpiling
Slash concentrations consisting of bole wood and limbs including foliage up to 3 inches in
diameter in areas where the fuel depths are 14 inches or greater are placed into piles meeting
required specifications. Effects of this treatment on the units is possible damage to residual
trees, vegetation or soil when the pile is burned (see burning piles). Effects of handpiling are
minimal to the property. Possible injuries to personnel constructing the handpiles can occur.

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Proper training and following of the Job Hazard Analysis for that project can minimize these
injuries.

Burning Piles
This disposes of the piled slash concentrations (both machine and hand). The intensity of the
effects would vary due to fuel moisture contents, the size of the pile, and the season in which the
pile is burned. Soil moistures and conditions (wet, frozen or dry) would have a strong influence
on the effects of the fire on the soil. Soil microorganisms could be killed in areas of severely
burned soil. Areas directly beneath and immediately adjacent to the burning piles would be
affected. This damage could occur in the areas of large piles that maintain longer durations of
heat. Localized reductions in organic matter, loss of soil productivity in the immediate area and
reduced water infiltration could result. Scorching of tree crowns is possible where landing piles
are located close to residual leave trees. This scorching could result in tree mortality or reduced
vigor. Trees killed by scorch can be left as future snags. Escaped fires resulting from
unexpected weather may occur and cause damage to the surrounding vegetation. Piles would
need to be monitored and extinguished if weather conditions show that damage from escape
would occur.

Jackpot Burning
This treatment may occur within the Red Zone if the residual fuels are greater then the Forest
Planning Standards and Guidelines and the fuels have not been removed by other methods. This
treatment reduces the fuel loadings and modifies the fuel profiles of the area. Jackpot burning
involves igniting concentrations of fuels on the forest floor, whether they are natural fuels or
fuels resulting from a silvicultural cutting treatment (also referred to as activity fuels).
Possibilities of stand replacement or damaging fires would be reduced due to lower fuel
loadings. Soil compaction would not likely occur. All firelines would be completed by hand.
The resource damage created by this method is minimal, compared to fireline construction by
dozers or other large mechanized equipment. With all proposed burning, there is always a risk of
the fire escaping and spreading into adjacent stands. Although serious consequences can occur
from an escaped prescribed fire, the fire intensity and damage caused is usually much less than a
wildfire because the burns are usually done during periods of moderate to low fire behavior
(spring or fall).

Alternative 2
Commercial or pre-commercial thinning would break up the vertical and horizontal continuity of
the stands. This treatment reduces the possibility of fire climbing into the crowns of trees and
reduces the risk of future tree mortality due to insect and disease. This silviculture treatment in
conjunction with a fuel disposal treatment would decrease the potential for a stand replacing fire.
In the short term (two to four years), harvest operations may increase the fire hazard.
The clearing of road corridors would allow for better access and quicker response times for
suppression resources and they could potentialy be used for control lines or fuel breaks.
Alternative 2 would reduce the safety threats to firefighters along the listed roadways
dramatically. With the removal of all dead and dying trees, the snag exposure for firefighters
would be greatly diminished along the roadways. The reduced fuel loading of 7 to 12 tons per
acres would reduce the amount of exposure time firefighters would spend taking these fuels out,
before using the roads as possible containment lines. The remaining greens trees would have
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less ladder fuels around them, and would be less likely to support a crown fire because of the 30
ft. spacing or 30 sq. ft basal area. The spotting potential is diminished within the 150 ft. cut area
because of the reduced ground fuels and thinning of green trees. Short range spotting would be
easier to see and suppress because of the 150 ft. clearing on either side of the road ways. The
access and egress problems along the road ways would be greatly alleviated with the removal of
the dead and dying trees, with only minor amounts of green trees falling, causing access and
egress problems. The successful use of aerial support in using these road ways as possible
containment lines would also benefit from the reduction in ground fuels and ladder fuels.
Alternative 2 address firefighter and public safety along the roadways, if a fire were to occur
within the Red Zone.

Alternative 3
Alternative 3 would result in the road corridors being more open with less remaining stems per
acre than Alternative 2. This would allow for a more effective potential control line or fuel
break.
The difference between Alternative 3 and Alternative 2 are the longevity effects and more ladder
fuel reduction of Alternative 3 with the cut and removal of all <21” live lodgepole pine, white fir
and non OG juniper. With more removal of green lodgepole, white fire and juniper the effects of
Alternative 3 would last longer into the future. There would be fewer trees that would die and
become safety problems for firefighters for a longer period of time then Alternative 2. The
reduction of ladder fuels is greater because of the additional removal of the lodgepole, white fir,
and juniper trees. In other respects, the effects of Alternative 3 would be the same as described
above for Alternative 2.

Smoke Management
Smoke management is defined as: The management of fuel treatments from forest activities so
that there is no or reduced effect to local areas surrounding the project. This primarily deals with
impacts to people or air quality.

Alternative 1 (no action)
The "no action" alternative proposes no new projects at this time. Alternative 1 would produce
no smoke from activity fuels burning. Natural processes of decay are not likely to remove the
down and dead woody debris before the next fire cycle. As the available fuel increases, so
would the potential for a large stand replacing fire.

Action Alternatives
All Forest Wide Standards and Guidelines for Air Quality 1-1 through 1-7 (LRMP, 102) will be
followed to minimize problems of Forest burns affecting air quality in local communities. The
Fremont-Winema National Forests complies with all applicable air quality laws and regulations,
and coordinates with appropriate air quality regulating agencies.

Currently, and in the future, all planned ignitions are and would be conducted according to the
Operational Guidance for the Oregon Smoke Management Program (OSMP). The Operational
Guidance contains the direction for meeting the terms of the OSMP. The Environmental
Protection Agency has approved the OSMP as meeting the requirements of the Clean Air Act, as
amended. The OSMP, which is administered by the Oregon State Forester, regulates the amount

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of forestry related burning that can be done at any one time. The amount of burning that can
occur on any one day depends upon the specific type of burning, the tons of material to be
burned, and the atmospheric conditions available to promote mixing and transportation of smoke
away from sensitive areas. For each activity requiring prescribed fire, the Forest Service requires
a written, site-specific prescribed burning plan approved by the Forest Service. The purpose of
the plan is to ensure that resource management objectives are clearly defined and that the site,
environment, or human health is not harmed. The plan contains a risk assessment to quantify the
chance of fire escaping and develops a contingency plan for actions taken to prevent escape and
if it does, quickly contain the escape. The plan would be implemented to minimize the
possibility of the burn affecting Class I or other "smoke sensitive" areas in accordance with the
OSMP.

Smoke sensitive areas near the Red Zone Safety analysis area include the Class I airshed of
Gearhart Wilderness, the communities around Bly, Paisley, Lakeview and the city of Klamath
Falls. Burning would only be conducted when actual and predicted atmospheric conditions
would minimize the possibility of smoke affecting these areas.

In compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Forest Service is operating under the Oregon
Administrative Rule OAR 629-43-043. The Forest Service is complying and would continue to
comply with the requirements of the OSMP, which is administered by the Oregon Department of
Forestry.

The general public can obtain information about any proposed burns in the immediate area from
local ranger districts, advertisements in local newspapers, radio, or television, and avoid areas
being approved by the EPA.

Local, short-term effects on air quality would occur. These effects would include increases in
carbon dioxide, carbon and particulates in the airshed. Cumulative effects of multiple burns in
the same geographic area could contribute to a decrease in the air quality. Because of
preventative measures and compliance with OSMP, there would be no long-term effects from
prescribed burning or smoke from the proposed activities.




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Aquatics and Soils
To improve conciseness, this EA summarizes information that is available in greater detail in
resource-specific reports contained in the project record. Upon request, copies of those reports
will be provided by mail.


Introduction
This section addresses in interrelated topics of fisheries, fisheries habitat, riparian resources,
hydrology and soils. Soil and water are the basic resources on which vegetation and wildlife
depend. Soil productivity and rates of soil formation and erosion need to remain within
reference levels for long-term sustainability of ecosystems. Likewise elements of the hydrologic
cycle must remain within reference brackets for sustainability. The fisheries analysis focuses on
the current condition and effects of the project on stream channel conditions and fish habitat.
This report will indicate the current conditions in relation to reference levels and the anticipated
changes that the proposed activities might cause.

Redband trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss spp.) and Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a federally
listed threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, are the native trout species found in
the project area. Other native fish species that occur in the project area include Miller Lake
lamprey (Lampetra minima), Pit-Klamath brook lamprey (Lampetra lethophaga), Klamath
largescale sucker (Catostomus synderi), marbled sculpin (Cottus klamathensis klamathensis),
and speckled dace (Rhinicythys osculus). The current aquatic conditions information used in
this analysis was obtained from the Upper Sycan Watershed Analysis (USFS 2001), Dairy/
Elder/South Creeks Watershed Analysis (USFS 1998), and Region Six Level II stream surveys.

Regulatory Framework
Standards that apply to the project are contained within several documents, including:

   The Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) (USDA Forest
    Service, 1989)
   The Inland Native Fish Strategy (USDA Forest Service, 1995: A-6 to A-13)

The Inland Native Fish Strategy (INFISH) amended the Fremont LRMP in 1995. The INFISH
amendment to the LRMP established additional forest-wide fisheries standards. These standards
are listed on pages A-6 to A-13 of the INFISH Decision Notice. A copy of the INFISH Decision
Notice is available in the Project File.
There are two Forest-wide fisheries/riparian standards in the Fremont National Forest LRMP that
apply to this project:
    1. Protection and enhancement of riparian areas, Management Area 15, which emphasizes
       fish and wildlife habitat and water quality (USDA Forest Service, 1989: pg. 199-204),

    2. Redband trout populations will be used as an indicator of fisheries habitat changes
       (USDA Forest Service, 1989: Appendix 1, pg. 77.

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Inland Native Fish Strategy
The Inland Native Fish Strategy (INFISH) was developed in 1995 as a response to the need for a
management strategy that would protect inland native fish that were not already covered within
the geographic scope of the Northwest Forest Plan or the Interim Strategies for Managing
Anadromous Fish Producing Watersheds on Federal Lands in Eastern Oregon, Washington,
Idaho, and Portions of California (PACFISH). This includes such species as bull trout,
westslope cutthroat trout, and interior redband trout. This strategy provides direction to maintain
and restore native fish habitat and populations in those geographic regions outside the range of
anadromous fish. The Fremont-Winema National Forests lies within the geographic range
covered by this strategy.
INFISH establishes Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas (RHCAs) around all streams, wetlands,
water bodies, and landslide prone areas on the Fremont-Winema National Forests (USDA Forest
Service, 1995: A-4 to A-6) as follows:
        Category 1 (Fish bearing stream reaches) - 300 feet wide (per side)
        Category 2 (Perennial, non-fish bearing streams) - 150 feet wide (per side)
        Category 3 (Ponds, lakes, wetlands, >1 acre) - 150 feet wide (per side)
        Category 4 (Seasonally flowing/ intermittent stream reaches) - 50 feet wide (per side)

INFISH provides Riparian Goals and Riparian Management Objectives (RMO‟s) describing
quality fish habitat. The goals described within INFISH “….establish an expectation of the
characteristics of healthy, functioning watersheds, riparian areas and associated fish habitats.”
The RMO‟s are habitat parameters that provide a basis for determining the state of stream
function, and the attainability of riparian goals. Objectives for six environmental features are
identified: pool frequency, water temperature, large woody debris, bank stability, lower bank
angle, and width to depth ratio. These features are good indicators of ecosystem health, and
quantifiable, and are subject to accurate repeatable measurements.
Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project
The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) was initiated by the
USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management to develop and implement a
coordinated, scientifically sound, broad-scale, ecosystem-based management strategy for lands
they administer across parts of Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington. A decision by the
President George W. Bush administration to complete and implement this project has not been
made however, the science that was used to develop criteria for evaluating functionality of
aquatic habitats will be used in this document as it is considered the best available. In addition,
recent direction calls for inclusion of these criteria into forest plan revisions.


Programmatic Aquatic Habitat Restoration Activities Biological Assessment/Biological
Opinion
In response to the shortage of programmatic consultations for aquatic restoration, the Interagency
Regional Executives‟ Committee (IREC) issued a December 10, 2004 memorandum that
recommended the development of a new program-level aquatic restoration consultation to aid the
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recovery of fish stocks on Action Agency lands. The IREC also directed that the new aquatic
restoration programmatic consultation draw from the Forest Service programmatic culvert
replacement Biological Opinion (FWS 1-3-03-I-1482, 1-7-03-I-0395 [OR], 1-3-03-PF-1243
[WA]) and Willamette and Deschutes Province Biological Opinions (FWS 1-7-03-F-20) to
expedite the process (USFWS 2007).
The Biological Assessment‟s proposed action focused on effective, state-of-the-art aquatic
restoration methods, with significant conservation measures (CM) and project design features
(PDF) focused on minimizing or avoiding adverse effects to listed species and their designated
critical habitats. The action area for the Biological Assessment is defined as “all areas to be
affected directly or indirectly by Federal action and not merely the immediate area involved in
the action” (50 CFR 402.02). The Action Area includes all Action Agency administrative units
in Oregon and Washington, and overlapping areas in California (Rogue River-Siskiyou NF),
Nevada (Lakeview and Vale BLM Districts) and Idaho (Wallowa-Whitman NF), as well as any
adjacent , non-federal lands that may either have Wyden Projects or that are directly or indirectly
influenced by Federal activities under the consultation. Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed
species and their critical habitat that may be affected on the Fremont-Winema National Forest
include Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus), Lost River Sucker (Deltistes luxatus), Shortnose
Sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris), Warner Sucker (Catostomus warnerensis), Bald Eagle
(Haliaeetus luecocephalus), and Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidnetalis caurina).
Aquatic habitat projects are designed and implemented to restore or enhance stream and riparian
area function and fish habitat. These projects will improve channel dimensions and stability,
sediment transport and deposition, riparian, wetland, and floodplain functions, hydrologic
function, as well as water quality. Furthermore, such improvements will help address limiting
factors – related to spawning, rearing, migration, and more – for ESA listed and other native fish
species. The BA/BO addresses 19 aquatic restoration activities.
Wild and Scenic River Plans
Under the 1988 Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, a 59 mile segment of the Sycan
River and a 15 mile segment of the N.FK Sprague River were designated as Wild and Scenic.
These streams were two of forty rivers added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers system within the
state of Oregon in 1992. The act requires federal agencies to prepare a comprehensive
management plan for each river under their administration.

The river management plan provides for protection and enhancement of resource values in the
river corridor, and allows for public use and enjoyment of those resource values. The plan
further provides necessary direction for river corridor and adjacent areas that affect the corridor.
Management activities outside the Wild and Scenic River boundaries must protect the values for
which the river was designated. The outstanding remarkable values for which the Sycan River
and N.FK Sprague River were designated are: Scenic, Geologic, Fisheries, and Wildlife.

Included in the management plans for these rivers are descriptions of the desired condition for
the river corridor, as well as standards and guidelines and possible management actions designed
to achieve the desired condition for the river corridor. Additionally, a monitoring plan was
provided to ensure effective and timely implementation of the plan.



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Other Regulatory Framework
Water Quality Act of 1965, Clean Water Restoration Act of 1966, and Clean Water Act of
1977 developed the federal, state and municipal cooperation for controlling pollution. The 1977
Act developed greater attention to forest best management practices.

The Organic Administration Act of 1897 (OA) established National Forests with the purpose
of securing favorable conditions of water flows and continuous supply of timber, for the use and
necessities of citizens of the United States.

Wetlands are protected under Executive Order 11990, which directs federal agencies to
“minimize the destruction, loss or degradation of wetlands, and to preserve and enhance the
natural and beneficial values of wetlands….”

Fremont National Forest Plan
The Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (1989) identifies forest
management goals, several of which closely relate to the advent of fire-maintained forest fire
regimes and conditions classes. For example, the Plan goal: “to produce thrifty stands;” can be
compare to reference conditions for ponderosa pine PNW/ Great Basin forest, which is
dominated by open mid and late seral forest classes. Open forests have a tree canopy cover that
ranges up to 35 percent.

Forest Service Manuals and Handbooks
Forest Service Manual 2500, Chapter 2520, Watershed Protection and Management, R-6
Supplement 2500-98-1 stresses the management of National Forest System land under ecosystem
principles to maintain or improve soil and water quality. Ecosystem principles help to identify
uncharacteristic and characteristic seral conditions. For example, healthy forest characteristic in
eastside pine forest have low density canopies and ample ground cover (www.frcc.gov; Hopkins
1979).

Proposed Project Actions
The actions proposed to meet the purpose and need include felling of dead and infested trees, as
well as some green trees would occur within a 300 foot zone (150 feet each side of road) along
the following roads: 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 2901, 3219, 3239, 3315, 3323, 3360, 3372, 3380, 3411,
3546, 2900017 (Slide Lakes Road), 3360358 and 359 (Withers Lake Road), 2800033 (Deadhorse
and Campbell Lakes Road), 2800450 and 716 (Bald Butte Road), 3000011 (Currier GS road),
3323151 (Road circling Green Mtn.), 3372015 (Road to NF Sprague TH), 3400012 (Road to
Corral Creek CG, Lookout Rock TH), and 3400018 (see map). These roads total about 199
miles on National Forest Systems lands. The 150 foot each side of road buffer equates to
approximately 7,000 acres. Additionally, felling of dead and infested trees would occur within
25 campgrounds or other recreation sites within the project area.

Alternative 2 is the proposed action while Alternative 3 was developed as a response to both
public input and internal discussions that questioned the effectiveness and longevity of the safety
corridors proposed in Alternative 2. The green stand thinning prescriptions in Alternative 3 are
designed to promote a more open approach and a more complete, longer lasting hazard reduction

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within the 300 foot wide corridors that characterize the project. See Chapter 2 for detailed
descriptions of the Alternatives.

Analysis Area
The Red Zone Safety project planning area is comprised of approximately 330,000 acres in the
Upper Sycan, North Fork Sprague, and Dairy/Elder/South Creek Watersheds on the Paisley and
Bly, Ranger Districts, Fremont-Winema National Forests, Lake and Klamath Counties, Oregon.
The project includes approximately 203,000 acres of National Forest System lands and 127,000
acres of private lands. The area is centered about 7 miles west of Paisley, Oregon. The legal
description is T 33 S, R 17 E (central).
Analysis Method
The Upper Sycan Watershed Analysis (USFS 2001), Dairy/Elder/South Creeks Watershed
Analysis (USFS 1998) and Region Six Level 2 stream survey data are available for all of the
perennial streams in the project area. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have
information available on fish species and distributions within the project area.
Key indicators are used to estimate impacts to soil and water resources on the entire project area
and on the road buffer treatment areas. Indicators are:

       the probability of each alternative reducing high intensity fire (on a local basis)
       probability of returning ground cover and tree density to the range of variability that is
        expressed in Landfire
       probability to increase or decrease soil instability and probability to effect water quality

For the most part the analysis presented is based on studies done elsewhere though in similar
vegetation types and the values or trends are qualitative rather than quantitative.

Management Indicator Species
These are species identified in the Fremont National Forest LRMP to represent the welfare of
other species using the same habitat. The habitat requirements of the selected indicator species
are presumed to represent those of a larger group of species. The Fremont National Forest
LRMP designates redband trout as the management indicator species for assessing changes to
fish habitat on the Fremont National Forest (USDA 1989). Redband trout occur throughout the
Red Zone Safety Project area.

Data collection methods
Level II stream surveys have been completed on many streams within the project area. The
surveys from 1990 through 2004 conducted on the Fremont-Winema National Forests collected
data on the habitat parameters. Starting in 2005, data were collected on habitat and aquatic biota
parameters.


Key Parameters
Aquatic habitats are analyzed in regard to seven key parameters (Large woody debris, Pools
(quantity/quality), Substrate composition/percent fines in spawning gravel, Water temperature,

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Fish Passage, Riparian vegetation and bank stability, and Rosgen channel type). A short
description of these key habitat characteristics follows:

1) Large woody debris: The effects analysis will consider how the alternatives affect large
woody debris recruitment, undercut banks, and large pools, and how changes in those types of
hiding and rearing cover alter the growth and survival of redband trout. Large woody debris in
streams is an important roughness element influencing channel morphology, sediment
distribution, and water routing (Swanson and Lienkaemper 1978, Bisson et al. 1987). Large
wood forms a step gradient, a stair-step effect along the channel. Large woody debris is
evaluated against the 50th and 75th percentiles for natural and near natural streams in the Upper
Klamath Basin (USDA & USDI 1997). The natural or near natural frequency is determined
using the table below, and the formula for desired numbers per mile = table value x 5280/average
riffle width in feet.

Table 3.4 Natural or Near Natural Frequency of LWD in Upper Klamath Basin Streams
(USDA & USDI 1997).
                    Large Woody Debris/Mile
 Slope Class        50th Percentile 75th Percentile
 All                0.046           0.084
 <2%                0.091           na
 2-4%               0.073           0.085
 >4%                0.037           0.075

2) Pools (quantity/quality): The effects analysis will consider how the alternatives affect pool
frequency and large pools and how changes in those types of hiding and rearing cover alter the
growth and survival of redband trout.

Pools are considered one of the most important fish habitat features, and for most fish, pools are
the preferred habitat type (Beschta and Platts 1986). Streams that lack large, deep pools have
been documented to freeze during the winter months on the Fremont National Forest (Fremont
National Forest, Unpublished Data). When pool numbers, volume, and complexity increases, the
stream's capacity to support a diversity of species and life stages/history types increases (Bisson
et. al. 1992; Bjornn and Reiser 1991).
The number of pools is evaluated against the weighted average of the 50th and 75th percentiles
for natural and near natural streams in the Upper Klamath Basin (USDA & USDI 1997). All
three areas were used to simply provide a much larger sample size of streams in a natural
condition. The number of large pools (those with depths 2.6 feet), however, is only evaluated
against the 50th and 75th percentile for natural and near natural streams in the Upper Klamath
Basin (USDA & USDI 1997).




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Table 3.5 Natural or Near Natural Frequency of Pools in Upper Klamath Basin Stream*
(USDA & USDI 1997).
                         Pools/Mile
 Slope Class             50th Percentile      75th Percentile
 All                     0.009                0.023
 <2%                     na                   na
 2-4%                    0.024                0.026
 >4%                     0.008                0.014

Table 3.6 Natural or Near Natural Frequency for Large Pools in Upper Klamath Basin
Streams (USDA & USDI 1997).
                    Pools/Mile
 Slope Class        50th Percentile 75th Percentile
 All                0.001           0.009
 <2%                na              na
 2-4%               0.014           0.015
 >4%                0.000           0.002

3) Substrate composition/percent fines in spawning gravel: The effects analysis will consider
how the alternatives change sediment levels in spawning and rearing habitats and how those
changes could affect redband trout production, growth, recruitment, and survival.

Willers (1991), describes the effects of spawning gravel size on egg and alevin survival (hatched
fish that have not emerged from spawning gravels). In general, he states mortality increases as
spawning gravel size decreases because fine sediment impedes the flow of oxygenated water
over the eggs or can trap the alevins in the gravel. Likewise, other studies show an inverse
relationship between fine sediment and reproductive success (Everest et al. 1987). The reference
level of fines for a particular geologic type has not been identified; however, analysis shows that
a level of less than 30% fines is generally attainable in the top four inches of spawning substrate
throughout the Fremont National Forest. The data also shows a high correlation to road density
and the presence of valley bottom roads.


4) Water temperature: The effects analysis will consider how the alternatives affect water
temperature levels and how those changes could affect redband trout and bull trout production,
growth, recruitment, and survival.

Stream temperature is an important factor regulating aquatic life. Fish are cold blooded, and
thus, assume the temperature of the water in which they live. For this reason, a fish's
metabolism, and consequently their growth and development, are directly controlled by their
thermal environment (Brown 1983). Therefore, the growth and survival of fish can be greatly
affected by temperature extremes (Beschta et al. 1987). Because stream temperature affects fish
habitat, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has established a state water
quality temperature criteria (seven-consecutive average daily maximum temperature) to be at or
below 17.8°C (64°F) with fish being the primary benefiting resource. Generally, water

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temperatures in excess of 21°C (70°F) are unfavorable and may cause stress to all age classes
(Sigler and Sigler 1991). However, Behnke (1992) states that redband trout possess a hereditary
basis to persist at higher water temperatures than other species of trout. Further, Sonski (1985)
noted that redband trout raised in a hatchery increased growth until 24°C (75°F) and
recommended temperatures ranging from 18.3 to 23.8°C (65 to 75°F) to keep broodstock in good
condition. Behnke (1992) has captured (fly-fishing) live redband in streams with temperatures of
28.3°C (82.9°F). Water temperatures exceeding 29.4°C (84.9°F) can be fatal to rainbow trout
(Bjornn and Reiser 1991). Recent studies in southeast Oregon streams (Little Blitzen River and
Bridge Creek in the Blitzen River Basin, and North Fork Twelvemile Creek in the Warner Basin)
found that redband trout prefer water temperatures of 12.8°C (55°F). At this temperature,
metabolic power and swimming ability were some of the highest reported for wild fish (Rodnick
et al. in press). Stream shade and proper width-to-depth ratios are the key factors influencing
water temperatures within streams of south central Oregon.


5) Fish Passage: The Region 6 Culvert Inventory Protocol was used to collect information to
determine fish passage through culverts.

6) Riparian vegetation and bank stability: The effects analysis will consider how the
alternatives affect riparian vegetation and stream bank stability and how those changes could
affect interior redband trout production, growth, recruitment, and survival.

Water which escapes interception and use from trees, shrubs, and grasses becomes surface or
subsurface flow, eventually making its way through the soil to narrow strips of land called
riparian areas along creeks and rivers and other bodies of water. Riparian areas occupy a small
percentage of the watersheds, about 5%, but are an extremely vital component of the landscape,
especially in arid eastern Oregon (Elmore and Beschta 1987). Riparian vegetation found in these
areas buffers the fluvial system from potential impacts and disturbances caused by land
management activities and natural events.

7) Rosgen channel type: The effects analysis will consider how the alternatives affect Rosgen
Channel types and how those changes could affect interior redband trout production, growth,
recruitment, and survival.

For this analysis, the Rosgen Classification system was selected because it aids in describing the
natural potential of each stream, based on numerous measurements, such as entrenchment,
bankfull width-to-depth ratio, sinuosity, gradient, and dominant channel substrate (Rosgen
1996).

Affected Environment and Existing Conditions
Watershed analyses (Upper Sycan WA, 2000, Chewaucan WA, 1999, Dairy/Elder WA, 1998,
Silver Creek WA, 1997) provide a summary of the existing conditions and a history of
management activities that may have influenced them. See also the list of vegetation
management actions since 1990 in Appendix A. The project area is located between Silver Lake
and Bly Oregon on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The area includes the headwaters of

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the Sycan, North Fork Sprague, South Fork Sprague and Chewaucan watersheds. The area is
characterized by a high, pumice-mantled plateau with rhyolitic eruptive centers forming domes.
Three tipped and uplifted fault blocks form Gearhart Mt, the Deadhorse Rim and Winter Ridge.
Steeper slopes drop off these rims to the Sycan River, Chewaucan River and the Summer Lake.
Soils are of three basic types: alluvial soils, soils derived from rhyolite, basalt and tuff from
local eruptive centers, and pumice and ash derived soils.

Alluvial soils are found in flat drainage basins scattered through out the project area. These soils
are dependent on vegetation and rooting systems of plants to withstand erosion. With moisture
present much of the growing season meadow and shrub communities dominate. Riparian
hardwoods found in these settings are sometimes lost through shading from encroaching
lodgepole and ponderosa pine (Upper Sycan Watershed Analysis, Step 5, pg 1). Streambank
stability is detrimentally affected by competition from lodgepole pine. Grazing has also shifted
the plant composition away from desired grasses and sedges toward shrub and forb dominance.
Many low gradient stream reaches have downcut into their floodplains in the past and are now
recovering by building new floodplains within the gullies. Beaver dams that once stored
sediment in stream channel are fewer than historically, although they appear to be making a
comeback.

Soils forming on site from native materials have higher clay content than the alluvial or ash
derived soils. They are well developed and generally nutritionally intermediate. They support
either forested or non-forested vegetation. The conifer densities that currently exist suppress full
expression of the shrubs, grasses, and forbs that would normally be found in the understory.
Mass movement risks (debris avalanches and rotational landslides) are elevated by road building
and timber harvest in rhyolitic domes. Heavy clay on scabrock flats is easily displaced by
machinery and hard to restore. Heavy grazing in the past on non-forested sites has shifted the
plant composition away from grasses and sedges toward shrub and forb dominance.

Soils derived from ash and pumice are the least developed and nutritionally poor. Lacking
structure, these soils are prone to erosion and displacement by wind and water and by machinery
and trampling. High intensity fire near the surface of these soils can create hydrophobic surfaces.
Cut and fill slopes are often steep and continually dry ravel for many years. On cut and fill
slopes steeper than 2:1, vegetation establishment is difficult due to raveling, exposure (south
slopes). Loss of seed, and soil conditions. Cut slopes in ash and pumice subsoil material are very
difficult to revegetate following disturbances. Due to their coarse texture however infiltration
rate is high so overland flow rarely occurs. Pure lodgepole pine with a grass/sedge or forb/grass
understory are common on these soils. The conifer densities that currently exist suppress full
expression of the understory.

While beetle epidemics are normal cyclical occurrences in the lodgepole pine ecosystem, the
current epidemic has grown beyond the size, duration and host species characteristics seen in
recorded past epidemics. The watersheds in the project area were outside the normal range of
variability predicted by Landfire and other ecological literature in terms of tree density,
understory composition largely as a result of past timber harvest practices and fire prevention
and suppression activities prior to the beetle epidemic. Tree density and understory composition
had profound effects on the hydrologic processes in the watersheds. In general, the high tree

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density led to reduced shrub and grass understories, reduced snow capture and infiltration,
greater runoff, and earlier drying of the soil each spring.

Since the trees have died there has been a tremendous increase in shrubs, forbs, grasses and
sedges in areas of earliest and highest tree mortality. This expanding ground cover is an
insurance policy protecting the soil from nutrient and water losses. To keep that insurance policy
in force, and perhaps increase its value, is the most important thing we can do with this project in
addition to providing for public safety.

Fish Species

Interior Redband Trout
Interior redband trout are non-anadromous rainbow trout that occur in six desert basins
throughout southeast Oregon and northeast California. These basins are Malheur, Catlow
Valley, Fort Rock, Chewaucan, Goose Lake, and Warner Lakes (Behnke 1992). The redband
trout is a USDA Forest Service Region 6 sensitive species.

Redband trout require four basic habitat types to accommodate life history requirements:
spawning, rearing, adult and overwintering (Behnke 1992). Kunkel (1976) documented that
redband trout in a southeastern Oregon stream spawned in April and May, with the highest
spawning intensities occurring in the first part of May.

Intermittent streams are sometimes used for spawning and are effective and most productive
when flow continues through emergence and downstream migration of juveniles into perennial
tributaries (Behnke 1992). Within forested systems, large wood provides storage of sediment in
the tributaries and contributes to the maintenance of water quality and productive fish habitat
(Duncan et al. 1987) by both slowing water velocity upstream and trapping transported sediment.

Temperatures of about 15°C, or 58-60°F, are ideal for optimum growth of rainbow trout (Leitritz
and Lewis 1980). Temperatures exceeding 29.4 degrees C (84.9 degrees F) can be fatal to
rainbow trout (Bjornn and Reiser 1991). Behnke (1992) states that redband possess a hereditary
basis to persist at higher water temperatures (greater than 21°C (70°F)) than other species of
trout, and has captured (fly fishing) live redband in streams with temperatures of 28.3 degrees C
(82.9 degrees F).
Bull Trout
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed bull trout as a Threatened species under the Endangered
Species Act of 1973 on June 10, 1998 (Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 111). Bull trout occupy
streams on the Northeast Zone of the Fremont-Winema National Forests and include Long
Creek, Callahan Creek, and Coyote Creek. Bull trout historically inhabited the North Fork
Sprague River and the Sycan River upstream of the Sycan Marsh. The last reported bull trout in
the upper Sycan River above the Marsh was in 1969, and a hybrid was captured in the South
Fork of the Sycan River in 1994 (Light et al. 1996). No sizable population is known to exist in
the upper Sycan River and Buchanan et al. (1997) considers the population “probably extinct”.
The reasons for the classification are 1) the presence of brook trout in the system, and 2) the
degradation of habitat from timber harvest, grazing activities, and associated high road densities.
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However, current conditions within the Sycan River within the project area are in an upward
trend of recovery.

Bull trout generally have more specific habitat requirements than other salmonids (Rieman and
McIntyre 1993). They require cold, clear water with low amounts of fine sediment in the
streambed, relatively constant flows, and high frequencies of large and small woody material to
successfully spawn and rear. Bull trout are sensitive to changes in their environment particularly
water temperature and increases in fine sediments.


Bull trout are found primarily in cold streams, although individual fish are found in larger,
warmer river systems. Water temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit is
believed to limit bull trout distribution (Fraley and Shepard 1989; Rieman and McIntyre 1993).
Goetz (1989) suggests that optimum water temperatures for rearing are about 7 to 8 degrees
Celsius (44 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) and optimum water temperatures for egg incubation of 2 to
4 degrees Celsius (35 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit). Adult bull trout prefer relatively cold
temperatures (90 C to 150C preference range in rivers), but not as cold as what is required for
embryonic development (10C to 60C optimum range), and optimal juvenile growth (40C to 100C)
(Spence 1996).
Preferred spawning habitat consists of low-gradient stream reaches with loose, clean gravel
(Fraley and Shepard 1989) and water temperatures of 5 to 9 degrees Celsius (41 to 48 degrees
Fahrenheit)(Goetz 1989). Bull trout typically spawn from August to November during periods
of decreasing water temperatures – generally ranging from 4 to 10 degrees Celsius (39 to 51
degrees Fahrenheit). Depending on water temperature, incubation is normally 100 to 145 days
(Pratt 1992), and after hatching, juveniles remain in the substrate. Time from egg deposition to
emergence of fry may surpass 200 days (Pratt 1992; Ratliff and Howell 1992).


Miller Lake Lamprey
Miller Lake Lampreys currently occupy relatively cool, clear streams (Gunckel and Reid 2004,
Lorion et al. 2000). Adults are generally associated with structural cover, including loose rocks
and woody debris. Miller Lake Lampreys spawn in shallow redds in clean gravels and sand,
which are moved out of the way by lamprey sucking onto small rocks and actively moving them
out of the way (ODFW 2005).

The adult lampreys in Miller Lake historically fed on both tui chubs and available salmonids
(rainbow, brook and juvenile brown trout) in Miller Lake (Kan and Bond 1981). They also
scavenged dead tui chubs and trout, as well as cannibalizing other lampreys. In Miller Creek,
most recent observations found occasional lamprey wounds on brook trout, which were the most
abundant species in the creek, but it is probable that lampreys also feed on both rainbows and
young brown trout in the creek (S. Reid pers. obs. 1998). In Jack Creek lampreys feed on
speckled dace, the only other fish present in the stream, and in the Upper Sycan they feed on
both trout and dace.




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Pit-Klamath Brook Lamprey
Preferred habitat is low gradient, clear, cool, rivers and streams with sand-mud bottoms or edges.
In Oregon, the only recorded populations seem to be in Crooked Creek, a tributary to Agency
Lake, and the Sprague River system (Moyle, 2002).

Klamath largescale sucker
For stream spawning populations in the Klamath Basin, suckers begin their spawning migration
in late February, March, or early April depending on peak flows and temperature cues, with
spawning activity continuing well into May (USDI-FWS. 1993). Spawning surveys conducted
on tributaries of Gerber reservoir during the spring of 1993 through 2000 indicate that shortnose
and Klamath Largescale suckers typically initiate spawning in late April, the earliest record for
spawning as indicated by egg presence was April 17, 2000 (Table 3-19). Egg presence has been
identified as late as May 10 in 1995 and 1996. Suckers spawn in a range of water temperatures
(9-17C), water depths (11-70 cm), and water velocities (42-132 cm/s) (Buettner and Scoppettone
1990). Spawning occurs near the bottom and when gravel is available; eggs are dispersed within
the top several centimeters. Spawning preference appears to be more related to flow and depth
than to substrate type. It is not known how tightly reproductive success is linked to spawning
preference.

Marbled sculpin
The Upper Klamath marbled sculpin is the most widely distributed sculpin in the Klamath basin
(2004). It is found in most streams and rivers in the basin in a wide range of conditions,
including summer temperatures over 20°C (Bond et al. 1988).

Speckled Dace
Speckled dace typically inhabit cold water streams with currents ranging from slow pools to
riffles and generally found in water less than three feet deep. Speckled dace prefer streams with
an average water temperature of 610F (range 540F-700F). In the upper Klamath River, Speckled
dace were observed in water temperatures that ranged between 810F and 920F.

Brook Trout
Brook trout are indigenous to eastern North America and have been introduced into streams and
lakes west of the Mississippi River. Brook trout are found in most perennial streams on the
Northeast Zone of the Fremont National Forest. Brook trout occur in the Upper Sycan River and
tributaries, N.FK Sprague River and tributaries, and headwater tributaries of the Chewaucan
River.

Brown trout
Brown trout were originally found in Eurasia and were stocked in the late 1800s in the United
States as strains from various locations, including Scotland and Germany. Brown trout are
closely related to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Brown trout are found in some perennial
streams and lakes on the Northeast Zone of the Fremont-Winema National Forests. Brown trout
occur in the N.FK Sprague River within the project area.

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Aquatic Habitat Conditions
Stream surveys were conducted during the summers of 1997, 1998, 1999 in support of the
Chewaucan Watershed Analysis (USFS 1998) and the Upper Sycan Watershed Analysis (USFS
2000). Data was collected on several fish habitat elements within each measured reach of
stream. Methods used to gather habitat information were summarized based on the following
parameters: large woody debris, pools, spawning gravel fines, stream temperature, and fish
passage.

Upper Sycan River Watershed
The Upper Sycan Watershed is located in the northwestern portion of the Paisley Ranger District
and includes three subwatersheds. These subwatersheds include Upper Sycan River, Long Creek
and Paradise Creek. The watershed drains into, and is a significant contributor to, the Sycan
Marsh -- a large wetland comprised of marshy and forested wetlands. Paradise Creek and Long
Creek are the two major tributaries to the Sycan River in the area above the Marsh.

The vegetation types consist of meadow, grassland/shrub non-forested uplands, ponderosa pine,
lodgepole pine, mixed conifer, juniper woodlands and stream edges vegetated with willows,
alder, and other deciduous shrubs. The subsurface and overland flows make their way to the
riparian area, filling stream channels like Paradise and Skull Creeks. The drainage network in the
watershed consists of approximately 170 miles of stream channels, all forming an intricate
network that eventually culminates in the Sycan River. These channels can be classified into four
basic stream types (Rosgen A, B, C and E) that vary in their size, shape, pattern and position in
the landscape.

Under present conditions, intense upland erosion resulting from a catastrophic fire would be the
most likely disturbance event in the Upper Sycan Watershed. A healthy riparian area will buffer
against disturbance, capturing sediments that may inundate streams. But even the most
productive riparian areas have limitations and cannot withstand severe forms of disturbance.

Habitat Condition, Trend, and Limiting Factors
Data have been collected for several elements that describe aquatic habitat within the surveyed
reaches of streams in the Upper Sycan River watershed within the proposed project area. Fish
habitat surveys on the National Forest portions of the Upper Sycan River watershed show that,
when compared to INFISH RMOs and ICBEMP natural and near natural stream conditions,
habitat conditions range from Functioning Appropriately to Functioning Appropriately but at
Risk across the action area (Data on file at Supervisor‟s Office, Lakeview, OR).

Bull trout in the Long Creek are considered to be the second highest bull trout density in the
basin (Buchanan et al. 1997). Reduced numbers and distribution of bull trout are attributed to
high water temperatures, high fine sediment levels, poor pool quality, altered peak flows
resulting from high road densities and compacted soils, limited distribution of bull trout and
interactions with nonnative salmonids. Therefore, the National Forest portion of the Upper Sycan
River watershed is rated as Functional at Risk as a water source for bull trout, redband trout and
other native fish species.



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Stream temperature data collected during the summer months is available for numerous creeks in
the Upper Sycan River watershed (Data on file at Supervisor‟s Office, Lakeview, OR). Based on
this information, only the upper reaches of the Sycan River have stream temperatures (rearing)
that are favorable for bull trout. However, several other streams within the Upper Sycan River
also have stream temperatures favorable to bull trout. With continued improvement in riparian
and stream channel conditions, shading and a narrowing of stream channels could result in
slightly lower stream temperatures. However, even though it is assumed that stream
temperatures were historically lower than they are today, it is questionable as to whether or not
current state standards can be achieved in all streams.

Based on field reconnaissance combined with recent stream habitat surveys, PFC, grazing
effectiveness monitoring data, and water temperature monitoring data indicate that stream
channel and fish habitat conditions are generally at a stable trend throughout the Sycan River
Action Area.
Based on habitat parameter ratings varying from functioning inappropriately to functioning
appropriately, upward trends in watershed conditions, and the best professional judgment of the
Northeast Zone fisheries biologist, the Upper Sycan subwatersheds in the Red Zone Safety
Project Area are rated as functioning appropriately but at risk with an upward trend, as a
sensitive aquatic species reserve.

N.FK Sprague River Watershed
Topography of the watershed is composed of moderate to steep-sided to gently sloping
mountains and rolling hills. The dominant geologic feature is Gearhart Mountain which is a
dome-shaped, gently sloping, shield volcano. Basaltic lava is the primary substrate with localized
lava also occurring in the watershed. Reaches of the NF Sprague River immediately upstream of
the Forest boundary are located within a steep-sided canyon with the valley bottom gradually
widening as you move upstream toward the headwaters. There are two large depositional areas
(Lee Thomas Meadow area in the headwaters and the area near the confluence) within the N.FK
Sprague River. Only one of these, Lee Thomas Meadow, occurs in the project area. Soils in the
watershed are shallow to moderately deep ashy soils and are well drained (Wenzel 1979). These
soils have a moderate potential for displacement and rill and gully erosion and low potential for
sheet erosion. Compaction hazard is rated as low for most of the watershed.

Habitat Condition, Trend, and Limiting Factors
Level II stream surveys have been completed on many streams within the action area. The
surveys from 1990 through 2004 conducted on the Fremont-Winema National Forests collected
data on the habitat parameters. Starting in 2005, data were collected on habitat and aquatic biota
parameters. Fish habitat surveys on the National Forest portions of the N.FK Sprague River
show that, when compared to INFISH RMOs and ICBEMP natural and near natural stream
conditions, habitat conditions range from Functioning Appropriately to Functioning
Appropriately but at Risk across the analysis area (Data on file at Supervisor‟s Office, Lakeview,
OR).

The single greatest factor limiting bull trout survival in the N.FK Sprague River is water
temperature. The National Forest portion of the N.FK Sprague River is rated as Functioning

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Inappropriately as a water source for bull trout, redband trout and other native fish species (Data
on file at Supervisor‟s Office, Lakeview, OR).

Based on habitat parameter ratings varying from functioning inappropriately to functioning
appropriately, upward trends in watershed conditions, and the best professional judgment of the
Northeast Zone fisheries biologist, the N.FK Sprague subwatersheds in the Red Zone Safety
Project Area are rated as functioning appropriately but at risk with an upward trend, as a
sensitive aquatic species reserve.

Dairy Creek/Elder Creek/South Creek Watersheds
These lie near the northwest corner of the Great Basin within the Basin and Range physiographic
province. This is characterized by a broad, uneven plateau 4000 - 8500 feet above sea level,
broken up by late Tertiary to Holocene age block faulting. Quaternary to Tertiary-age volcanic
flows and silicic vents characterize portions of the province. This area lies within Paleozoic and
mesozoic-age sedimentary basins covered by thousands of feet of volcanic and volcanic derived
sedimentary rocks. The elevation in the Dairy/Elder/South Creek subwatersheds ranges from
approximately 4,700 feet at the lower elevations to 8,364 feet at the top of Gearhart Mountain,
which is the dominant geologic feature in these subwatersheds. Gearhart Mountain is a dome-
shaped, gently sloping, shield volcano. The majority of soil types within these subwatersheds
have been derived from pyroclastic rocks. These are rocks which have been expelled explosively
from volcanic vents and hardened into tuffs and breccias. Soils derived from pyroclastic rocks
are highly variable in physical and chemical properties and present some of the most difficult
management problems on the Forest.

Habitat Condition, Trend, and Limiting Factors
Level II stream surveys have been completed on many streams within the proposed project area.
The surveys from 1990 through 2004 conducted on the Fremont-Winema National Forests
collected data on the habitat parameters. Starting in 2005, data were collected on habitat and
aquatic biota parameters. Fish habitat surveys on the National Forest portions of Dairy Creek,
Elder Creek, South Creek and their tributaries show that, when compared to INFISH RMOs and
ICBEMP natural and near natural stream conditions, habitat conditions range from Functioning
Appropriately to Functioning Inappropriately occur across the analysis area (Data on file at
Supervisor‟s Office, Lakeview, OR).

Large woody debris is lacking in many of the reaches appropriate for this important habitat
forming parameter. In the past, large trees were harvested from riparian areas which have
reduced the source for large woody material for streams and floodplains in both perennial and
intermittent systems. Analysis of fine sediment levels in streams within these subwatersheds
shows that in many reaches the percent fines have reached a level that is detrimental to redband
trout. Degraded stream channels and altered hydrologic regime are the primary cause of these
high fine sediment levels. As a result, the quality of spawning habitats ranges from poor to
good. The number of pools and large, deep pools has also been compromised by the high
sediment levels in these subwatersheds.

In the event of a catastrophic fire caused by high canopy densities, narrower stream channels
with well-developed floodplains in the upper reaches and greater quantities of wood throughout

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the forested reaches would buffer against high sediment inputs and low embryo survival rates.
Furthermore, temperature stress is in portions of these subwatersheds. Establishment of late-
seral plant communities and resulting narrow width-to-depth ratios will help improve conditions
for cooler stream temperatures. Several elements need improvement such as high canopy
coverage in forested sites, moderate road densities, lack of LWD, high stream temperatures, and
moderate to high spawning gravel fines. These limiting factors inhibit the Dairy/Elder/South
Creek subwatersheds from functioning appropriately as a redband trout reserve.

All surveyed streams within the project area exhibit habitat parameter ratings varying from
functioning inappropriately to functioning appropriately. Primary impacts to stream channels
throughout the subwatershed appear to be past timber harvest and the resulting lack of large
sized wood, large pools, pool frequency, and an altered fire regime. Past grazing management
may have had negative affects to stream channels in the subwatershed. Many of these impacts
likely occurred in the first half of this century when there was little to management of livestock
in the other watersheds on the Fremont National Forest (USDA, 1998). Current livestock
management and relatively recent (1995) designation of RHCAs (USDA, 1995) is bringing about
gradual improvements in watershed, fish habitat, and riparian conditions.

Based on habitat parameter ratings varying from functioning inappropriately to functioning
appropriately, upward trends in watershed conditions, and the best professional judgment of the
Northeast Zone fisheries biologist, the Dairy/Elder/South Creeks subwatersheds in the Red Zone
Safety Project Area are rated as functioning appropriately but at risk with an upward trend, as
a sensitive aquatic species reserve.

Environmental Consequences

Effects Common to All Alternatives
The treatments proposed in this analysis cover a very small percentage of the area that has been
affected by beetle kill in the past five years. Overriding effects from the entire area of mortality
tend to dwarf any effects that proposed treatments would have on soil quality or watershed
function. Foremost among these unplanned effects are those that would stem from a large-scale,
high intensity wildfire. Erosion as a result of a large-scale, high intensity wildfire, should it
happen, would be at least 10 times greater than that produced with any of the alternatives.
Carbon sequestered in the soil and trees would be lost in the event of a high intensity wildfire
whereas it could be reserved if trees are thinned to the densities described in Landfire.

Alternative 1 – No Action

Direct and Indirect Effects

Summary
By not implementing any management activities addressed in the proposed action
(harvest/removal of hazard trees, green tree thinning, and burning) the current conditions within

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these subwatersheds could potentially degrade. This is due to the already high canopy densities
becoming denser, junipers and conifers continuing to encroach into riparian areas and meadows,
and lack of fire, which results in decreased shrub and grass density, decreased soil cover and
decreased infiltration

Probability of reducing high intensity fire (on a local basis)
This alternative presents two periods of increased fire risk. While needles remain on newly
killed trees they are very flammable and wildfire may crown during a windstorm. Five to ten
years after the beetle kill runs through an area the boles fall into jackstraw piles. The
accumulation of down logs with airspace under them creates another period of high fuel loading
and potential for contributing to high intensity fire. Without the buffer strips provided by
roadside treatment, the chance of fire spreading across larger acreages is greater. It would not be
possible to reintroduce controlled fire to reduce fuel loading without some sort of pre-treatment
activity.

Probability of returning ground cover and tree density to the range of variability that is
expressed in Landfire
Ground cover is currently increasing as a result of more light reaching the forest floor. Lack of
disturbance to the soil surface would reduce the number of new seedling trees that establish,
reducing tree density. However the fuel loading presented by boles of dead trees would most
likely result in a high ground cover of large woody debris and a reduction in area available for
grass, forb and shrub production for 20 years and increase the chance of high intensity wildfire.

Probability to increase or decrease soil quality and stability:
In the absence of an intense wildfire this alternative provides the best odds of maintaining soil
quality and stability. Low intensity wildfires and rot would slowly remove large woody debris.
If there were to be a high intensity wildfire this alternative would lead to the most destruction to
soil quality, on a local basis. Outside the 300 foot wide corridors all alternatives would have the
same effect. High intensity fire would leave the soil surface unprotected and is quite likely to
result in hydrophobic layers developing. Hydrophobic layers in the soil prevent water from
infiltrating and cause water to runoff, collect in swales and erode soils. Carbon accumulations in
large woody debris and ground vegetation would be volatilized rather than reincorporated into
the soil.

Probability to effect water quality
In the absence of an intense wildfire this alternative provides the best odds of maintaining water
quality due to high ground cover which absorbs water, slows runoff, increases infiltration and
catches sediments. Low intensity wildfires and rot would slowly remove large woody debris.
Riparian areas would retain large woody debris and deciduous riparian species such as aspen,
willow and dogwood would be favored since Mountain pine beetles do not attack them. Trends
would move toward potential riparian shade from appropriate species.

However, with no treatments, given the slightly increased chances of a high intensity wildfire
crossing one of the road corridors, this alternative could also lead to the most detrimental impacts

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to water quality. High intensity fire would leave the soil surface unprotected and would quite
likely to result in hydrophobic layers developing. Hydrophobic layers in the soil prevent water
from infiltrating and cause water to runoff, collect in swales and erode soils. Under this
alternative 182 miles of road would not receive maintenance to bring them up to log hauling
standards. These standards would improve drainage on many sections of road and reduce
potential erosion. Without maintained roadside ditches, sediment and nutrients would be flushed
into the streams, affecting fish habitat and food bases. Increased runoff flows would result in
more streambank erosion and potentially loss of streamside shading plants. In a high intensity
wildfire, riparian areas with large amounts of beetle killed pine would burn hot and damage the
buffering capabilities of riparian plants at least temporarily. Shade to streams would be
temporarily reduced and with additional nutrients, aquatic life would be detrimentally effected.

There is a potential loss of water available for stream flow during dry summer months due to
unusually high amounts of water that are lost to overland flow and/or unusually high amounts of
water are evapotranspired due to high canopy densities as well as encroaching juniper and
conifers. If current conditions degrade, in reference to uplands, then habitat for aquatic species
could also degrade. By perpetuating unusually high stand densities the probability for large scale
fire increases. A large scale fire has the potential to decimate a stream and its aquatic species by
leaving no shade adjacent to the stream (increase stream temps) and by denuding subwatersheds
of vegetation thereby leaving exposed soils (increase in sediment in streams).

Consistency with INFISH and Attainment of RMOs
Alternative 1 would promote attainment of Riparian Management Objectives; and cumulative
watershed effects are expected. By not implementing the proposed action the current condition
of the landscape can potentially degrade due to past management activities that have altered the
landscape and changed many of the natural processes. Management activities that left lasting
impacts include fire suppression, road building, culvert installations, harvesting techniques, and
grazing. The lasting impacts are evident by the changed hydrology influenced by unusually high
canopy densities, lack of frequent low intensity fires, roads, culverts that are barriers to fish, and
stream channels that are functioning inappropriately. A large scale fire would devastate a stream
by removing vegetation (riparian and upland); and as a result, sedimentation, increase in water
temperatures, and down cutting would occur. Also, as a result of having unusually high canopy
densities, and encroaching juniper, a decrease in grass and shrub densities would occur. This is
due to higher evapotranspiration rates and shading and/or competition with the grasses and
shrubs that protect the soil and allow for greater water infiltration and thus ground water
recharge. With a decrease in soil cover the potential for overland flow increases, as does the
potential for erosion. The greater the potential for overland flow the lesser the potential for
subsurface flow. With less subsurface flow, less groundwater is available for streams during the
drier summer months. Greater overland flow may impact the streams by increasing gravel
spawning fines and increasing water temperature.

Overall, there would be no direct effects to the aquatic habitat with this alternative; however
there would be indirect effects such as decreasing soil cover and infiltration rates and increasing
overland flow and soil erosion.


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Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Under this alternative, cutting, extraction and burning of conifer boles and biomass would occur
in the 150 ft corridor on either side of the project roads. In addition, it is estimated that
approximately 182 miles of road would be brought up to maintenance standard for log haul.
Maintenance would include cutting of encroaching brush and trees in the road prism, clearing of
drainage ditches and correction of surface drainage problems.

Probability of reducing high intensity fire
Implementing the proposed action, the Forest Service would begin improve public safety along
forest roads and in campgrounds and provide potential containment areas in the event of a
largescale wildfire. An additional benefit would be improved vegetation conditions in riparian
areas.

Again, due to the landscape scale of the beetle epidemic, there are two periods of increased fire
risk. On a local basis, roadsides that have been cleared of dead trees and smaller live trees would
experience lower intensity fire effects due to reduced fuel accumulation. Soils in these locations
are less likely to be heated to the degree that might produce hydrophobic characteristics or
volatilization of organic carbon. A crown fire may even drop down along these roadside fuel
breaks and allow for firefighting resources to be used to advantage, potentially reducing the
effects of high intensity wildfire in larger portions of the watershed, not just the roadside treated
area.

Probability of returning ground cover and tree density to the range of variability that is
expressed in Landfire
The proposed action would locally reduce the density of trees and increase the effective
groundcover therefore, the probability of returning ground cover and tree density to the range of
variability characteristic to sustainable lodgepole and ponderosa pine forests in this region would
be high with this alternative. However the desired characteristics would have to be maintained
through reintroduction of maintenance burning and harvest. Initially, bare ground sites created
by logging and burning would create seedling sites for lodgepole pine in greater density than the
stand densities that should ultimately be maintained. Competition and low intensity ground fires
would kill small trees in a mosaic pattern and maintain shrub and understory vigor.

Probability to increase or decrease soil quality and stability
Effects in the treatment area result from mechanical activity breaking up the ground surface, and
compacting soils, the loss of large woody debris and the increase in shrub and understory plants,
and heating the soil when burning residual debris not removed from the site. Because this
alternative calls for slightly less biomass removal from the treatment areas than Alternative 3,
these effects would be less than those in that alternative. Organic residues would be left at
levels to meet LRMP S&G‟s residual slash after the proposed vegetative treatments by using

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jackpot burning and pile/burn. In the longer term this alternative would require more frequent
maintenance activities (burning, harvesting, brush busting) than Alternative 3 to maintain
desirable tree densities and ground cover characteristics for soil quality.

Probability to effect water quality
Direct effects of tree removal within 300 ft of intermittent and perennial streams, wetlands or
waterbodies would be a temporary reduction in shading proportionate to the amount of non-
coniferous shading vegetation and the amount of live conifers in the area. Project design features
and BMPs would be used to eliminate or minimize any effects of harvesting on these areas.

PDFs (see Chapter 2) require that there be a minimum 50 foot “no equipment” buffer next to all
perennial streams; further that RHCAs retain live conifers at 30 BA, which should satisfy future
large woody debris recruitment where appropriate. These treatment activities are designed to
promote desired riparian vegetation communities within the project area. Mechanical entry is
limited to the outer portions of RHCAs while inner areas will have traditional chainsaw lop and
scatter methods. Within the 50' buffer, felling and removal is to be done by hand. Burning of
residual material would not be allowed in the streamside management zones. Maintenance of
road segments to bring them up to standards for timber hauling should have beneficial effects on
water quality in that drainage, and roads would not be allowed to concentrate water for long
distances. Effects to water quality from activities in the roadside corridors are not expected to be
measurable.
Indirectly there is potential for exposed soils to erode after rainfall and eventually enter the
streams after an area has been treated using heavy equipment. However, soil compaction levels
would not go above what is currently on site by using PDF and BMPs (see Chapter 2 and
Appendix B). Within the RHCA treatment units that would utilize ground-based equipment,
there is a higher probability that sediment could reach streams due to ground disturbing activities
occurring within RHCAs. Activities within the RHCA treatment areas were designed (site
specific protection measures, layout, marking, etc.) by the project interdisciplinary team,
including aquatics specialists, to improve stand conditions and minimize effects to potentially
affected streams. The risk of higher sediment yield to the stream channels has been minimized
in these areas to the greatest extent possible, while providing for long-term stand health.
Consistency with INFISH and Attainment of RMOs
The timber harvest, fuels reduction, and prescribed fire and/or pile burning portions of this
project will not retard or prevent attainment of Riparian Management Objectives (RMOs) or
adversely affect native fish (TM-1 and FM-1 of INFISH), as no adverse direct or indirect effects
to any fish species is expected. All RHCAs treatments are designed to acquire desired vegetation
characteristics in order to attain RMOs (TM-2 of INFISH). Fuels reduction in the Project Area
will reduce the risk of wildfire and its effects on fish habitat described above, thereby
contributing to the attainment of RMOs (FM-4 of INFISH).
The project area is within two INFISH priority watersheds. None of the alternatives involve
permanent road construction within RHCAs. Proposed temporary road construction within
RHCAs has been minimized to the greatest extent possible (RF-2), while providing for
maximum benefits to forested stand conditions across the project area.

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The greatest potential to retard the attainment of RMOs with Alternative 2 stems from the
potential sediment delivery to streams and the potential effects to water temperature from felling
and/or removing trees from and operating a slashbuster within RHCAs, as described above. The
amount of sediment delivered to streams in the short term is expected to be at an immeasurable
level and is expected to be reduced in the long term (see sediment discussion above). Any
effects to stream temperature are expected to be at an immeasurable level in the short term and
are expected to improve over the long term (see water temperature discussion above).
Therefore, implementation of Alternative 2 is not expected to adversely affect inland native fish
nor retard the attainment of RMOs.
Alternative 3
Under this alternative, cutting, extraction and burning of conifer boles and biomass would occur
in the 150 ft corridor on either side of the project roads with prescriptions that would, to a greater
degree than in Alternative 2, create open conditions. More biomass would be removed,
necessitating more traffic by machinery. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 182 miles
of road would be brought up to maintenance standard for log haul. Maintenance would include
cutting of encroaching brush and trees in the road prism, clearing of drainage ditches and
correction of surface drainage problems.

Direct and Indirect Effects
The increased removal of all live lodgepole pine, white fir, and non-old growth juniper less than
21 inches is the primary difference between the two alternatives. This difference in harvest is not
expected to have measurable differences to fish bearing stream channels, fish habitat conditions,
or the attainment of INFISH RMOs, when compared to Alternative 2. All ground disturbing
activities associated with these actions would occur outside of RHCAs, with the exception of
commercial treatment within RHCAs as described above. Any effects to stream channels and/or
fish habitat conditions would be at an immeasurable level based on the analysis completed for
Alternative 2 above.
The commercial treatment of RHCAs is expected to accelerate attainment of RMOs as described
above (see Alternative 2 effects discussion). Although, the potential to accelerate attainment of
large woody debris objectives would be reduced by removing more live material from RHCAs
with Alternative 3 when compared to Alternative 2.
Probability of reducing high intensity fire
Due to more complete fuel treatment, in this alternative the safety zones should provide better
opportunities for use by firefighting resources in the event of a wildfire. This alternative would
reduce the probability for soil heating effects from high intensity fire in the treatment areas by a
greater degree than Alternative 2.

Probability of returning ground cover and tree density to the range of variability that is
expressed in Landfire
The intent of this thinning proposal is to reduce the tree density to create an even more open and
longer lasting safety zone. Removal of all < 21” lodgepole pine, white fir and non-old growth
juniper would bring tree densities down to the historic levels for ponderosa pine forest in late

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seral status. Seedlings established during the first decade would increase the density again but
maintenance mowing or control burning could eventually be used to maintain lower tree
densities and maintain shrub and grass vigor. The safety zones created would be advantageous
to reintroducing prescribed fire or managing wildland fire in areas of the watershed untreated in
this project.

Probability to increase or decrease soil quality and stability
Because of the greater number of total passes of equipment over a given area and the greater
volume of fuels that would need to be hauled away or potentially burned, direct effects of this
alternative on soil quality are likely to be greater than those of Alternative 2. This alternative
may require the use of more scarification to keep compaction levels within acceptable standards
(BMPs state that skid trails and landings should be scarified).

Probability to effect water quality
The potential for sediment delivery impacts resulting from commercial treatment within RHCAs
would be increased slightly with Alternative 3 when compared with Alternative 2, as the number
of acres treated within RHCAs would be increased. As discussed above (see Alternative 2
Effects), any effects to sediment delivery resulting from commercial treatment in RHCAs is
expected to be at an immeasurable, negligible level.
Consistency with INFISH and Attainment of RMOs
Same as Alternative 2. See discussion in Alternative 2.

Comparison of Alternatives

The following comparison table briefly summarizes the relative effects to soils for all
alternatives:

Table 3.7 Comparison of Effects to Soils
             Effects Indicator                      Alt. 1      Alt. 2         Alt. 3
Relative probability of reducing high
intensity fire                                lowest         moderate      highest
Relative probability of restoring HRV
groundcover and tree density                  moderate       lowest        highest
Relative probability of increasing soil
quality and stability (in absence of high
intensity fire)                           highest            moderate       lowest
Relative probability to retain or improve
water quality (in absence of high
intensity fire)                           highest            moderate      lowest


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Cumulative Effects
Activities that have occurred in the past include previous timber harvest, fire suppression
activities, timber harvest on adjacent private land, livestock grazing, dispersed recreation, and
firewood gathering. Reasonably foreseeable future actions within the subwatersheds are fire
suppression activities, livestock grazing, noxious weed treatment, dispersed recreation, firewood
gathering, and road decommissioning. In summary, these actions have reduced base flows in
streams in the project area, thereby increasing water temperatures and reducing the amount of
available fish habitat during low flow periods.

Some riparian areas in the project area have been affected by past timber harvest, which removed
trees from within RHCAs. Past harvest in RHCAs generally removed individual trees and was
not clear-cut harvesting or group selection harvesting. The current condition of the proposed
RHCA treatment areas is a lack of large trees adjacent to streams and a lack of expected riparian
vegetation communities in all affected stream reaches. In addition, historic grazing has affected
riparian conditions in meadow systems, and downcutting has occurred as a result of loss of root
strength associated with adequate riparian vegetation.

Road construction in the project area has likely had negative effects to fish habitat conditions in
the project area. These roads interrupt natural processes such as large woody debris recruitment,
production of large wood, and stream shading. Improperly surfaced roads, particularly within
RHCAs, contribute sediment to streams. Stream crossing can fragment fish populations by
blocking fish passage, which has occurred in at least two locations in the project area. Stream
crossings also interrupt natural processes such as large woody debris transport. Crossings may
also fail during storm events and contribute large quantities of fine sediment to streams. Roads
also increase watershed efficiency, resulting in higher peak flows and decreased base flows.
Roads have reduced the quantity and quality of fish habitat in the Project Area, resulting in a
probable decline in fish populations.

Ongoing and future activities with potential to affect fish habitat and fish populations in the
project area include livestock grazing, recreation, and personal firewood cutting. Grazing
standards implemented on the allotments within the project area are designed to maintain healthy
range conditions. Close adherence to grazing standards is absolutely critical for improvements in
stream channel conditions to occur across the project area.
Alternative 1 – No Action
The overstocked condition of the timber stands has been reduced somewhat across the entire Red
Zone due to beetle kill. The effects of this project on soil and water quality in the entire Red
Zone would be undetectable unless a high intensity wildfire occurs in the area. With no attempt
to create safety zones along the roadways, it is expected that any wildfire in the area would be
larger than if the safety zones were created. Until large acreages burn in hot fires it is expected
that precipitation falling in the area would be effectively caught by existing ground vegetation
and that infiltration would be enhanced by shrub, grass and sedge root systems. Soil moisture
would be more effectively stored and would be used to grow understory plants as well as the
remaining conifers. Soils may remain moist later, extending the growing season, due to reduced
evapotranspiration of grasses and shrubs as compared with conifers. There is expected to be an
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increase in available forage for livestock and wildlife until conifer densities increase again.
Priority actions in the project area would continue to be fuel and hazard reduction. Infrastructure
for other forest activities would be damaged or not maintained. Area closures are to be expected.

In the long-term there would be cumulative effects with this alternative in association with
continued conifer encroachment, decreasing soil cover and infiltration rates, increasing overland
flow and soil erosion. Adverse cumulative effects to fish populations could occur under
Alternative 1, as a result of these factors.
Alternative 2
The implementation of this alternative would have a positive effect on soil and water resources
in that potential high intensity wildfire size would be reduced. Needed maintenance of drainage
structures on roadways in the project area would be facilitated through the project. The safety
corridors would facilitate reintroduction of maintenance activities to reduce conifer densities and
revitalize understory species that are important to water infiltration and nutrient re-supply.

No adverse cumulative effects to fish populations are expected under Alternative 2. Any
cumulative watershed effects resulting from implementation of the Red Zone Safety Restoration
Project are expected to be beneficial to existing fish populations, based on the expected long
term improvements to RHCA health described above.


Alternative 3
Implementation of this alternative would also have a positive effect on soil and water resources
in that potential high intensity wildfire size would be reduced. No adverse cumulative effects to
fish populations are expected under Alternative 3. Since more areas would be treated to create
reduced conifer density and improve groundcover characteristics, there should be more benefit to
soil and water quality. Any cumulative watershed effects resulting from implementation of the
Red Zone Safety Restoration Project are expected to be beneficial to existing fish populations,
based on the expected long term improvements to RHCA health described above.

Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
All of the alternatives were found to be consistent with the applicable Forest-wide fisheries and
watershed standards addressed in the Regulatory Framework section. None of the affected
subwatersheds is an INFISH priority watershed. No road construction would occur within any
Category 1 RHCA. Riparian and instream restoration will serve to accelerate attainment of
RMO‟s and are fully consistent with the goals and applicable INFISH standards and guidelines,
particularly TM-1, RF-2, FM-1, FM-4, RA-2, WR-1, and FW-1.
None of the alternatives would hinder or retard the attainment of INFISH Riparian Management
Objectives (RMOs) for pool frequency, large woody debris, water temperature, bank stability,
and width to depth ratio, or cause significant harm to native fish and their habitats in the long-
term. Retard is defined within INFISH as: to slow the rate of recovery below the near natural
rate of recovery if no additional human caused disturbance was placed on the system.


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The short-term effects on pool volume from sediment increases that are expected with the action
alternatives would not be significant enough to produce a non-attainment of the pool frequency
RMO. In the long-term, the pool frequency RMO would be maintained or improved as natural
riparian vegetative recovery occurs and project related sediment gets transported out of the
affected pools and larger scale sediment reductions occur from improvements occurring in
streams in the project area, in all action alternatives. Natural recruitment of large woody debris
would occur in all streams over the long-term. The water temperature RMO would be
maintained, as measurable increases in stream temperature are unlikely to occur in any perennial
stream. The bank stability RMO would be maintained and improved with the vegetative
treatments to restore riparian plant communities. The width to depth ratio RMO would be
maintained because the short-term sediment and peak/base flow increases would not occur on a
large enough scale to cause significant channel widening.

On the basis of the above evaluation, if the project is implemented as described in the project
proposal, implementation of the preferred alternative associated with the Red Zone Safety
Restoration Project is Not Likely to Adversely Affect redband trout and bull trout. The project
may proceed as planned. The proposed project may impact individuals or habitat of redband
trout and bull trout however, this project is not likely to result in a trend toward federal listing
or loss of viability of Region 6 sensitive fish species, redband trout or bull trout.

Table 3.8 Potential of Alternatives to Hinder or Retard the Long-term Attainment of
INFISH RMO’s.
 RMO                 Alt. 1 - No Action      Alt. 2 – Proposed          Alt. 3
                                                   Action
 Pool Frequency         No/Maintain            No/Maintain           No/Maintain
 Large Woody            No/Maintain            No/Maintain           No/Maintain
 Debris
 Water                  No/Maintain            No/Maintain           No/Maintain
 Temperature
 Width-to-Depth         No/Maintain            No/Maintain           No/Maintain
 Ratio




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Wildlife
To improve conciseness, this EA summarizes and references information that is available in
greater detail in a Wildlife Habitat Report and a Biological Evaluation that are contained in the
project record. Upon request, copies will be provided by mail or e-mail.


Regulatory Framework
The 36 Code of Federal Regulations 219.19 requires that wildlife habitat be managed to maintain
viable populations of existing native species by identifying management indicator species whose
population changes are believed to indicate the effects of management activities. The LRMP
identified species whose population changes may indicate impacts on other species found within
a specific habitat type.

Table 3.9 Fremont-Winema National Forest Management Indicator Species
        Fremont National Forest
     Management Indicator Species                Representative of:
                                      Overmature/Mature Ponderosa Pine; Mixed
 Goshawk                              Conifer

 Mule Deer                                          Hunted Species

 Pileated Woodpecker                                Overmature/Mature Mixed Conifer
                                                    High Elevation Forests; Lodgepole Pine and
 American Marten                                    Mixed Conifer Forests

 Red-naped Sapsucker                                Aspen and Deciduous Ecosystems

 Snag and Down Wood Dependent Species               Snag and Down Wood

 Black-backed Woodpecker                            Overmature/Mature Lodgepole Pine

The Endangered Species Act requires National Forests to manage for the recovery of threatened
and endangered species (as identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and the ecosystems
upon which they depend. In addition, the Regional Forester has identified sensitive species for
each National Forest, where species viability may be a concern.

Analysis Method and Area of Analysis
Current field information, on-the-ground surveys, aerial photos, and databases provided the
majority of information for assessments of effects.

The alternatives considered in this analysis are displayed in Chapter 2 of the EA. From a
wildlife and wildlife habitat standpoint there is no difference in effects to species or their habitat
between Alternatives 2 and 3. Both alternatives would treat the same number of acres; however,
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Alternative 3 would more fully treat green stands and provide for a longer period of hazard
reduction. Table 3.XXXX below identifies wildlife species status, and documents whether the
species or habitat is present for them within the Red Zone Safety Project area. If a species, or
habitat, are not preset within the proposed project area, it is not discussed further.

Table 3.10 Wildlife species, status, presence, habitat occurrence, and comments for the
proposed Red Zone Safety Project area.
 Species            Status             Species     Habitat Comments
                                       Present     Present
 Lynx               Threatened         No          No        No habitat.
 Lynx canadensis
 Yellow-billed            Candidate         No         No       No habitat.
 Cuckoo
 Coccyzus
 erythropthalamus
 Oregon Spotted           Candidate/        No         Yes      Best available habitat on Ranger
 Frog                     FS Sensitive                          District has been surveyed with no
 Rana pretiosa                                                  detections.
 Columbia                 Candidate/        No         Yes      Best available habitat on Ranger
 Spotted Frog             FS Sensitive                          District has been surveyed with no
 Rana luteiventris                                              detections.
 Bald Eagle               FS Sensitive/     No         No       Not known to occur within or
 Haliaeetus               MIS Species                           adjacent to the proposed project
 leucocephalus                                                  area
 Northern                 FS Sensitive      No         Yes      Best available habitat on Ranger
 Leopard Frog                                                   District has been surveyed with no
 Rana pipiens                                                   detections.
 Northwestern             FS Sensitive      Unknown Yes         Habitat present.
 Pond Turtle
 Clemmys marmorata
 marmorata
 Fringed Myotis           FS Sensitive      No         No       No habitat.
 Myotis thysanodes
 Pallid Bat               FS Sensitive      Expected   Yes      Habitat present.
 Antrozous pallidus

 California               FS Sensitive      Unknown Yes         Habitat present.
 Wolverine
 Gulo gulo
 Pygmy Rabbit             FS Sensitive      No         No       No habitat.
 Brachylagus idahoensis

 Horned Grebe             FS Sensitive      No         No       No habitat.
 Podicepes auritus
 Least Bittern            FS Sensitive      No         No       No habitat.
 Coccyzus
 erythropthalamus
 Bufflehead               FS Sensitive      Unknown Yes         Habitat present.
 Bucephala albeola
 Greater Sage             FS Sensitive      No         No       No habitat.
 Grouse

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 Species                Status              Species    Habitat     Comments
                                            Present    Present
 Centrocerus
 urophasianus phaios
 Yellow Rail            FS Sensitive        No         No          No habitat.
 Coturnicops
 noveboracensis
 Upland                 FS Sensitive        No         No          No habitat.
 Sandpiper
 Bartramia longicauda
 Gray Flycatcher        FS Sensitive        Unknown Yes            Habitat present.
 Empidonax wrightii
 Tricolored             FS Sensitive        No         No          No habitat.
 Blackbird
 Agelaius tricolor
 Peregrine Falcon FS Sensitive/             No         No          No habitat.
 Falco peregrinus MIS Species
 anatum
 Red-naped              MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Habitat present.
 Sapsucker
 Sphyrapicus nuchalis
 Pileated               MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Habitat present.
 Woodpecker
 Dryocopus pileatus
 Northern               MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Past surveys and incidental
 Goshawk                                                           sightings.
 Accipiter gentilis
 Black-backed           MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Habitat present.
 Woodpecker
 Piciides arcticus
 American               MIS Species         Unknown Yes            Habitat present.
 Marten
 Martes americana
 Mule Deer              MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Occur throughout project area.
 Odocoileus hemionus
 Primary                MIS Species         Yes        Yes         Occur throughout project area.
 Excavators
 Partners in            Focal Species                              Pine vegetation type.
 Flight                                                            Mixed Conifer vegetation type.
                                                                   Lodgepole vegetation type
 U.S. Fish and        Birds of                                    Various habitats.
 Wildlife Service     Conservation
                      Concern
Note: species habitat descriptions are contained in greater detail in a wildlife habitat report in the
     project record. Upon request, copies will be provided by mail or e-mail. If a species has
     no habitat within the proposed project area it will not be further analyzed in this document.



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Federally Threatened, Endangered, and Proposed Terrestrial Wildlife Species
The Oregon spotted frog and Columbia spotted frog are Federal candidate species for listing
under the Endangered Species Act. However, they are also Forest Service sensitive species, and
were addressed as a part of the Biological Evaluation for this project. If these species are listed
before implementation of the proposed projects is completed, those projects would require a
Biological Assessment, and likely consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Environmental Consequences
Region 6 Sensitive Wildlife Species on the Fremont-Winema National Forest
The Forest Service Region 6 Sensitive Animal list (revised January 2008) was reviewed for
species that may be present within the project area. Table 3.XXXX summarizes the conclusion
of effect from the Biological Evaluation for Sensitive Terrestrial Wildlife Species that is
contained in the project record. Upon request, copies will be provided by mail or e-mail.

Table 3.11 Summary of Conclusion of Effects from Biological Evaluation for Sensitive
Terrestrial Wildlife Species for the Red Zone Safety Project
      R6 Sensitive Species with                Alternative 1        Alternative 2         Alternative 3
    Individuals or Habitat Present               No Action
 Northwestern pond turtle                            NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Oregon spotted frog                                 NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Columbia spotted frog                               NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Northern leopard frog                               NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Bufflehead                                          NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Pacific pallid bat                                  NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 California wolverine                                NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Gray flycatcher                                     NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Evening fieldslug                                   NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 Johnson‟s hairstreak                                NI                  MIIH                  MIIH
 NI = No Impact
 MIIH = May impact individuals or habitat, but will not likely to contribute to a trend toward federal
 listing or loss of viability to the population or species.


Management Indicator Species (MIS)
The Forest Plan requires that sufficient habitat quantity, quality, and diversity be provided to
maintain self-sustaining populations of MIS across the Forest. MIS with habitat present include
primary excavators, red-naped sapsucker, pileated woodpecker, black-backed woodpecker,
northern goshawk, American marten, and mule deer.

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Alternative 1 – All Management Indicator Species

Direct/Indirect Effects
This alternative would not affect primary excavators, red-naped sapsucker, pileated woodpecker,
black-backed woodpecker, northern goshawk, American marten, or mule deer. No cutting and
removing danger/hazard trees, dead trees, live tree thinning, planting or activity fuels treatments
would occur.

Stand structures would continue to decline in the near term, with a continuation of dead, dying,
and fallen trees. This would favor species that are provided habitat from dead and dying trees
and large fuel loads on the ground. The long term risk of a high intensity stand replacing fire
would continue to increase. These stands are currently favoring disturbance dependant species
such as black-backed woodpeckers and in the future mule deer.

Action Alternatives - Primary Cavity Excavators

Existing Condition/Affected Environment
Red-naped Sapsuckers
There are limited aspen stands within the proposed project area that provide sucker habitat.
Sapsucker surveys have not been conducted within the planning area; however, both red-naped
and red-breasted sapsuckers, as well as hybrids, have been noted in other locations within the
outer boundary of the project area, and it is presumed that they would occur in this project area
as well.

Pileated Woodpeckers
There is a substantial amount of habitat for pileated woodpeckers within the Red Zone Safety
planning area based on the amount and size of snags and down wood in the planning area. No
formal pileated woodpecker surveys have been conducted in the planning area, but they have
been observed within the planning area.

Black-backed Woodpeckers
The planning area currently provides foraging and nesting habitat for black-backed woodpeckers.
This is based on field observations of recently dead and dying trees that would provide habitat
for this species. Surveys have not been conducted for black-backed woodpeckers within the
planning area; however, there have been incidental sightings.

Snags and Down Wood
Within the planning area, general observations indicate that snag levels meet Forest standards
and guidelines of 4 snags per acre. Snags greater than twenty inches in diameter are under-
represented. This is due in part to the amount of lodgepole pine within the proposed project area
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because trees greater than 20” dbh are at the upper end of the size class for this species. This
standard was developed when the Forest issued a “White Paper” to help meet the biological
population potential identified in the Eastside Screens (Regional Forester‟s Plan Amendment
#2). While it is recognized that the biological population potential model is outdated, it is still
the standard in our Forest Land Management Plan. Existing snag levels vary across the area
depending upon past management practices, which include timber harvest, fuels treatment within
units, and past fuels projects on the landscape. A qualitative reconnaissance found areas with no
snags and areas characterized by continuous snags due to insect activity. In plantations, snag
habitat is generally lacking while in most other areas snag habitat is being created primarily by
white fir, lodgepole, and ponderosa pine trees dying from drought stress and bug kill. Down
wood levels have not been measured in the planning area; however, it appears that they are
present at levels to meet Forest Plan standards.
DecAID, the Decayed Wood Advisor for Managing Snags, Partially Dead Trees, and Down
Wood, was not used in this analysis because it is a safety project, and while snags and limited
green tree replacements would be retained within the proposed treatment area, the Red Zone
itself is characterized by ample snags. Effects to snag and down wood dependant species are
discussed by species.


Effects of Alternatives 2 and 3 on Primary Cavity Excavators
Direct/Indirect Effects
In general, the proposed project would remove foraging and nesting habitat on up to 7,000 acres
(acres proposed for treatment) for these species. Individuals could be harmed if trees with
occupied cavities were fell during the nesting season. Treatment of existing and activity fuels
would reduce down wood within the proposed project area. Alternative 3 would be a more
complete treatment, and therefore, would leave fewer green trees to contribute to future snags
and down wood. Outside of the proposed treatment area there would still remain a large amount
of habitat for snag and down wood dependant species within the remaining 196,000 acres of
National Forest System land within the analysis area. While all of these acres do not provide
vegetation that is providing snags or down wood, a large portion of it does. The private land
would also contribute habitat for snag and down wood dependant species.


Red-naped sapsuckers would be negatively affected by this proposed project as dead trees would
be removed for safety reasons, resulting in a loss of nesting habitat. However, there would be
substantial amounts of habitat adjacent to the proposed project area.


Pileated woodpeckers would be negatively affected by this proposed project as dead trees would
be removed for safety reasons, resulting in a loss of nesting habitat. Treatment of existing and
activity generated fuels would reduce foraging habitat. However, there would be substantial
amounts of habitat adjacent to the proposed project area.




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Black-backed woodpeckers would be negatively affected by this proposed project as dead trees
would be removed for safety reasons, resulting in a loss of nesting habitat and foraging.
However, there would be substantial amounts of habitat adjacent to the proposed project area.
Snags and Down Wood
The proposed project would remove dead trees from the project area, thin live trees, and treat
existing and activity fuels. The proposed project would treat approximately 7,000 acres. The
proposed project would treat about 3.4 percent of federal land within Red Zone area. While the
proposed project would remove some of this habitat and may directly harm individuals if they
are nesting during the time of project implementation, based on the acres treated, acres not
treated, and the amount of available adjacent habitat, effects to these species would be minimal.

Cumulative Effects
Past activities include commercial and non-commercial thinning and timber harvest, vegetation
treatment, fire suppression, wildfire, watershed improvement projects, road closures and
construction, firewood collection, noxious weed treatment, plant succession, and livestock
grazing. These have changed vegetation conditions in this area. Habitat for primary
excavators/snag and downed wood dependent species has been decreased by past activities,
however those activities that would cause this have be lightly scattered over recent years
throughout the analysis area (see Appendix A). To the extent that these activities have had an
impact, habitat for species that prefer more open forests such as the white-headed woodpecker,
flammulated owl, chipping sparrow, and pygmy nuthatch (Marshall et al 2003) has increased,
while habitat for species that prefer dense conditions such as the hermit thrush and other ground
nesting birds (Marshall et al 2003) has decreased (based on current vegetation conditions).

Federal and private timber harvest (salvage and green) has the most significant effect on habitat
for pileated woodpeckers. Removal of large-diameter live and dead trees, of downed woody
material, and of canopy eliminates nest and roost sites, foraging habitat, and protective cover.
While fire suppression has increased foraging habitat for black-backed woodpeckers, it has
decreased habitat for red-naped sapsuckers. Wildfires have decreased existing snags and down
wood at the time of the fires, and created additional snags and down wood. It is likely that the
wildfires created more snags and down wood than they destroyed.

However despite past activities, the existing condition is one in which approximately 150,000
acres have been affected by mountain pine beetle with tree mortality by stand ranging from 10
percent to 100 percent. Tree species mortality has been 76% lodgepole pine, 18% ponderosa pine
and 6% 5-needled pines (western white pine, whitebark pine and sugar pine). The project
proposes to treat approximately 7,000 of these 150,000 acres. When past and proposed activities
are considered together, cumulative effects to primary cavity excavators would be minimal due
to the large reservoir of habitat that remains following past and proposed activities.




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Action Alternatives - Northern Goshawk
Existing Condition/Affected Environment
Some of the proposed project area was surveyed in the past for other projects; however, no
surveys were conducted related to this project. Past surveys identified 15 goshawk nest cores or
PFAs within ¼-mile of proposed treatment areas. All of the nest cores either do not or are not
expected to provide suitable goshawk nesting habitat in the near future due to stand density and
canopy closure changes resulting from trees dying and decreasing canopy closure. Stand
conditions within post fledging areas are expected to be similar to nest cores. It is expected that
all nest cores and post fledging areas would be effected by insect activity (either past or future),
and that that these areas would no longer provide suitable habitat.

Effects of Alternatives 2 and 3 on Northern Goshawk
Direct/Indirect Effects
Desimone (1997) found that re-occupancy of nest sites on the Fremont National Forest was
clearly related to the amount of mid-aged and late structural forest stages having >50% canopy
closure. Existing nest cores and post fledging areas are not expected to provide habitat in the
future because of insect activity reducing stand density and canopy closure. Therefore,
implementation of Alternatives 2 or 3 would have no effect on goshawks or their habitat.

Cumulative Effects
There are no known direct or indirect effects, so there are no effects to accumulate.

Action Alternatives - American Marten

Existing Condition/Affected Environment
There are no known marten sightings within or adjacent to the proposed project area. General
reconnaissance of the proposed project area resulted in no marten sightings; however, they are
expected to occur where suitable habitat is present.

Effects of Alternatives 2 and 3 on American Marten
Direct/Indirect Effects
The proposed project would treat approximately 7,000 acres on Forest Service land. While snags
and down wood are important habitat components, canopy closure is also important. Based on
habitat requirements, it is unlikely that the proposed project area would provide habitat for
martens now or in the near future. The project area would provide a substantial amount of
foraging habitat; however, this would leave martens exposed to predators. Under Alternative 3,
more green stands would be treated and have their canopy closure reduced. This would reduce
habitat availability for martens. However, based on the long narrow shape of the proposed
project area it is expected any project implementation effects of habitat reduction, noise, and
disturbance to prey species would have minimal effects on martens.


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Cumulative Effects
Past management activities has altered habitat for American Marten. Past timber harvest has
contributed to habitat fragmentation and has likely affected marten natal and maternal dens.
When sufficient downed wood and snags are not left on the ground, habitat components for
marten are not provided for the species and for their prey (Ruggiero et al., 1994, Campbell
1979). The largest factor effecting wildlife habitat in the project area is the current insect
infestation, and implementation of the proposed project would not greatly affect marten. When
past and proposed activities are considered together, cumulative effects would be minimal due to
the large reservoir of untreated acres that remains following past and proposed activities.

Action Alternatives - Mule Deer
Existing Condition/Affected Environment
Optimal mule deer habitat is where cover is 40-50%, 20% is hiding cover, 10% is thermal cover,
5% is fawning cover, and the remaining 5-15% is hiding, thermal or fawning cover. The Forest
Plan standards and guidelines require a minimum of 30% cover. Plantations, riparian areas, and
dense stands provide hiding, thermal, and fawning cover. Existing vegetation conditions do not
provide very effective hiding, fawning, or thermal cover over much of the proposed project area.
Mule deer populations have increased from pre-settlement times, but populations have declined
from the high numbers experienced during the mid to late twentieth century.


Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife‟s current deer management population objective for the
Interstate unit is 14,480 deer and the current estimate is that the deer herd is below 50% of
management objectives. The population decreased during the 2007 – 2008 winter, and hunting
tag numbers were reduced for the 2008 hunting season. (Foster, pers. comm. 2008).


Effects of Alternatives 2 and 3 on Mule Deer
Direct/Indirect Effects
The proposed treatments throughout the project area would remove dead trees, thin green stands
and treat existing and activity fuels. This would increase browse and forage production.
Alternative 3 would do this to a greater extent due to more extensive green stand thinning. The
proposed project would not change road densities as it is focused on public and employee access
on main travel routes. It is expected that some roads not treated as a part of this project would
self close unless kept open by the public to access a fire.

Cumulative Effects
Past management activities have altered habitat for mule deer. In the Red Zone Safety project
area, vegetative conditions are denser than historical, which provides better browse for mule
deer. Timber harvest that includes over-story removal, in concert with fire suppression, has
increased desirable shrub species above historic levels. The Red Zone Safety project is intended
to provide for public and employee access on the main travel routes within and adjacent to the
Red Zone area. The largest factor effecting wildlife habitat in the project area is the current
insect infestation, and implementation of the proposed project would not greatly affect mule

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deer. When past and proposed activities are considered together, cumulative effects would be
minimal due to the large reservoir of untreated acres that remains following past and proposed
activities.
Neotropical Migratory Birds and Songbirds
Neotropical migratory birds are those that breed in the United States and winter south of the
border in Central or South America. They include a large group of species, including many
hawks, shorebirds, warblers, and other song birds, with diverse habitat needs spanning nearly all
successional stages of most plant community types (Niles 1992). Nationwide declines in
population trends for Neotropical migrants have developed into an international concern.


The planning area provides a variety of habitat for these species. However, this habitat is
changing due to trees dying from insect attacks. Habitat conditions would change further with
implementation of the action alternatives. Species that favor open stands and grass/shrub habitat
would be benefited the most. Adjacent but outside of the proposed project area, species which
favor high snag and down wood conditions would benefit from existing and future conditions.
These species were considered while designing this proposed project.
Partners in Flight Focal Species
The Partners in Flight Focal Species are listed in Table 3.XXXX below. Habitat distribution has
been altered for many of these species by the both the insect outbreak and by below normal
rainfall that contributes to drought stress, resulting in numerous snags. Alternative 3 would treat
green stands with greater intensity and therefore have a greater effect on the habitat that these
stands provide. These species were considered while designing this proposed project.


Table 3.12 Species identified for the Subprovince Central Oregon/Klamath Basin in the
“Conservation Strategy for Landbirds of the East-slope of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon
and Washington” (Altman 2000) that may be found within the Red Zone Safety project
area
                   Species                                     Representative of:
White-headed Woodpecker                         Ponderosa pine – large patches of old
                                                forest with large snags
Pygmy Nuthatch                                  Ponderosa pine – large trees
Chipping Sparrow                                Ponderosa pine – open understory with
                                                regenerating pines
Lewis‟ Woodpecker                               Ponderosa pine – patches of burned old
                                                Forest
Sandhill Crane                                  Meadows
Red-naped Sapsucker                             Aspen
Brown Creeper                                   Mixed conifer (Late Successional)-large trees
Williamson‟s Sapsucker                          Mixed conifer (Late Successional)-large snags
Flammulated Owl                                 Mixed conifer (Late Successional)-
                                                interspersion grassy openings and dense
                                                thickets


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                      Species                                    Representative of:
Hermit Thrush                                       Mixed conifer (Late Successional)- multi-
                                                    layered/dense canopy
Olive-sided Flycatcher                              Mixed conifer (Late Successional)- edges and
                                                    openings created by wildfire


Birds of Conservation Concern
Below is the list of Birds of Conservation of Concern from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(2002). Some of these species do not occur in the project area, and some have been addressed
above in other sections (and are shown in bold below), or have been identified as not being
present and not having habitat present. These species were considered in the design of the
proposed project.

Swainson‟s Hawk                        Wilson‟s Phalarope
Ferruginous Hawk                       Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Golden Eagle                           Flammulated Owl
Peregrine Falcon                       Burrowing Owl
Prairie Falcon                         Black Swift
Yellow Rail                            Lewis’ Woodpecker
American Golden-Plover                 Williamson’s Sapsucker
Snowy Plover                           White-headed Woodpecker
American Avocet                        Loggerhead Shrike
Solitary Sandpiper                     Gray Vireo
Whimbrel                               Virginia‟s Warbler
Long-billed Curlew                     Brewer‟s Sparrow
Marbled Godwit                         Sage Sparrow
Sanderling                             Tricolored Blackbird
Greater Sage Grouse (Columbia Basin population)




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Cultural and Heritage Resources
Introduction
Cultural resources (also known as heritage resources) include structures, sites, roads, trails, areas,
and objects of scientific, historic or social value. They are irreplaceable, nonrenewable features
documenting the past human use of our nation. Within the National Forests, these sites
document the prehistoric and historic life-ways of the American Indian, the routes and actions of
the early explorers, trappers, and settlers, the industrial activities of logging, mining, and stock
grazing, community resource use, the history of forest recreation, and National Forest
administration. Any ground-disturbing activity, including the proposed action or its alternative,
has the potential to damage the significant data, features, historic qualities, and natural settings of
these sites unless adequate protections or mitigations are undertaken.

Regulatory Framework
In accordance with Section 110 and 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of
1966, as amended (Public Law 89-665; 16 USC 470-470w-6), the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Public Law 91-190; 42 USC 4321-4347) and applicable regulations
(36 CFR part 60, 296 and 800), a cultural resource inventory was conducted in preparation for
implementing the proposed actions detailed for this project.

Cultural resources found during the survey were recorded according to standards outlined by the
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the 1984 Fremont National Forest Cultural
Resource Inventory Plan and the Forest Service Manual 2300 Ch. 2360.

Analysis Method
In accordance with the laws and regulations previously noted, a cultural resource inventory was
conducted in preparation of implementing the proposed actions outlined in this assessment. The
cultural resource inventory followed protocols established by the 1984 Fremont National Forest
Cultural Resource Inventory Plan. This plan stratifies a project area into three probability
zones‟; high, medium and low based on a predictive model for site distribution. During field
surveys, areas with a high probability of finding sites are covered by surveyors spaced no more
then 20 meters apart. Transect spacing for medium probability areas are 20-100 meters. Low
probability areas are surveyed randomly with approximately 20% coverage.

Prior to conducting the inventory for the Red Zone Safety Project, tribal consultation and a
literature review was conducted. Based upon knowledge gained by the literature review, the
project area was divided into high, medium and low cultural survey areas and a cultural resource
survey was conducted in July and August 2008. A report was prepared detailing the results of
the cultural resource inventory. The report will be submitted to SHPO and the Klamath Tribes
for consultation purposes.

Area of Analysis
The entire Red Zone Safety Project area was analyzed for cultural resources.


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Affected Environment and Existing Conditions
Portions of the project area had been previously surveyed by ten timber sale projects from 1979
to 1987. Eighteen cultural sites were recorded throughout the current project area during those
past surveys. The majority of these sites were prehistoric. In addition to the eighteen previously
known sites, four new sites were discovered during the 2008 survey and recorded, for a total of
22 sites within the project area.

Pre-historically (pre-1825), the project area was located along the indistinct boundary of the
Klamath Indians and the Yahuskin band of the Northern Paiute (Silvermoon 1985:37-39).
Activity in the area was limited to seasonal hunting and gathering. Permanent occupation sites,
such as villages, were established at lower elevations.

Historically (post-1825), the area was used mainly for livestock ranching and logging. Euro-
American exploration came in 1843 when Captain John C. Fremont brought his topographical
engineers near the project area, stopping at Winter Ridge, during his second expedition
(Silvermoon 1985:162). Earlier explorers had entered the region prior to Fremont‟s second
expedition, but non-had come as close to the project area as Fremont. Hostilities between Euro-
Americans and the indigenous peoples of the region followed the period of exploration and
ended with the signing of the Klamath Treaty in 1864 (Silvermoon 1985:168). Settlement of the
project area soon followed.

By the 1880s, the cattle industry dominated southeastern Oregon, followed soon after by the
sheep industry, which caused some conflict (Hatton 1988:6). Both industries took advantage of a
stock driveway established on the Fremont Forest. The sheep industry is especially apparent due
to the number of arborglyph (aspen carvings) sites along the driveway. A 1941 USFS map
shows a stock driveway located within the project area connecting the community of Paisley and
the Sycan Marsh. The driveway followed Currier Creek and is still partially visible today
(Mackenzie 2008:5).

The Fremont National Forest was organized in 1908. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
(Silvermoon 1985:203) built much of the Forest infrastructure in the early 1930s. The CCC built
roads, trails and buildings such as the historic Currier Guard Station located within the Red Zone
Safety project area (Mackenzie 2008:6).

Currently, the cultural resources within the project area are in good condition. Current
conditions of both the previously known and the newly recorded sites were determined by a
visual surface-only examination. Observations were documented by photographs and in writing.

Environmental Consequences

Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects


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Under the no action alternative, no ground disturbing activities would occur which could
potentially impact the 22 known cultural resource sites in the project area. However, the
possibility of a detrimental effect due to wildland fire may increase. In Alternative 1, down dead
woody material would continue to accumulate on top of these sites, increasing fuel loading over
time. If a wildland fire entered a cultural site area, the greater the fuel loading would lead to
greater fire intensity on a local basis and greater soil temperatures. Cultural resources found
within the soil deposits could be significantly altered or destroyed.

Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Proposed actions include thinning green forest stands, cutting and removing hazard, danger and
dead trees using mechanical and non-mechanical methods such as hand cutting and piling and
slash disposal. Potential for disturbance from these activities exists, though protection measures
would be implemented such as flagging site boundaries and incorporating a buffer zone within
the site boundaries. Skid trails, landings and slash plies would only be authorized outside of
cultural resource site boundaries to avoid potential impacts. Any burning in or around cultural
sites is to be implemented only after establishment of protection lines or use of other avoidance
measures, such as using lighting patterns that avoid impacting sites.

Although mechanical treatment would not be allowed within site boundaries, hand cutting and
removing vegetation on cultural sites would be allowed. Hand cutting is not considered a ground
disturbing activity, and the removal of material from the sites would reduce the potential of fuel
loading on the sites. As fuel loads increase, fire temperatures increase, and increased fire
temperatures could damage sites. Slash generated from hand cutting sites would be piled outside
site boundaries. This protective step would remove possible fuel loading from the site and
potential for damage caused by pile burning, if it were to occur on site.

In some cases, the known cultural resource sites will require monitoring to ensure avoidance of
potential impacts. Established communications/coordination protocols between the Northeast
Zone Natural Resource staff and cultural personnel will be followed to ensure that information
regarding monitoring efforts is disseminated. In the event that new cultural material is
discovered during project implementation, project would cease and the Forest or Eastside
Archaeologist would be notified immediately. Site-specific mitigation measures would be
implemented to prevent further disturbance (see Chapter 2, Project Design Features (PDF)
Common to Alternatives 2 and 3).

Alternative 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
The live tree thinnings in Alternative 3 would be more extensive than with Alternative 2 and
therefore the potential to discover and potentially damage new sites during operations would be
slightly greater. But because the same resource protection measures would be applied as
described in Alternative 2, the effects of Alternative 3 should be the same as for Alternative 2.




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Cumulative Effects
Although, cultural resources are susceptible to time and weather, they can be protected from
ground disturbing human activities. Under Alternatives 2 and 3, the potential to encounter, or
disturb, subsurface cultural resources appears very limited based on the nature of disturbance
anticipated via hand-cutting the vegetation and removing the material outside site boundaries.
Protection measures (flagging and incorporating boundary buffers) implemented for past actions
have been effective in preventing impacts and they would continue to be used to protect cultural
resources during project implementation.

Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
All proposed activities analyzed in this Forested Vegetation report would be consistent with the
Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and other direction listed in the
Regulatory Framework for Forested Vegetation.




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Treaty Rights
The Klamath Tribes treaty rights depend upon resources such as mule deer, fish, other animals,
and plants. These treaty right resources depend upon specific habitat. The Red Zone project
area is outside the boundaries of the former Reservation lands; however, consideration has been
given to potential effects on treaty right resources.

The potential effects on mule deer, an important treaty right resource, are discussed in detail in
the Wildlife section. The potential effects on fisheries are discussed in detail in the Fisheries
section. As noted, redband trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss spp.) is the only native trout species
found in the project area. Other native fish species that occur in the project area include Miller
Lake lamprey (Lampetra minima), Pit-Klamath brook lamprey (Lampetra lethophaga), and
speckled dace (Rhinicythys osculus). Non-native Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinallis) and
non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta) also occur in the area.

The potential effects on cultural and heritage resources are discussed in the Cultural Resource
section.

Planning for this project has been guided by the 1999 “Memorandum of Agreement between The
Klamath Tribes and the U.S. Forest Service” (U.S. Forest Service and Klamath Tribes, 1999).

Klamath Tribal directors were initially contacted February 6, 2008 to initiate consultation on the
project. Additional input was gained from on-going discussions by Ranger District staff
members with staff members of both the Klamath Tribes Natural Resources Department and the
Klamath Tribes Culture and Heritage departments.

Regulatory Framework
Treaty of 1864
The Klamath Tribes entered into a treaty with the United States in 1864, reserving, among other
things, the right of Tribal members to hunt, fish, trap, and gather on their reservation lands for
their livelihood in perpetuity. These rights include interest in off-reservation areas. Federal
courts have held that these rights have survived the transfer of ownership to the Federal
government. The United States has a trust responsibility to protect the Klamath Tribes‟ Treaty
Rights.

Memorandum of Agreement, The Klamath Tribes and U.S. Forest Service (February 19,
1999)
The intent of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is to establish policies and procedures that
implement a government-to-government consultation process between the two parties. The
objective of the parties is to clarify, define, and implement the government-to-government
consultation process between and USDA Forest Service, on behalf of the United States, and the
Klamath Tribes, regarding the resources, which Tribal members have utilized and provided
stewardship for since time immemorial.


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Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (1989)
The Forest Plan (LRMP) incorporated concerns regarding fish and wildlife to meet the
subsistence needs of the Klamath Tribes. For example, The LRMP directed that MA 1 (Mule
Deer Winter Range) be “managed to provide the habitat needed to meet ODF&W and Klamath
Tribe herd management objectives” (LRMP; 132).

American Indian Religious Freedom Act (PL 95-341), dated August 11, 1978
This Act establishes policy to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of
freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian,
Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including, but not limited to, access to sites, use or
possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional
rites. In addition, this Act requires specific sections in environmental impact statements
addressing the involvement of traditional Indian lands.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-601)
This act provides for the protection of Native American graves and establishes ownership, claim,
museum, inventory, repatriation regulations, and policy.

Analysis Area
Though the project area is outside the boundaries of the former Klamath Tribal Reservation
lands, potential effects on treaty right resources are considered, regardless of their location.
Environmental Consequences
Overall, none of the actions in any of the action alternatives are expected to have a significant
adverse effect on Treaty Rights or treaty right resources. All project activity was designed to
avoid any direct negative impacts on cultural and heritage resources, though inadvertent negative
impacts are possible anytime ground-disturbing activities occur.

Selection of an alternative, or modification of an alternative is an included topic in the on-going
consultation with the Klamath Tribes. In that light, any agreements or modifications of
alternative that are designed to address concerns expressed at those meetings as they relate to
specific treaty right resources, will be reported in the project Decision Notice.

Consistency with Fremont Forest Plan, MOA, and other
Regulations
All of the alternatives described in this analysis would meet Forest Plan standards and meet the
direction contained in other regulations and laws including the MOA.




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Transportation (Roads)

Introduction
The majority of Fremont National Forest roads were developed primarily in response to the
needs of timber management; as a result, a large road system was developed. Timber sale
revenues paid for the majority of the road construction and maintenance. Today, however, with
the decline in timber harvest activities, and a shift towards ecosystem management has reduced
the Forest operating budget and its ability to maintain such an extensive road system.

Forest Road systems on the Bly and Paisley Ranger Districts are experiencing the effects of the
mountain pine beetle infestation on Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine adjacent to the road prism.
The high mortality in the pine is causing a significant increase in the amount of danger trees and
exposure time to these trees.

The Red Zone Safety Project provides an opportunity to remove current and potential danger
trees along identified major Forest System roads and developed recreation site roads.

Regulatory Framework
The Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP or Forest Plan)
(USDA, 1989) provides direction regarding resource management activities and establishes
management standards and guidelines. The following Forest Plan direction pertains to road
management:

       The Forest Plan sets a goal, “To plan, design, operate and maintain a safe and
        economical transportation system providing efficient access for the movement of people
        and materials involved in the use and protection of National Forest Lands” (p.51).

       Management of roads will be in accordance with the Highway Safety Act on roads
        intended to be used by the public for travel with normal passenger cars. (p.116)

       The transportation system will serve long-term multiple resources … (with)… the
        minimum system necessary to provide access for the activities authorized under
        management area direction (p. 116).

       All system roads will be operated and maintained to protect the resources, perpetuate the
        intended road management objective, and promote safety (p.116).

In addition, Forest Service Handbook 7709.59 – Road System Operations and Maintenance
Handbook provides consistent US Forest Service policy and guidance for managing danger trees
along National Forest system roads, including references for danger tree identification and
hazard exposure.




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Analysis Method
Analysis of road conditions was based on road reconnaissance, GIS spatial information and the
Forest Service INFRA database. The field review was conducted during the summer of 2008 by
both the Northeast and Southeast Zone Road Managers. (See Table 3.xxx for road by road
descriptions and approximate treatment miles.)

Road management activities such as road closures and decommissioning are not included in the
proposal or analysis documented in this EA.

Area of Analysis
The analysis area discussed in this document includes portions of Bly and Paisley Ranger
Districts. The area is bounded by Forest Road 30, Highway 31, Forest Road 33 and Forest Road
34.

Affected Environment
Existing Conditions
There are approximately 199.4 miles of Forest system roads identified for treatment within the
Red Zone Safety project area, of which 46.8 miles are managed as Level 4 roads, 110.9 miles are
Level 3 roads, 41.1 miles are Level 2 and 0.7 miles are Level 1. Paved surfacing exists on 48.4
miles of these roads, while 127.2 miles of roads have aggregate surfacing, and 23.8 miles are
native surface.

The existing transportation system was primarily developed for timber harvest. With the
reduction in the timber harvest program, current road conditions have steadily deteriorated from
the lack of periodic road maintenance and reconditioning.

The consequences of deferred road maintenance includes, brush and tree encroachment into the
travel-ways, ditch-line deterioration from slope ravel and brush encroachment, loss of roadway
surfacing and roadway erosion and rutting. The desired road management strategy for
Maintenance Level 1 and 2 roads would be to move these roads towards a “self-maintaining”
condition. Level 1 roads are intended to be closed to vehicular traffic, while Level 2 roads are
intended for high clearance vehicle use. Typically, annual road maintenance is not performed on
maintenance level 1 and 2 roads; they are maintained through project work, such as the Red
Zone project.

Maintenance Level 3-5 roads are currently maintained on a rotational basis by the Interagency
Road Crew. These roads are maintained for passenger car travel capability.

There have been extensive timber sales in the project area that have required road maintenance
commensurate with related timber haul. This maintenance is performed on aggregate and natural
surface roads, and if haul operations damage paved surface roads. The operator is responsible
for repair of this type of road damage.


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Figure 3.1 Project Road Segments




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Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Under Alternative 1, there would be no comprehensive management activities to remove danger
trees along Forest system roads within the Red Zone project area. As in the past, there would be
occasional falling of imminent danger trees to maintain safe travel conditions on Forest system
roads subject to funding and personnel availability. Over time it may become necessary to close
roads due to the magnitude of work necessary to open roads from fallen trees or due to safety
concerns from imminent danger trees. Only routine maintenance and repairs would be made to
Forest roads within the project area.


Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 2 proposes removal of dead and dying trees along system roads within the project
area to maintain safe travel corridors across the Fremont National Forest. An estimated 182.1
miles of maintenance would be necessary to bring roads to standard for log haul. An additional
1.1 miles of level 1 and 2 roads were identified as “Tie” roads. These roads would provide
access from units to haul roads. Less than 150 feet of these roads would be used. These roads
were not included in the road maintenance estimates, as use would be minimal. No new
permanent road construction or reconstruction is proposed.

        Table 3.13 Red Zone Safety Project Proposed Haul Routes
                                                    PROPOSED
  ROAD            ROAD        MAINTENANCE             HAUL
NUMBER           SURFACE         LEVEL                (Miles)              DESCRIPTION
 2800000            ST             3                   1.68

2800000            ST                   4              32.72

                                                                   Deadhorse and Campbell
2800033           AGG                   3               4.66       Lakes

2800056           AGG                   3               0.70

2800204           NAT                   1               0.75

2800450           NAT                   2               3.90                  Bald Butte

2800500           NAT                   1               1.25

2800596           AGG                   3               0.30
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                                                    PROPOSED
 ROAD             ROAD        MAINTENANCE             HAUL
NUMBER           SURFACE         LEVEL                (Miles)            DESCRIPTION

2800716           NAT                   2              0.10                 Bald Butte

2900000           AGG                   3             11.42

2900017            IMP                  2              2.00                 Slide Lakes

2901000           AGG                   3             13.18

3000000            ST                   4             17.55

3000011           AGG                   1              0.70      Currier Guard Station Rental

3000020           AGG                   2              0.20               Pikes Crossing

3219000           AGG                   3              5.40

3239000            IMP                  2             13.01

3300000            ST                   4             17.67

3315000           AGG                   3             20.30

3323000           AGG                   3              8.45

3323151           AGG                   2             10.08                 Green Mtn.

3360000           AGG                   3             10.57

3360358           AGG                   2              0.50                Withers Lake

3360359           AGG                   2              0.48                Withers Lake

3372000           AGG                   3             21.49

                                                                 North Fork Sprague River
3372015           AGG                   2              1.57      Trailhead

3372119           NAT                   1              0.60                    Gem

3372212           NAT                   2              0.80

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                                                    PROPOSED
 ROAD             ROAD        MAINTENANCE             HAUL
NUMBER           SURFACE         LEVEL                (Miles)             DESCRIPTION

3380000           AGG                   3              6.58

3400000            ST                   4              21.30

                                                                   Corral Creek Campground and
3400012           AGG                   2              1.10        Lookout Rock Trailhead

3400018            IMP                  2              5.23

3411000           AGG                   3              24.46

3411038           NAT                   1              0.40

3411040           NAT                   1              0.20

3411050           NAT                   1              0.20

3546000           AGG                   2              11.54

TOTALS                                            273.04
ST = Bituminous Surface; AGG = Crushed Aggregate; IMP = Improved Native Material; NAT =
Native Material

An estimated 27.5 miles of temporary road construction would be needed for log haul and to
protect the paved road surface. This is primarily „frontage‟ road access within the project area
where harvest would occur adjacent to paved surface roads. As per standard Timber Sale or
Stewardship contract provisions, the location of temporary roads would require approval by the
Forest Service prior to construction. The Forest Service would approve the exact temporary road
location including the flagged clearing limits that define the extent of construction. Temporary
roads would be built to low-standards (minimum widths), used for only a short duration, and
decommissioned following use.

All road activities associated with the Red Zone Project would follow Best Management
Practices (BMPs) to ensure limited resource damage. The BMPs are found in Appendix B of
this document.




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Alternative 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 3 proposes to create a more open condition within the same 150 foot (each side of
road) corridors as Alternative 2. It accomplishes this by more extensive green stand thinning
than Alternative 2, thus increasing the potential haul volume and the amount of road
maintenance scheduled to take place on roads within the Red Zone. The exact amount of
increased road maintenance is difficult to determine since the variety of mechanisms by which
the material might be removed (Timber Sale contract, Stewardship authority, Public Works
Contract, Cooperative Agreement, use of volunteers, etc.) is not known at this time. In all other
respects Alternative 3 would be the same as those described in Alternative 2 above.

Cumulative Effects
Historically, the Fremont National Forest emphasized timber management. A large road system
resulted in order to gain access to timber and other forest resources. Timber sale revenue paid
for the majority of the road construction and maintenance. Today, however, timber harvest is
declining, with the shift towards ecosystem management. This change in forest management has
severely reduced the operating budget and the ability to maintain an extensive roads system.
With the reduction in the timber harvest program, current road conditions have steadily
deteriorated from the lack of periodic road maintenance and reconditioning.
Alternative 1
There would be no temporary road construction or permanent road construction under
Alternative 1, and, therefore, no cumulative effects.

Alternative 2
Alternative 2 would include an estimated 27.5 miles of temporary road construction in the Red
Zone Project Area. Because the temporary roads would be obliterated following use, the
cumulative effects under Alternative 2 would be minimal. Since there would be no additional
permanent road construction, there would be no future adverse impacts to the watershed from
new roads.

Alternative 3
Alternative 3 would be the same as those cumulative effects described in Alternative 2.

Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
All proposed activities would be consistent with the Fremont National Forest Land and Resource
Management Plan and other direction listed in the Regulatory Framework for Forest Road
Management.




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Scenery

Background and Regulatory Framework
Given the nature of this project (a linear corridor along major travel routes) an unusually high
percentage (approximately 40 percent) of the project area is within MA 6, Scenic Viewshed.
Approximately 5 percent of the project area, including some overlap with these scenic viewsheds
is within MA 11 with an emphasis on preserving the scenic characteristics of the North Fork
Sprague and Sycan River corridors.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
NEPA requires integrated use of the natural and social sciences in all planning and decision-
making that affect the human environment. The human environment includes the natural and
physical environment and the relationship of people to the environment (40 CFR 1508.14)

Fremont National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) Direction

Management Areas 6: Scenic Viewshed
The overall objective in MA 6 is to provide an attractive, natural appearing forest visual
character. MA 6A includes scenic travel routes. The operational considerations described in the
LRMP allow departure from visual objectives in order to protect long term values in response to
insect or disease epidemics (LRMP, 155 and 157).

Under LRMP guidelines for MA 6B, these areas can be managed intensively for timber or other
resources; however, visual quality is taken into consideration during management activities.

Scenic Rivers
In addition to LRMP scenic guidelines, the management plans for the North Fork Sprague and
Sycan River, both of which are Scenic Rivers provide direction. The 1989 LRMP indicates that
timber harvesting shall not be permitted (in these scenic river corridors) “unless specified in
completed management plans”.

Those plans, completed following the LRMP, stress the scenic values of the corridors guide their
overall management, though some exceptions are acknowledged. Most pertinent for this project
for the North Fork Sprague is the exception that “standing dead trees or snags may be removed if
considered a hazard”. The EA that was prepared for the North Fork Sprague River Management
Plan indicates that the desired condition of the lodgepole pine stands in the river corridor “may
show evidence of some insect and disease activity but not in epidemic proportions”.

Similarly the EA for the Sycan River Management Plan states that “hazard trees are removed
from areas immediately adjacent to river access”. The assumption of this project is that primary
use public roads on National Forest System lands constitute river access points for fishing or
other recreational activities. The management plan itself states that “standing dead trees may be
removed if considered a hazard”; and further, that when a pest outbreak occurs, temporary

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departures from Visual Quality Objectives are allowed in order to protect forest health and long
term scenic values.

Area of Analysis
Effects on scenery were assessed for the National Forest System lands within the Red Zone
Project within the Fremont-Winema National Forest boundary.

Affected Environment
Existing Conditions
Within the project area segments of Forest Roads 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 2800033, 3239, 3411,
3400018 and 3372 are designated MA 6A, scenic travel routes. Forest Roads 2901 and 3315 are
allocated to MA 6B in the LRMP. Both the North Fork Sprague and Sycan River are Scenic
Rivers. The characteristics of the forest stands within these corridors, and therefore the scenery,
mirrors that which is found throughout the Red Zone as a whole.

However, portions of the river corridors, which by definition constitute the low point of the local
landscape, are particularly well-suited for pure stands of lodgepole pine, and therefore for
evidence of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. For instance the stretch of Forest Road 28
between Boulder Creek and Nixon Creek (T 33 S, R 16 E) is allocated to both MA 6 (roadside
scenic corridor) and MA 11 (Scenic River). The forested portion of this four mile stretch is
predominantly lodgepole pine, of which between 75 percent and 90 percent are dead.

Even in areas where lodgepole pine is not as dominant as the area above, much of the lodgepole
pine which is present is dead. For instance a mixed forest of ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine
characterizes Forest Road 30 between a point about 2 miles east of Pikes Crossing and Pikes
Crossing itself. This corridor is also allocated to both MA 6 (roadside scenic corridor) and MA
11 (Scenic River). In this setting, the lodgepole pine component is typically between 50 percent
and 75 percent dead.

Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 1 should have no direct short-term effect on visual quality. The mountain pine beetle
has been active within the area for the past five or more years. Currently, this area is at very high
risk of continued loss from insect activity and/or future loss from wildfire. Since the
susceptibility of the area to a large scale, stand-replacing fire would remain high and likely
increase with this alternative, in the long term there would be a high potential for substantial
negative impacts to both recreational opportunities and visual qualities.

Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Log decks and slash piles would be visible to visitors. In the short term, the resulting logging
slash and decks would affect the scenic quality of the motorist or of the user of the Scenic River.

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However, the vast numbers of dead and dying trees due to beetle infestation currently have an
affect on the scenic experience for visitors. Slash piles would only remain on the landscape for a
short duration and would be burned or otherwise removed following operations.

In Alternative 2, implementation would produce a variable, and, in some cases, substantial,
change in the visual character of the forested stands in the area. The effect of the dead tree
removal and live stand thinning would be to open up the forest and allow increased sight
distance. In the short term, the increased numbers of stumps and the open nature of the forest
stand would likely be the most apparent visual change resulting from implementation. The
retention of all live trees greater than 21 inches dbh would provide an increased awareness of the
presence of old growth trees.

Alternative 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
Due to the differences in live tree prescriptions between the two alternatives, Alternative 3 would
produce a greater change in visual character than Alternative 2. The treated corridors (300 foot
wide) would become nearly completely characterized by very open ponderosa pine stands (where
conditions allow). Because of this, Alternative 3 would have the largest short term impacts on
visual quality. In other respects the effects of Alternative 3 would be as described above under
Alternative 2.

The prescriptions in the action alternatives vary, depending on whether a tree (or entire forest
stand) is dead or living. Since the results of the epidemic are still appearing, it‟s challenging to
estimate what portion of the project area would be subject to which prescription, and therefore
which visual condition. See the Forested Vegetation section of Chapter 3 for a more complete
discussion of this topic. With that in mind, the table below displays a comparison of the action
alternatives, in terms of overall condition in the foreground viewing zone along the 199 miles of
project road. These figures represent an average of the expected range of conditions disclosed in
the Forested Vegetation section of this chapter.

Table 3.14 Action Alternative Comparison - Appearance within 150 Feet of Project Roads
                                             Percent of Total Project Length
                                                Densely      Thinned Forest           Open
                                                Forested
Alternative 2                                       25 %           40%                35%
Alternative 3                                   minimal            40%                60%


Consistency with the Forest Plan and Other Regulatory Direction
All proposed activities would be consistent with the Fremont National Forest Land and Resource
Management Plan and other direction listed in the Regulatory Framework for Scenery.




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Roadless Areas

Introduction
In 1972, the Forest Service began identifying roadless areas for wilderness consideration through
Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE I). In 1979, the agency completed RARE II, a
more extensive national inventory of roadless areas. The Fremont National Forest incorporated
RARE II data to develop inventories of roadless areas into the Forest Plan (1989, Fremont Forest
Plan FEIS, Appendix C). This section focuses on the Appendix C roadless areas.

Existing Condition
Three roadless areas have been identified within the Red Zone project area: Brattain Butte,
Deadhorse Rim and Hanan Trail (Appendix C, 1989 Fremont Forest Plan EIS)

All acres of these three roadless areas that are within the project area are, by project definition,
within 150 feet of an open primary recreation and/or administrative access road. As such, in all
cases any project activity would occur only within the outer 150 foot-wide edge of any roadless
area. That activity, in a combined total of about 245 acres, would be either:

       Removal of existing danger and hazard trees for safety and long term maintenance along
        roads or within recreation sites.
       Green stand treatments (thinning of predominantly small trees, and in all cases retention
        of live trees >21” dbh), for the purpose of improving long term safety through the
        promotion of more sustainable forest stands.

Within T. 34 S., R. 18 E., Sections 16, 21 and 28 approximately 50 acres of the 6,000 acre
Brattain Butte roadless area occur within the project area boundary (within the 150 foot
corridor along the east side of Forest Road 33 for about 2.7 miles). Road 33 is the primary
access road to numerous campgrounds along the Chewaucan River corridor, as well as the
gateway to a substantial portion of the Paisley Ranger District. These 50 acres are allocated by
the LRMP to MA 9 (semi-primitive recreation) in the LRMP. About 25 of these acres lie within
the Chewaucan River riverbed or are on the other side of the river from the road (and therefore
would not be treated with the proposed project), leaving a net of about 25 acres in which
activities are proposed. The are to be affected is characterized primarily by non-forested
ecotypes with the exception of about 0.2 miles adjacent to Road 33 where small tree thinning
would occur.

The entirety of the 13,000 acre Deadhorse Rim area is within the Red Zone planning area
boundary. Approximately 3.2 miles of the 150 foot project area corridor on the east side of
Forest Road 3372 is within the roadless area. Additionally, approximately 2.8 miles of the 150
foot project area corridor on the south side of Rd 2800033 are within this roadless area, as are
about 1.5 miles along the west side of Rd 28. These corridors combine for approximately 135
acres, all of which are allocated in the LRMP to MA 6 (Scenic Viewshed). These road segments



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are primarily characterized by forest conditions in which dead tree removal and thinning of small
trees would occur with the proposed project.

The entirety of the 2.8 miles of the 150 foot project area corridor on the east side of Forest Road
28 is within the Hanan Trail roadless area. Additionally, approximately 1.9 miles of the 150
foot project area corridor on the west side of Rd 3315 are within this roadless area. These two
corridors combine for approximately 85 acres. Those adjacent to Road 28 are allocated to MA
11 (Scenic River) and those adjacent to Rd 3315 are allocated in the LRMP to MA 6 (Scenic
Viewshed). This northern area of the Red Zone was the earliest to be hit with mountain pine
beetle and as such it is characterized by fairly homogeneous stands of dead lodgepole pine. In
particular, on the stretch of Road 28 that forms the western boundary of the roadless area the
project corridor travels through lodgepole pine with 80% to 90% mortality. Oregon Department
of Corrections crews have been used in recent years to hand-remove some of this material for use
as fuelwood by those with limited incomes.




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Figure 3.xxx: Project Roads that Border LRMP Appendix C Roadless Areas




Environmental Consequences
The analysis of effects on a roadless area requires a description of the activities that are proposed
within it, weighed against the values unroaded areas can provide or contribute to. Those values
include:

       Natural appearing landscapes for dispersed unroaded recreation opportunities such as
        hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, hunting, and the solitude they can provide.

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       Protection of cultural and heritage resources.
       High quality or undisturbed soil, water, and air.
       Habitat for abundant and healthy fish and wildlife populations.
       Diversity of plant and animal communities, including areas that are relatively at less risk
        from noxious weeds.
       Habitat for threatened, endangered, and sensitive species.


Alternative 1 (No Action)
Direct and Indirect Effects
The No Action alternative would not include any actions within any roadless areas. There would
be no direct effect on the natural appearance, opportunities for solitude, cultural resources, soil,
water, air, wildlife habitat, noxious weed presence, or habitat for threatened, endangered, or
sensitive species. The natural appearance would evolve in the near term as beetle mortality
continues to express itself. Nothing that would alter the roadless character of any of the three
roadless areas would occur. The effects to the various resource components that are present
within the approximate 245 acres of roadless area within the project area boundary would be the
same, on a very limited scale, as those described for the No Action alternative in the other
resource sections in Chapter 3.

Alternatives 2 and 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
Hazard and dead tree removal, as well as green stand thinning to promote sustainable conditions
would occur on a combined total of approximately 245 acres. The following table illustrates the
scope of that treatment:

Table 3.15 Acres of Proposed Activity within Roadless Areas – Alternatives 2 and 3
Roadless Area                                                              Percent of
                                 Total Size        Acres Proposed        Roadless Area
                               (approximate)          for Activity      Acres that would
                                                                           be Affected
Brattain Butte                   6,000 acres                 25               0.4 %
Deadhorse Rim                   13,000 acres                135               1.0 %
Hanan Trail                      9,000 acres                 85               0.9 %
TOTAL                           28,000 acres                245               0.8 %

Potential effects of proposed actions were determined using a qualitative discussion based on
amount and type of proposed activities. Those activities that are included in the action
alternatives that would occur within the three roadless areas and that have the potential to have
an effect on the roadless areas include:

                Cutting and removing danger/hazard trees
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                Cutting and removing dead trees
                Live tree thinning
                Pile burning and other on-site activity fuels treatments

As noted in the table above, these activities would occur on less than 1 percent of identified
roadless areas that would be affected by the project. The primary difference between Alternative
2 and Alternative 3 is that green stand thinning, of mostly small trees, would become more open
with Alternative 3 than they would with Alternative 2. This would involve about 50 acres of
green stand thinning scattered along the several roads that form the boundaries of the roadless
areas.

Natural Appearance and Solitude; Unroaded Recreation Opportunity
Apparent naturalness would be decreased by hazard reduction activities and green stand thinning
on approximately 245 acres within roadless areas. Stumps would be visible in the foreground
view zone of the primary roads that comprise the boundaries of these areas - about 10 miles of
road in total. There would be a short-term decrease in solitude due to equipment involved with
timber harvest within and adjacent to the vicinity of the roadless areas. However, Roads 28, 33,
2800033 and 3372 which run along the edges of one or more of the three roadless areas are
already primary public recreation and administrative access roads and opportunities for solitude
in the area immediately adjacent to the road are currently of low quality.

Unroaded recreation opportunities would be somewhat diminished in quality in the short term.
Due to the small amount of area affected, the minimal amount of project activity and the short
period in which operations would be occurring, the overall effects of Alternatives 2 and 3 would
be minimal in relation to natural appearance, solitude or unroaded recreation opportunity.

Cultural Resources
Mitigation measures designed to protect all known or discovered cultural resources are included
for all of the action alternatives (see Chapter 2). Therefore, there should be no short term or
direct effects on any of the cultural resource sites that may occur within the roadless areas.

Noxious Weeds
Effects of the alternatives on the potential for spread of noxious weeds are discussed elsewhere
in Chapter 3. There are no specific effects relating to noxious weeds within the roadless area that
differ from those described under the general Noxious Weeds section.

Soil, Air, and Water; Wildlife Habitat; Habitat for Threatened, Endangered or Sensitive
Species; Natural Appearing Landscapes
Effects of the action alternatives on the potential for effects on these resources are discussed
elsewhere in Chapter 3. Nothing about their characteristics either within or outside a roadless
area would cause any effect pertaining to their presence in a roadless area.




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Cumulative Effects
Cumulative effects to be considered in the context of this analysis include the impact on the
environment which results from the incremental impact of the project, when added to other past,
present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. Cumulative effects are the total effect of
direct and indirect effects of the action, plus past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future
actions on a given resource.

As discussed above, the alternatives themselves would have either no effect (Alternative 1), or
minimal effect (Alternative 2 and 3), on roadless values. Past actions within the three Fremont
Forest Plan FEIS, Appendix C roadless areas have had minimal effect on the values that
unroaded areas provide, at least during the period catalogued in Appendix A. In fact, with the
exception of a current road maintenance/public safety project in the vicinity of Deadhorse and
Campbell Lakes, no activities other than routine maintenance have been carried out within the
roadless areas, and those have been on the extreme outer edge of the areas in relation to the
bounding road.

Looking further back in time, prior to any road building on National Forest or adjoining private
lands, these three Forest Plan - Appendix C roadless areas were, by definition, boundless.
European settlement in the area, beginning about 125 years ago, and accompanying activities
such as timber harvest and related road construction activities, have acted to determine the
current sizes of the three roadless areas. In other words, the very long term trend has been for
unroaded areas to become smaller. Given the limited nature of the Red Zone proposals, and with
no additional reasonably foreseeable future actions, there would be minimal, rather than
substantial, cumulative effect on the long term trend of the roadless qualities of these three areas,
with any of the three alternatives.




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Noxious Weeds

Introduction and Regulatory Framework
The Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974, as amended, requires cooperation with State, local, and
other Federal agencies in the application and enforcement of all laws and regulations relating to
management and control of noxious weeds (USDA Forest Service, 1995a). The Forest Service
Manual describes a noxious weed as a plant that is aggressive and difficult to manage,
poisonous, toxic, parasitic, a carrier or host of serious insects or disease, and being native or new
to or not common to the United States or parts thereof (USDA Forest Service, 1995c). In the
Forest Service Manual (USDA Forest Service, 1995b), the objective states that an integrated
weed management approach should be used to control and contain the spread of noxious weeds
on and adjacent to National Forest System lands.

The Fremont Land and Resource Management Plan (Fremont Forest Plan) directs that noxious
weeds be controlled or eradicated to the extent that funding is available. In 1998, the
Environmental Assessment for the Management of Noxious Weeds (the 1998 EA) was
completed for the Fremont National Forest. The 1998 EA analyzed the effects of various
treatment methods including manual, biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods.

In 2005, the Record of Decision for the Pacific Northwest Region Invasive Plant Program
Preventing and Managing Invasive Plant EIS came out (USDA Forest Service, 2005). The 2005
Record of Decision (2005 ROD) integrated Prevention Standards into Forest Plans across the
region. The Fremont-Winema National Forests Invasive Species Prevention Practices was
produced in 2005 and updated to include any additional material from the 2005 ROD. These
prevention measures should be followed for all future management activities that occur within
the project area. Applicable direction from the 2005 ROD can be found in Chapter 2 of this EA
under “Project Design Features common to Alternatives 2 and 3” and “Monitoring”. The Red
Zone Safety Project contains no specific treatment of noxious weeds on National Forest System
lands. Regardless of which alterative is chosen for this project, noxious weed treatment is an on-
going program under the analysis and decision issued from the 1998 EA.

Analysis Method
Pre-Field Review
The 2008 noxious weed GIS layer was used in conjunction with the project boundary layer. The
initial look showed 151 noxious weed sites (102.9 acres) located within the project area.

Field Reconnaissance
The majority of the survey work completed within the project area has been on major roads.

Area of Analysis
The project area encompasses part of the Paisley and Bly Ranger Districts. The actions proposed
would occur within a 300 foot zone (150 feet each side of road) along the following roads: 28,
29, 30, 33, 34, 2901, 3219, 3239, 3315, 3323, 3360, 3372, 3380, 3411, 3546, 2900017 (Slide

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Lakes Road), 3360358 and 359 (Withers Lake Road), 2800033 (Deadhorse and Campbell Lakes
Road), 2800450 and 716 (Bald Butte Road), 3000011 (Currier GS road), 3323151 (Road circling
Green Mtn.), 3372015 (Road to NF Sprague TH), 3400012 (Road to Corral Creek CG, Lookout
Rock TH), and 3400018 (see map). These roads total about 199 miles on National Forest
Systems lands. The 150 foot each side of road buffer equates to approximately 7,000 acres.
Additionally, felling of dead and infested trees would occur within 25 campgrounds or other
recreation sites within the project area.

Affected Environment
Existing Conditions
The initial look showed 151 noxious weed sites (102.9 acres) located within the project area. All
these sites occur, at least partially, along roadsides within the 300 foot buffer. Table 1 breaks
down the number of noxious weed sites by species and acreage within the project area.

         Table 3.16 Noxious Weed Species within the project area
                      Species        Number of Sites      Total Acres Infested
              musk thistle                           34                   50.6
              Canada thistle                         94                   43.6
              oxeye daisy                             1                     3.0
              Mediterranean sage                      2                     2.3
              Birdsfoot trefoil                       4                     1.7
              spotted knapweed                        9                     0.9
              Dalmatian toadflax                      3                     0.4
              St. Johnswort                           2                     0.2
              diffuse knapweed                        1                     0.1
              Russian knapweed                        1                     0.1
              Total                                 151                  102.9

The following are descriptions of the noxious weed species that are known to occur within the
project area.

Bird’s-foot Trefoil: Bird‟s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is a rhizomatous perennial legume
species (USDA Forest Service, 2006). It reproduces by seed, rhizomes, and above ground
runners that form fibrous mats (USDA Forest Service, 2006). Seed viability is unknown. Seed
is dispersed by wind, water, birds, animals, and human activity. This species prefers roadsides,
waste areas, fields, and open disturbed areas (USDA Forest Service, 2006). In addition, it
tolerates a variety of soil types, including dry, moist, hardpan or drought soils (USDA Forest
Service, 2006). This species is found along the Cascade Canal on the Klamath District and along
roadsides on the Paisley and Bly Districts. There are 4 sites of birdsfoot trefoil (1.7 acres) within
the project area.

Canada Thistle: Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a perennial species with an extensive
creeping root system (Morishita, 1999). Canada thistle primarily reproduces vegetatively from
horizontal creeping roots, but can also reproduce from seed (Morishita, 1999). Buried seed can

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be viable up to 26 years. Seed is dispersed primarily via wind, water, and human activity
(Morishita, 1999). On the Forests, Canada thistle is most often found in disturbed sites such as
roadsides, landings, and plantations. However, the species also has the ability to invade
meadows and riparian areas. There are 94 sites of Canada thistle (43.6 acres) within the project
area.

Dalmatian Toadflax: Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica) is a deep-rooted perennial species
that reproduces by seeds and by vegetative buds on the roots (Lajeunesse, 1999). Reproduction
by seed is more important for initiating new toadflax infestations, while vegetative buds on the
roots is important for increasing the plant density of a site (Lajeunesse, 1999). Dalmatian
toadflax can be found invading disturbed sites such as roadbanks, areas near dwellings, and
gravel pits (Lajeunesse, 1999). This species is increasing and is present on the districts on the
Forest except Chemult. There are 3 sites of spotted knapweed (0.4 acres) within the project area.

Diffuse Knapweed: Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) is a highly competitive taprooted
annual, biennial, or short lived perennial (Roche, Jr., and Roche, 1999). Diffuse knapweed
produces large numbers of seeds, which are dispersed primarily by wind in a tumbling manner,
or by animals or humans (Roche, Jr., and Roche, 1999). Diffuse knapweed spreads quickly
along roadsides and in overgrazed rangelands, but can also invade undisturbed grasslands,
shrublands, and riparian communities. There is 1site of diffuse knapweed (0.1 acre) within the
project area.

Mediterranean Sage: Mediterranean sage (Salvia aethiopsis) is a taprooted biennial or short-
lived perennial reproducing primarily by seed (Roche and Wilson, 1999). Seeds are dispersed in
a tumble-weed fashion and germinate in the fall when suitable moisture is present (Roche and
Wilson, 1999). This species prefers degraded habitats with dry soils, such as roadside cutbanks
and disturbed rangelands. Mediterranean sage is most prevalent on the Bly and Lakeview
Ranger Districts. There are 2 sites of Mediterranean sage (2.3 acres) within the project area.

Musk Thistle: Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) is a taprooted biennial that germinates and grows
into a rosette the first season (Beck, 1999). The second season, the plant bolts, produces seeds,
and then dies (Beck, 1999). Rapid increases may occur following disturbances which create bare
soil. Musk thistle has been established in southeastern Klamath County for decades, and is less
abundant in Lake County. On the Forests it is found most often in plantations, in burns, along
roadsides, along powerlines, and on landings within mixed conifer or upper elevation ponderosa
pine forest types. It also can occur in riparian areas. There are 34 sites of musk thistle (50.6
acres) within the project area.

Oxeye Daisy: Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a perennial with rhizomes that
reproduces by seed and rhizomes (Alvarez, 2000). Seed is dispersed by water, human and
animal movement and cultivating and earth-moving machinery (Alvarez, 2000). The seed may
remain viable for 20 years or more and can remain viable after passing through digestive tracts of
animals (Alvarez, 2000). This species inhabits disturbed openings in forest land, roadsides,
meadows, and pastures. In drier areas, it can occur in riparian sites. There is one oxeye daisy (3
acres) site within the project area.



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Russian Knapweed: Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens) is a perennial species characterized
by an extensive root system (Carpenter and Murray, 1999). This species is commonly found
along roadsides, riverbanks, irrigation ditches, pastures, waste places, clearcuts, and croplands
(Carpenter and Murray, 1999). This is a new invader to the forest with a single roadside site on
the Paisley District. There is 1 site of Russian knapweed (0.1 acre) within the project area.

St. Johnswort: St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) is a perennial species with a deep
penetrating taproot that reproduces by seed and lateral runners (Piper, 1999). Seed is dispersed
by wind, animals, water, and human activity (Piper, 1999). Seed viability in the soil is 6-10
years. There are 2 sites of St. Johnswort, (0.2 acres) within the project area.

Spotted Knapweed: Spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii) is a deep taprooted biennial or
short-lived perennial (Sheley et al., 1999a). This species reproduces by seeds, which are
dispersed by wind, passing animals, or humans (Sheley et al., 1999a). Seeds may remain viable
up to 8 years. Spotted knapweed most often occurs in disturbed areas, but can also invade
rangelands (Sheley et al., 1999a). On the Forests, spotted knapweed is a relatively new invader.
The northern parts of the Forests are at the greatest risk of spotted knapweed invasion because of
the large seed source present in Central Oregon. There are 9 sites of spotted knapweed (0.9
acres) within the project area.




Environmental Consequences
Effects Common to All Alternatives
The consequences of noxious weed infestation can include alteration of the structure,
organization, or function of ecological systems (Olson, 1999). Noxious weeds have the ability to
deplete soil, water, and nutrients to levels lower then native plant species can tolerate, allowing
noxious weeds to out-compete native vegetation (Olson, 1999). Weed infestation can lead to a
decrease in native plant species, which can alter the ability of wildlife and livestock to find
suitable, edible forage.

At the watersheds level, noxious weeds can alter the seasonal water flow (Olson, 1999).
Noxious weeds create more erosion than native plant species because they have fewer shallow
roots, which would soak up and hold water. Noxious weeds also have less canopy closure then
native plants. This increases the amount of sunlight directly hitting the soil, increasing the
amount of water evaporated at the soil surface. When moisture cannot penetrate into the soil, the
result is an increase in soil surface run-off, leading to an increase in erosion and deterioration in
watershed conditions.

With the 1998 EA and a Forest Service noxious weed treatment contract in place, noxious weed
sites on National Forest System lands will be treated in accordance with funds available
regardless of which alternative is chosen for the Red Zone Safety Project.


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Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
The No Action alternative has no proposed activities associated with it. Without the proposed
ground disturbing activities occurring, the increase in potential noxious weed habitat would not
occur. In the No Action alternative, fuels reduction activities would not occur. These types of
activities can reduce the risk for a future high severity fire in the project area. Reducing the risk
for a future high severity fire also reduces the future risk of creating noxious weed habitat.

Over all, this alternative would not contribute to the introduction or spread noxious weeds to the
project area.
Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
In the short term, Alternative 2 would affect the potential for noxious weed infestation in the
project area in two main ways. First, ground disturbing treatment activities, such as cutting and
removing danger/hazard trees; cutting and removing dead trees; live tree thinning; limited
planting; and pile burning and other on-site activity fuels treatments such as lop and scatter,
would increase the amount of open disturbed habitat available for infestation. Second, increased
activity and traffic would heighten the chance for introduction of noxious weed seeds from
vehicles and equipment. The potential for noxious weed infestation would therefore increase
proportionate with the amount of ground disturbing activity in each action alternative. The
activities proposed in Alternative 2 however, would reduce the future risk for a high severity fire.
Decreasing the risk of high severity fire would reduce the potential to create noxious weed
habitat. Overall, Alternative 2, because of the substantial amount of ground disturbing activity in
proximity to main roads, would produce a high risk of introducing and spreading noxious weeds
within the project area.
Alternative 3
Direct and Indirect Effects
Like Alternative 2, live ponderosa pine would be thinned in Alternative 3 to either a 30 square
foot basal area or to 30 foot spacing when surrounding trees are less than 10 inches in diameter.
The difference between Alternative 2 and Alternative 3 is that with Alternative 3 all live
lodgepole pine, white fir, and non-old growth juniper less than 21” dbh would be cut and
removed (see Chapter 2 for detailed descriptions of the Alternatives). The numbers of acres
treated (and experiencing ground disturbing activity) would be the same with both action
alternatives. However, Alternative 3, because it would produce a more open condition than
Alternative 2 has the potential to lead to an even greater risk of introducing and causing spread
of noxious weeds within the project area. With both action alternatives the PDF and Monitoring
requirements detailed in Chapter 2 would need to be fully implemented in order to keep this
increased risk from resulting in actual increases in noxious weed populations in the project area.




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Cumulative Effects
Past Activities
Past activities with potential to affect noxious weeds include commercial and pre-commercial
thinning, prescribed burning, road construction, road maintenance, vehicle travel, recreation, and
fire suppression. These types of activities have occurred within the project area. For specific
details, please see Appendix A. Such activities have contributed to current noxious weed
infestations on the Forests (Malaby, 2004).

Present and Future Foreseeable Activities
Current, ongoing, and foreseeable future activities in the project area with potential to affect
noxious weeds include commercial and pre-commercial thinning and prescribed burning (see
Appendix A). These projects would increase the amount of open disturbed habitat available for
infestation and heighten the chance for introduction of noxious weed seeds from vehicles and
equipment in the short-term. In the long-term, these projects would reduce the probability of a
future high severity fire, which creates noxious weed habitat.

Continuation of the Forest Service road maintenance program is expected to occur. Blading the
road would create additional noxious weed habitat. However, coordination between the road
crew and the weed program would reduce this possibility (See Chapter 2, Project Design
Features/Botany/Noxious Weeds). Road usage, by government and private, continue. Every
time a vehicle enters National Forest System lands, there is a possibility that vehicle carries weed
seed with it. By keeping the roads as free of noxious weeds as possible, the change of spreading
existing noxious weeds would be reduced.

Alternative 1
The No Action alternative would produce no cumulative effects.

Alternative 2 and Alternative 3
In conjunction with the current and future foreseeable projects described above, Alternative 2
and Alternative 3 would have a high risk for introducing and spreading noxious weeds when
compared to the Alternative 1.

To minimize the possibility of introducing and spreading weeds within the project area, the
Project Design Features listed in Chapter 2 should be followed. .




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Endangered, Threatened, Proposed, or Sensitive Plants
Introduction
To improve conciseness, this EA summarizes and references information that is available in
greater detail in a tabular format Biological Evaluation in the project record. Upon request,
copies of a 15-page table, which displays species name (common and scientific), range, local
habitats, presence of suitable or occupied habitat in the planning area and a summary of
effects for 72 different vascular plants, bryophytes, fungi or lichens with suspected or
documented habitat on the Fremont- Winema National Forests, will be provided by mail or e-
mail.

Of the known sensitive species that are documented or suspected to occur on the Fremont-
Winema National Forests, three sensitive plant species, Castilleja chlorotica, Eriogonum
umbellatum glaberrimum and Penstemon glaucinus, have occupied habitat within the project
area. Documented or suspected habitat for Federally listed Threatened, Endangered, or
Candidate plant species does not occur on the Fremont-Winema National Forests. Three plant
species, Astragalus applegatei, Tuctoria greenei, and Orcuttia tenuis, are currently Federally
listed in Klamath and Lake Counties.

Regulatory Framework
The Endangered Species Act requires that the Forest Service conserve endangered and
threatened species. The National Forest Management Act and direction in the Forest Service
Manual (FSM) require that habitats for all existing native and desired nonnative plants, fish, and
wildlife should be managed to maintain at least viable populations for each species (USDA
Forest Service, 1995a). A viable population consists of a number of individuals adequately
distributed throughout their range necessary to perpetuate the existence of the species in natural,
genetically stable, self-sustaining populations (Phillips and Wooley, 1994).

The Forest Service Manual (USDA Forest Service, 1995b) and the Land and Resource
Management Plan for the Fremont National Forest (LMRP) (USDA Forest Service, 1989, 109)
both state habitat for sensitive plant and animal species shall be Managed or Protected to ensure
that the species do not become threatened or endangered due to Forest Service actions. To
ensure sensitive species do not become threatened or endangered, the LMRP states management
guides (referred to as conservation strategies) are to be developed and used. A conservation
strategy is the Forest Service‟s documentation for the management actions necessary to conserve
a species, species group or ecosystem. A conservation strategy uses information in the
Conservation Assessment to establish conservation objectives and develop the management
actions needed to accomplish those objectives. Conservation strategies help recommend
management strategies which when applied, ensure long-term species viability.

Documented or suspected habitat for Federally listed Threatened, Endangered, or Candidate
plant species does not occur on the Fremont-Winema National Forests. Three plant species are
currently Federally listed in Klamath and Lake Counties.


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Applegate‟s milkvetch, Astragalus applegatei is listed as Endangered in Klamath County. This
species is known from three populations in the Lower Klamath Basin near the city of Klamath
Falls, Klamath County. It is restricted to flat-lying, seasonally moist, strongly alkaline soils,
which was historically characterized by sparse, native bunch grasses and patches of bare soil.
This habitat type does not occur on the Forests.

Greene‟s tuctoria, Tuctoria greenei and slender orcuttgrass, Orcuttia tenuis, were listed as
Endangered and Threatened, respectively, in Lake County on September 18, 2008. These two
annual grasses are known to occur in vernal pool habitats on the Modoc National Forest in
California south of the project area. No locations or suitable habitat have been identified in
Oregon to date. The lack of suitable habitat will be confirmed by surveys beginning during the
2009 field season. If suitable habitat is located, then inventories will be conducted to determine
the presence or absence of these species.

The 2008 Region 6 Sensitive Species Plant List (USDA Forest Service, Region 6, 2008) was
reviewed for this project.

Analysis Method
Pre-Field Review
The 2008 Sensitive plant GIS layer was used in conjunction with the project boundary layer.
The initial look showed 3 sensitive vascular plants with occupied habitat. The Fremont Ecoclass
GIS layer showed potential habitat for 4 more vascular plant species, 4 fungi species, and 1
lichen species on National Forest System lands.

Field Reconnaissance
Sensitive Vascular Plants
Field surveys occurred between 2005 and 2008. Field surveys during this period monitored
existing and discovered new populations of Castilleja chlorotica and Penstemon glaucinus. This
period was the first time Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum had been surveyed for. The table
below shows how much of the suitable habitat within the project area is occupied and how much
of the suitable, unoccupied, habitat was surveyed during this period.

Table 3.17 Occupied and Suitable Unoccupied Habitat within the Project Area
                  Acres of                                          Percentage of
                  Suitable       Acres of Acres of Suitable,        Occupied and
    Species    Habitat within Occupied        Unoccupied,         Suitable Habitat
                 the Project      Habitat   Habitat Surveyed     Surveyed Between
                    Area                                              2005-2008
 Castilleja
                       1,156.6       423.6              530.0                  82.4%
 chlorotica
 Eriogonum
 umbellatum              350.0         0.5              280.0                  80.1%
 glaberrimum
 Penstemon
                       3,807.0       249.0            1,592.0                  48.4%
 glaucinus
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The pre-field review revealed suitable habitat for Carex abrupta and Carex capitata. These
species are found in wet meadows, wetlands, and open forests. Recent survey work for these
two species was not completed throughout the project area. It is estimated 345 acres of suitable
habitat exists within the project area. It is unknown if occupied habitat exists.

The pre-field review revealed suitable habitat for Carex constanceana and Carex cordillerana.
These upland sedges have been found in mixed conifer habitat on the Fremont. Carex
constanceana was found in openings, while Carex cordillerana was found under partial canopy.
Recent survey work for these two species was not completed throughout the project area. It is
estimated 211.5 acres of suitable habitat exists within the project area for Carex constanceana
and 7.7 acres for Carex cordillerana. It is unknown if occupied habitat exists.

Other Sensitive Vascular Plants
The project area lacks suitable habitat, or is outside the range of other sensitive vascular plants.
There are no known sites of these species in the project area.

Bryophytes
Surveys were not conducted for sensitive species of bryophytes due to the lack suitable habitat,
or the project area being outside the range of these species. There are no known sites of these
species in the project area.

Fungi
The project area contains potential habitat for fungi on the Fremont-Winema sensitive species
list (Gomphus bonarii, Gyromitra californica, Hyprophorus caeruleus, and Ramaria
aurantiisiccescens). These species are most often associated with mixed conifer habitat. Ten or
fewer sites of each of these species have been found on the Winema, all located west of Highway
97. Gyromitra californica is a saprobe, thought to be associated with well-decayed woody
debris. Gomphus bonarii, Hyprophorus caeruleus, and Ramaria aurantiisiccenscens are
mycorrhizal. Gomphus bonarii and Hyprophorus caeruleus are potentially associated with true
fir and pine species, while Ramaria aurantiisiccenscens is potentially associated with Douglas-
fir and true fir.

Surveys were not conducted for sensitive fungi species. It is infeasible to survey fungi for the
following reasons: the 7 species of fungi on the Fremont-Winema sensitive list can only be
located in the field when reproductive structures are present, sporocarp production may occur
unpredictably and as infrequently as a few weeks during a 5 year period, and sporocarp
distribution is an unreliable indicator of the location and activity of mycelia (Dahlberg and
Stenlid, 1995). Since recent survey work has not been completed throughout all the project area,
it is unknown if occupied habitat exists. There is 1,646 acres of suitable habitat.

Lichens
This project area contains potential habitat for Dermatocarpon meiophyllizum. This species
occurs on rocks in perennially wet areas. Lichen surveys have not been conducted within the
project area. It is estimated XX acres of suitable habitat exists within the project area.



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Area of Analysis
The project area encompasses a 300 foot zone (150 feet each side of road) along the following
roads: 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 2901, 3219, 3239, 3315, 3323, 3360, 3372, 3380, 3411, 3546, 2900017
(Slide Lakes Road), 3360358 and 3360359 (Withers Lake Road), 2800033 (Deadhorse and
Campbell Lakes Road), 2800056, 2800450, 2800596 and 2800716 (Bald Butte Road), 3000011
(Currier GS road), 3323151 (Road circling Green Mtn.), 3372015 (Road to NF Sprague TH),
3400012 (Road to Corral Creek CG, Lookout Rock TH), and 3400018 (see map). These roads
total about 199 miles on National Forest Systems lands. The 150 foot each side of road buffer
equates to approximately 7,000 acres. Additionally, felling of dead and infested trees would
occur within 25 campgrounds or other recreation sites within the project area.

Affected Environment
Existing Conditions
Sensitive Vascular Plants
Occupied habitat for Castilleja chlorotica exists within the project area (423.6 acres). This plant
is hemiparasitic on sagebrush and bitterbrush host plants. Castilleja chlorotica prefers opening
or minimal canopy closure (Phillips and Wooley, 1994). See the table below for the distribution
of Castilleja chlorotica across the Fremont-Winema National Forests.

Table 3.18 Distribution of Castilleja chlorotica
       Analysis Area         Site Description            Acres              Percentage
                                  Protected               15.1                 3.5%
  Red Zone Safety Project
                                  Managed                408.5                 2.7%
 Fremont-Winema National          Protected              426.7                100%
          Forests                 Managed               14,949.3              100%


Occupied habitat for Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum exists within the project area (0.5
acres). This species occupies areas within sagebrush communities with minimal canopy cover.
See the table below for the distribution of Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum across the
Fremont-Winema National Forests.

Table 3.19 Distribution of Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum
 Analysis Area              Acres           Percentage
 Red Zone Safety Project    0.5             22%
 Fremont-Winema National
                            2.3             100%
 Forests


Occupied habitat for Penstemon glaucinus exists within the project area (249.1 acres). This plant
generally occurs in lodgepole pine, ponderosa/lodgepole/white fir, lodgepole/whitebark pine, and
mountain hemlock/ lodgepole/whitebark pine forests. See the table below for the distribution of
Penstemon glaucinus across the Fremont-Winema National Forests.

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Table 3.20 Distribution of Penstemon glaucinus
       Analysis Area         Site Description               Acres             Percentage
                                 Protected                   7.4                 <1%
  Red Zone Safety Project
                                 Managed                    241.6                 4%
      Fremont-Winema             Protected                  2,610               100%
      National Forests           Managed                    5,556               100%

This project contains suitable habitat for Carex abrupta and Carex capitata. These species are
found in wet meadows, wetlands, and open forests. Neither of these species have been found on
the Fremont-Winema National Forests to date. The closest sites of Carex abrupta are at Steens
Mountain and Crater Lake National Park. The closest site of Carex captita is at Sycan Marsh,
approximately 4 miles away.

Potential habitat for Carex constanceana and Carex cordillerana also exists within the
allotments. These upland sedges have been found in mixed conifer habitat on the Fremont.
Carex constanceana was found in openings, while Carex cordillerana was found under partial
canopy. During the summer of 2008, the Carex Working Group surveyed potential sites for
Carex constanceana and Carex cordillerana in various locations. During their entire survey,
they only located two sites of Carex constanceana and one site of Carex cordillerana. The
nearest sites of Carex constanceana is 5 plants in the Dairy Creek drainages. There are no
proposed activities within this habitat. Another small population of Carex constanceana exists
along Deep Creek in the Warner Mountains. This sedge appears to be quite rare, and its habitat
requirements and taxonomy are still being investigated. A single site of Carex cordillerana was
found in the Warner Mountains, the only site known to occur in Klamath and Lake Counties.

Other Vascular Plants
The project area lacks suitable habitat, or is outside the range of other sensitive vascular plants.
There are no known sites of these species in the project area.

Bryophytes
The project area lacks suitable habitat, or is outside the range of sensitive bryophytes. There are
no known sites of these species in the project area.

Fungi
The project area contains potential habitat for fungi on the Fremont-Winema sensitive species
list (Gomphus bonarii, Gyromitra californica, Hyprophorus caeruleus, and Ramaria
aurantiisiccescens). These species are most often associated with mixed conifer habitat. There
is 1,646 acres of suitable habitat within the project area for these species. Fungi surveys have
not been conducted in the project area.

Lichens
The project area contains potential habitat (approximately XX acres) for Dermatocarpon
meiophyllizum. This species is not known to occur in Klamath or Lake County. This species
occurs on rocks in perennially wet areas. Lichen surveys have not been conducted in the project
area.


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Environmental Consequences
Effects Common to All Alternatives
Implementation of all alternatives will be done in compliance with the existing Conservation
Strategy for Blue-Leaved Penstemon Penstemon glaucinus, which identifies Protected and
Managed habitat (Wooley, 1993). Management activities allowed in Protected Penstemon
glaucinus habitat include those that maintain, enhance, or restore the site for the species. After
monitoring this species following commercial harvest, precommercial harvest, and prescribed
burning, it has been noted this species increases in density in known sites, primarily due to an
increase in canopy opening (Wooley, 1993). In addition, habitat can be increased by opening of
the canopy in unoccupied sites that are potential habitat (Wooley, 1993). Managed populations
allow experimentation of activities to determine the effect of such activities on the plants. All
the activities proposed in this project have been known to increase Penstemon glaucinus density
in occupied sites and increase suitable habitat.

Implementation of all alternatives will be done in compliance with the existing Conservation
Strategy for Castilleja chlorotica, which identifies Protected and Managed habitat (Phillips and
Wooley, 1994). Heavy soil disturbance from harvesting activities could uproot and destroy
plants, upset air and moisture regimes from soil compactions, and build-up heavy fuel loads
(increasing the chances of a hot fire) (Phillips and Wooley, 1994). Another negative impact
could be the removal of sagebrush or bitterbrush from the site, thus removing the host species.
However, commercial and pre-commercial thinning activities can benefit Castilleja chlorotica
habitat by maintaining open canopy cover. Castilleja chlorotica is a perennial, resprouting each
year from a rhizome, which would appear to benefit from light to moderate fire (Phillips and
Wooley, 1994). However, the host species (sagebrush and bitterbrush) could easily be destroyed
by fire since these species are susceptible to moderate or light burning. The long term effects of
prescribed fire are unknown, fire may be important in maintaining certain age classes of host
shrubs over time. Past fire suppression may have allowed Castilleja chlorotica to occupy more
habitat than it has historically. Temporary road construction through occupied habitat can be
detrimental because of the disturbance to the plants themselves and the potential loss of host
plants.

Minimal information is known about Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum. Commercial and
pre-commercial thinning activities can benefit Eriogonum umbellatum glaberrimum habitat by
maintaining open canopy cover. The effects of prescribed fire on Eriogonum umbellatum
glaberrimum have not been monitored. It is possible that individual plants are killed by burning.
However, one study found E. umbellatum resprouted two years after burning (Rau, et al., 2008),
suggesting a potential to regenerate. In some cases, burning may help maintain open habitat for
E. umbellatum glaberrimum, by killing associated sagebrush. Temporary road construction
through occupied habitat can be detrimental due to the loss of plants.




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Action Alternatives
Determination of Effects

Table 3.21 Sensitive Plant Biological Evaluation Summary of Effects

R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                         Effects of
                                                                               Alt. 2          Alt. 3
Vascular Plants
Adiantum jordanii                      Seasonally moist, shaded, rocky
(California maidenhair fern)           banks, canyons, and ravines; 0-           NI              NI
                                       3,000‟.
Arabis suffrutescens var. horizontalis High elevation open sites with
                                                                                 NI              NI
(Crater Lake rockcress)                coarse pumice.
Arnica viscosa                         High elevation, open rocky sites.
(Shasta arnica)                                                                  NI              NI

Asplenium septentrionale              Basalt rock boulders and outcrops.
                                                                                 NI              NI
(northern spleenwort)
Astragalus peckii                     Openings in lodgepole, ponderosa
(Peck‟s milkvetch)                    pine, or juniper communities.              NI              NI
                                      Pumice or ash soils.
Botrychium crenulatum (crenulate      Wet meadow/spring adjacent to
                                                                                 NI              NI
moonwort)                             juniper/sagebrush community.
Botrychium pumicola                   Alpine peaks and lodgepole basins
                                                                                 NI              NI
(pumice grapefern)                    in pumice zone.
Calochortus greenei                   Grasslands and coniferous forests
(Greene‟s mariposa lily)              2,300-6,600‟, on clay to light             NI              NI
                                      loam. Often near rock outcrops.
Carex abrupta                         Moist meadows and open forests,            MIIH
                                                                                                MIIH
(abrupt-beaked sedge)                 4,600-11,000‟.                             (may
                                                                                             (may impact
                                                                                impact
                                                                                            individuals or
                                                                             individuals
                                                                                               habitat)
                                                                              or habitat)
Carex capitata                        Meadows and other wetlands.                MIIH           MIIH
(capitate sedge)
Carex comosa                          Marshy lake margins in full sun
                                                                                 NI              NI
(bristly sedge)                       around 4,000‟.
Carex constanceana (Constances‟s      Information is lacking at this time.
sedge)                                Appears to inhabit drier sites than      MIIH             MIIH
                                      many sedges.
Carex cordillerana (Cordilleran       Rocky slopes, in leaf litter and
sedge)                                duff, usually in shade of deciduous
                                                                               MIIH             MIIH
                                      trees and shrubs, occasionally
                                      juniper.


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R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                       Effects of
                                                                             Alt. 2          Alt. 3
Carex diandra                         Floating mats on lake edge at
                                                                               NI             NI
(lesser panicled sedge)               5,100-5,200‟.
Carex lasiocarpa var. americana       Lake shores, wet meadows, often
(slender sedge)                       in standing water, 5,000-7,000‟.         NI             NI

Carex vernacula                       Rocky slope 7,500-8,300‟.
                                                                               NI             NI
(native sedge)
Castilleja chlorotica                 Hemi-parasitic primarily on big
                                                                             MIIH            MIIH
(green-tinged paintbrush)             sagebrush. Found in shrub
                                      openings on slopes and ridges.
Cheilanthes feei                      Limestone cliff crevices, outcrops
(Fee‟s lip-fern)                      and steep slopes from 850 to             NI             NI
                                      2,650‟.
Collomia mazama                       True fir or lodgepole pine forest,
                                                                               NI             NI
(Mt Mazama collomia)                  meadows, and meadow edges.
Elatine brachysperma (short seeded    Mudflats, pond margins, wetlands,
                                                                               NI             NI
waterwort)                            etc. Little information available.
Eleocharis bolanderi (Bolander‟s      Seasonally wet meadows,                MIIH            MIIH
spikerush)                            drainages, and scablands.
Eriogonum prociduum                   Areas of barren rocky or gravelly
(prostrate buckwheat)                 volcanic soils within juniper or         NI             NI
                                      sagebrush habitat.
Eriogonum umbellatum var.             Sand and gravel soil within
                                                                             MIIH            MIIH
glaberrimum                           sagebrush plant communities.
(green buckwheat)
Galium serpenticum var. warnerense    Scree and talus slopes at 5,000 to
                                                                               NI             NI
(Warner Mtn bedstraw)                 8,400‟
Gentiana newberryi                    Deschampsia/Carex wet meadows
(Newberry‟s gentian)                  and meadow edges, generally              NI             NI
                                      5,000' and above.
Gratiola heterosepala (Boggs Lake     Shallow water at edges of vernal
hedge-hyssop                          pools and ponds. Flat aspect, full
                                                                               NI             NI
                                      light, moist clay soil. 5,300-
                                      5,500‟.
Heliotropium curassavicum             Moist to dry saline soils,
(salt heliotrope)                     occasionally on seasonally moist         NI             NI
                                      lake beds.
Hieracium horridum (shaggy            Found around the rim at Crater
                                                                               NI             NI
hawkweed)                             Lake.
Ivesia shockleyi                      Rocky and gravelly areas with an
                                                                               NI             NI
(Shockley‟s ivesia)                   elevation of 8,000 to 13,000‟

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R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                      Effects of
                                                                            Alt. 2          Alt. 3
Lipocarpha aristulata                 Wet soil, along
(halfchaff awned sedge)               shorelines below high water, on         NI             NI
                                      silty substrates (300-1,200‟).
Lycopodiella inundata                 Bogs, muddy depressions, and
                                                                              NI             NI
(bog club-moss)                       pond margins.
Mimulus evanescens                    Vernally moist sites along
(disappearing monkeyflower)           perennial and int. streams;
                                      receding margins of lakes, ponds,       NI             NI
                                      and res. within juniper sagebrush
                                      habitats.
Mimulus tricolor                      Seasonally flooded depressions,
(tricolored monkeyflower)             channels, and streambanks within
                                                                              NI             NI
                                      pine and sagebrush habitats.
                                      Heavy soils.
Muhlenbergia minutissima (annual      Open, ± disturbed, sandy slopes,
                                                                              NI             NI
dropseed)                             seeps; 1,200-3,900‟.
Penstemon glaucinus                   Openings in mid-high elev. pine,
(blue-leaved penstemon)               fir, and mt hemlock stands. Well-     MIIH            MIIH
                                      drained volcanic soils along rocky
                                      peaks and ridges.
Perideridia erythrorhiza              Poa/Deschampsia moist meadows,
                                                                              NI             NI
(red-root yampa)                      forest edges below 4500'
Pleuropogon oregonus                  Wet meadows, marshlands, and
                                                                              NI             NI
(Oregon semaphore grass)              streambanks.
Pogogyne floribunda (profuse-         Dry lakebeds, drainages, and
flowered pogogyne)                    edges of reservoirs (vernal pool        NI             NI
                                      communities) from 3,200-5,100‟.
Potamogeton diversifolius             Aquatic communities around
(Rafinesque‟s pondweed)               reservoirs and pond edges that
                                                                              NI             NI
                                      appear as the water recedes, up to
                                      8,200‟.
Rorippa columbiae                     Along intermittent and perennial
(Columbia cress)                      streams, lakeshores, banks,
                                                                              NI             NI
                                      sandbars, vernal pools, lakebeds,
                                      and ditches.
Rotala ramosior                       Open, wet gravelly soil around
                                                                              NI             NI
(lowland toothcup)                    ponds.
Scheuchzeria palustris                Wetlands and lake margins.
                                                                              NI             NI
(American scheuchzeria)
Schoenoplectus subterminalis          Aquatic, shallow ponds, streams,
(swaying bulrush)                     or standing water with mucky            NI             NI
                                      substrate.

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R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                       Effects of
                                                                             Alt. 2          Alt. 3
Scirpus pendulus (drooping bulrush) Wetlands and streamsides.                 NI               NI
Sesuvium verrucosum (verrucose      Moist flats, generally saline or
sea-purslane)                       alkaline soils, including coastal
                                                                               NI             NI
                                    wetlands and desert playa lakes <
                                    4,200‟.
Thelypodium brachycarpum            Alkaline flats, lake margins in
(short-fruited thelypodium)         shrub steppe and near edges of             NI             NI
                                    pine forests.
Utricularia minor (lesser           Shallow pools of water in fens.
bladderwort)                        Near edges of conifer forests. Flat        NI             NI
                                    aspect and slope.
Utricularia ochroleuca              Fens and other wetlands.
                                                                               NI             NI
(northern bladderwort)
Bryophytes
Barbilophozia lycopodioides           Forms mats on peaty soil on damp
(Maple liverwort)                      ledges of rock outcrops and cliffs
                                                                               NI             NI
                                          at elevations with abundant
                                            snowfall. 3400- 7500‟.
Chiloscyphus gemmiparus               Attached to rocks in the bed of
(Alpine waterwort)                    cold water streams, submerged or         NI             NI
                                      emergent in the splash zone.
Codriophorus depressus                Semi-aquatic forming mats on
(Racomitrium moss)                    rocks in/near perennial or
                                                                               NI             NI
                                      intermittent streams. 400-11,000
                                      ft.
Helodium blandowii (Blandow‟s         Forming mats and small
feather moss)                         hummocks in or around edges of
                                      montane fens/ mires/swamps.
                                                                               NI             NI
                                      Often along streamlets in fens on
                                      peat or decayed wood. 5000-6000
                                      ft.
Polytrichastrum sexangulare var.
                                      Forming green to brown sods on
vulcanicum (=Polytrichum
                                      igneous rocks in exposed or              NI             NI
sphaerothecium)
                                      sheltered subalpine/alpine sites.
(Dwarf rock haircap)
Pseudocalliergon trifarium            Fens and other wetlands,
(Blunt water moss)                    submerged to emergent in pools or
                                                                               NI             NI
                                      on saturated ground, usually in full
                                      sunlight. 5000-6000 ft.




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R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                       Effects of
                                                                             Alt. 2          Alt. 3
Rhizomnium nudum*                    Moist humus or soil in coniferous
(Naked round moss)                   forests at mid to high elevations.
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                     Most likely in riparian areas or
                                     wetlands.
Schistostega pennata*                Moist mineral soil on rootwads
(Goblin‟s gold)                      and entrances to caves and holes.
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                     Generally riparian areas or
                                     wetlands.
Splachnum ampullaceum                Forming green sods on old dung
(Small capsule dung moss)            of herbivores, or on soil enriched        NI                  NI
                                     by dung, in fens or other wetlands.
Tomentypnum nitens (Fuzzy            Forming loose or dense sods or
Hypnum moss)                         intermixed with other bryophytes
                                     in montane fens, often on slightly        NI                  NI
                                     elevated sites such as logs, stumps,
                                     or hummocks. 5000- 6000‟
Trematodon asanoi (=Trematodon       Forms loose mats on moist bare
boasii) (Boas‟ trematodon moss)      soil along edges of trails, streams
                                     and ponds in the subalpine zone.          NI                  NI
                                     Soils often w/ organic matter
                                     irrigated by snow melt.
Tritomaria exsectiformis (Liverwort) Open to shaded coniferous forest,
                                     in association with springs and
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                     seeps, on soil, rock or decaying
                                     wood.



R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats                        Effects of
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                 Alt 2            Alt 3
 Fungi
Boletus pulcherrimus*                  Mesic white fir or white fir-Shasta
(red-pored bolete)                     red fir stands on mineral soil.         NI                  NI
                                       4400-5200‟ Sept-Nov
Gastroboletus vividus                  Shasta red fir and Mt Hemlock
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                       forests. Fruits July-Sept.
Gomphus bonarii*                       Mixed conifer, lodgepole pine,
                                       white fir, or ponderosa pine stands   MIIH             MIIH
                                       with variable canopy. 4300-5500‟
                                       Sept-Nov




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Gomphus kauffmanii*
                                       Mesic white fir/Shasta red fir, and
                                       Shasta red fir/mt. hemlock stands.      NI                  NI
                                       5000-5800‟ Sept-Nov

Gyromitra (Pseudorhizina)              White fir, mixed conifer and
californica*                           lodgepole stands with variable        MIIH             MIIH
(umbrella false-morel)                 canopy, moist to dry mineral soil.
                                       4300-5300‟ April-Sept.
Hygrophorus caeruleus                  White fir mixed conifer forest at     MIIH             MIIH
                                       5600-5800‟. Found in June.
Ramaria aurantiisiccescen*s            Single site found in mixed conifer
                                                                             MIIH             MIIH
                                       stand at north end of Klamath
                                       District. 50% canopy, 4500‟ Nov


R6 Sensitive Species Suspected or               Local Habitats                        Effects of
Documented on Fremont- Winema                                                 Alt 2            Alt 3
Lichens
Chaenotheca subroscida*                Bark or wood in humid old-growth
(Needle lichen)                        forests in sheltered locations.
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                       KRD sites are in riparian areas on
                                       the bark of white fir and Doug-fir.
Dermatocarpon meiophyllizum *          Found on rocks in stream
                                                                              MIIH             MIIH
(aquatic lichen)                       channels, and lake margins within
                                       the splash zone. Also near seeps.
Leptogium burnetiae* (Burnet‟s skin
                                    Found on tree bark, and on mossy
lichen)                                                                        NI                  NI
                                    rocks.

Leptogium cyanescens*                  Moist mixed conifer and riparian
                                       stands. Found on rocks and bark
                                                                               NI                  NI
                                       of hardwoods. Recorded sites are
                                       <5,000‟
Texosporium sancti-jacobi              With biotic crusts in arid to semi-
(Woven-spore lichen)                   arid rangelands Soils not alkaline,
                                       saline, or heavily disturbed, often     NI                  NI
                                       with Artemisia, Poa secunda, and
                                       other bunch grasses. <3300‟




Botany                                                                                                  3-100
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Social and Environmental Justice
Environmental justice is defined as the pursuit of equal justice and equal protection under the
law for all environmental statutes and regulations, without discrimination based on race,
ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required integrated use of the natural and social
sciences in all planning and decision-making that affect the human environment. The human
environment includes the natural and physical environment and the relationship to the
environment (40 CFR 1508.14). Forest Service land management planning regulations require
the integration of social science knowledge into Forest and Regional planning processes (36 CFR
219.5).

Executive Order 12898 (1994), ordered federal agencies to identify and address the issue of
environmental justice, i.e., adverse human health and environmental effects of agency programs
that disproportionately impact minority and low income populations.

According to the 2000 Census, the median household income in Lake County ($29,506) was the
lowest of any county in central and south central Oregon (Crook County - $35,186; Deschutes
County - $41,847; Jefferson County - $35,853; Klamath County - $31,357). This compares to
the median household income in Oregon, as a whole, of $40,916. Thus, actions that tend to
increase jobs and associated income can be seen as benefiting Lake County and its low-income
residents disproportionately. Actions that do not lead to increased jobs adversely affect the same
people.

Some economic benefit from the timber harvest, thinning, and related activities proposed in
Alternatives 2 and 3 would accrue either directly or indirectly to these low-income communities
and help to improve the low household incomes in this area. Both of the action alternatives
would provide an economic benefit to these communities. With the implementation of any of the
alternatives, there would be no disproportionately high adverse human health or environmental
effects on minority or low-income populations.




Environmental Justice                                                                         3-101
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Other Disclosures

Long-Term Site Productivity
One potential risk to long-term site productivity is the future effect of an uncharacteristically
high intensity fire burning in portions of the area. This would have a negative effect on soil
productivity. Since the action alternatives would reduce fuel loadings and breakup ladder fuels
they provide more potential to maintain and protect long-term site productivity.

Sites directly beneath and immediately adjacent to areas where landing piles are burned (both
action alternatives) could be affected. Localized reductions in organic matter, temporary loss of
soil productivity in the immediate area, and reduced water infiltration could also result. The
localized detrimental effects to soils in association with landing pile burning is a desirable trade-
off when compared to the potential negative soil impact of uncharacteristically severe fire
behavior, excessive fuel loadings across large portions of the project area.

Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitments of Resources
Irreversible commitments of resources are those that cannot be regained, such as the extinction
of a species, removal of mined ore or loss of cultural resources. It relates to the permanent loss
of future options and applies primarily to nonrenewable resources. It also applies to factors such
as soil productivity that are renewable only over very long periods of time. There would be no
irreversible commitment of resources associated with any of the alternatives.

Irretrievable commitments are those that are lost for a period of time, for example the temporary
loss of timber productivity in forested areas that are kept clear for use as a power line right-of-
way or road. Under active management, irretrievable resource commitments are often
unavoidable, because managing resources for any given purpose often precludes the opportunity
to use those resources for other purposes. The implementation of the action alternatives, which
would implement vegetation management designed to create substantially more open forested
stands, could result in irretrievable resource commitments, as there is a resource tradeoff that
inherently constitutes an irretrievable commitment of resources. Namely, densities in such
stands would be taken below those that would produce maximum growth and yield relating to
future timber volume. In such a case, the loss of production of wood fiber, for whatever time
period the stands were producing below optimum levels, would be irretrievably lost. This is a
trade-off that is needed in order to achieve project purpose and need.

On the other hand, to the degree to which these action alternatives reduce the likelihood for
larger stand replacement wildfires, they preserve the future opportunity for the production of
forest products to a greater degree than would Alternative 1 (No Action).

The analysis revealed no significant irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources
associated with implementing the alternatives that are not already identified in the Forest Plan
FEIS.


Other                                                                                           3-102
Red Zone Safety Project Preliminary EA 12/12/2008           Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequences




Prime Farmland, Rangeland, and Forestland
Adverse effects on prime farmland, rangeland, and forestland not already identified in the Forest
Plan FEIS are not expected from implementing the alternatives. There are no prime farmlands
within the project planning area.

Floodplains and Wetlands
The proposed alternatives would have no impact on floodplains or wetlands as described in
Executive Order 11990. Adherence to INFISH (1995) direction provides the mechanism by
which the Forest Service complies with Executive Order 11990.

Consumers, Civil Rights, Minority Groups, and Women
See the Chapter 3 sections titled “Environmental Justice” and “Treaty Rights” for a consideration
of these subjects. Based on experience with projects of a similar nature on the Fremont-Winema
National Forests, none of the alternatives would adversely affect consumers, minority or low-
income individuals, women, or civil rights, and neither internal nor external scoping comments
indicated otherwise. The actions would occur in a remote area and nearby communities would
mainly be affected by economic impacts as related to timber harvest or contractors implementing
reforestation or other activities. The implementation of this project is expected to provide job
opportunities in some local or regional communities. Contracts for timber sales or contracts
under stewardship authorities and other activities include non-discrimination requirements. The
proposed alternatives would not have a disproportionately high or adverse human health affect
on any identifiable low-income or minority population.




Other                                                                                        3-103

				
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