Docstoc

Record of Decision

Document Sample
Record of Decision Powered By Docstoc
					United States
Department of
Agriculture
                 D-Bug
Forest Service

Pacific
Northwest
Region
                 Hazard Reduction

                 Timber Sale Project

                 Record of Decision

                 Umpqua National Forest

                 Diamond Lake Ranger District

                 April 2011
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                       Record of Decision




            The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and
          activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex,
          marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information,
            political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any
             public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with
           disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille,
          large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice
          and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
             1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272
              (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                                                      Record of Decision




                              Record of Decision Table of Contents

Decision Summary ......................................................................................................................... 1

Project Background ....................................................................................................................... 1

Purpose and Need for Action ....................................................................................................... 8

Proposed Action ............................................................................................................................ 9

Public Involvement ...................................................................................................................... 10

Issues ........................................................................................................................................... 11

Alternatives Considered .............................................................................................................. 12

Decision ........................................................................................................................................ 15

Decision Rationale ....................................................................................................................... 19

Consistency with Policy, Law, and Regulation .......................................................................... 29

Administrative Review Opportunities ......................................................................................... 42

Implementation ............................................................................................................................ 43

Contact Person ............................................................................................................................ 44

Responsible Official..................................................................................................................... 44

Attachment 1: Final Environmental Impact Statement Errata Summary .................................. 45

Attachment 2: Biological Evaluation and Biological Assessment Errata Summary ............... 56

Attachment 3: Clarification Regarding Effects to Northern Spotted Owls and Habitat........... 57

Attachment 4: Aquatic Conservation Strategy Consistency Summary ................................... 60

Attachment 5: Unit Summary Table for Alternative 5 ................................................................ 68
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                 Record of Decision




                                             Maps


Map 1 - Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation 2005 – 2010
Map 2 - Fire Starts 2000 – 2010
Map 3 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units – North Half
Map 4 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units – South Half
Map 5 - Alternative 5 Trails and Recreation Sites – North Half
Map 6 - Alternative 5 Trails and Recreation Sites – South Half
Map 7 - Alternative 5 NWFP Land Use Allocations – North Half
Map 8 - Alternative 5 NWFP Land Use Allocations – South Half
Map 9 - Alternative 5 LRMP Management Areas – North Half
Map 10 - Alternative 5 LRMP Management Areas – South Half
Map 11 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units in IRA – North Half
Map 12 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units in IRA – South Half
Map 13 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units in PWA – North Half
Map 14 - Selected Alternative Treatment Units in PWA – South Half
Map 15 - Alternative 5 Recovery Action 32 and Old Growth Treatment Units – North Half
Map 16 - Alternative 5 Recovery Action 32 and Old Growth Treatment Units – South Half
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision




                                Record of Decision
                     D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project
                                   USDA Forest Service
                     Diamond Lake Ranger District, Umpqua National Forest
                                  Douglas County, Oregon



   DECISION SUMMARY
   This Record of Decision (ROD) documents my decision and rationale for the selection of a
   modified version of Alternative 5, hereafter referred to as the Selected Alternative. Alternative 5
   was the Preferred Alternative in the August 2010 D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project
   Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The environmental effects of the modifications
   made to Alternative 5 are within the realm of the direct, indirect and cumulative effects
   determinations disclosed in the FEIS.
   In summary, my decision includes:

       •   314 acres of hazard tree removal and fuels reduction
       •   2,377 acres of non-commercial fuels reduction treatments
       •   3,629 acres of commercial thinning with an estimated volume of 16.17 million board feet
       •   3.7 miles of temporary road construction, with subsequent obliteration
       •   Incorporating the Best Management Practices (BMPs), Mitigation Measures, and Project
           Design Features (PDFs) identified for Alternative 5, with the changes identified in the
           Decision section below
       •   Implementing two Forest Plan Amendments to the Umpqua National Forest Land and
           Resource Management Plan (LRMP) for: 1) scenery standards; and 2) unit size
           limitations and firewood cutting in Management Area 2


   PROJECT BACKGROUND
   A mountain pine beetle epidemic has recently affected several thousand acres of forest on the
   Diamond Lake Ranger District. The resultant fire hazard associated with trees killed by the
   epidemic, coupled with years of fire exclusion, has created conditions where the risk of a
   wildfire threatening life and property is high. The D-Bug project was developed to address this
   risk.

   The project location is within the Diamond Lake and Lemolo Lake Wildland-Urban Interface
   Areas. These two areas are prominent recreation destinations on the Umpqua National Forest
   with over 700,000 visitors a year and numerous recreational facilities including two resorts, eight
   developed campgrounds, 102 recreation residences, and about 20 other developed sites. Also,
   two major highways transect the area. Highway 230 and Highway 138 function as a primary
   crossroads over the Cascade mountain range for travelers from the communities of Bend and



                                                    1
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



   Klamath Falls 90 miles to the east, and Medford and Roseburg to the west (Figure 1). These
   highways provide access for visitors of Crater Lake National Park as well, which abuts the
   Diamond Lake area and receives nearly half a million visitors each year.

   There is widespread agreement that wildfires are becoming larger with more expansive areas
   burned under higher severity than experienced in the recent past in western United States. Fires
   on the Umpqua National Forest clearly follow this trend, growing substantially larger in recent
   history than those experienced in the past five decades. These fires force evacuations, endanger
   the public and firefighters, close major highways, and cause major losses of revenue for utility
   companies, local businesses, as well as resource damage to recreation facilities, wildlife habitat,
   and timber and water resources. The fires also cost millions of dollars to suppress.

   Fire managers agree that a substantial fire hazard exists within the D-Bug planning area; I concur
   with this assessment. They have expressed concern at public meetings that some structures,
   including the Diamond Lake recreation residences on the west shore, would not be defensible if a
   large fire approached, given the adjacent vegetation and fuel conditions. Furthermore, there have
   been very limited fuel treatments along evacuation routes designed for protecting evacuees or
   ingress/egress of firefighters and no adequate fuel breaks to manage undesirable fire that
   threatens human safety, structures, and resource values.

   Lodgepole Pine, Mountain Pine Beetle, and Fire Hazard

   A mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak has been ongoing around Diamond
   Lake since 2004 (see Map 1 – Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation 2005- 2010). Forest Service
   entomologists predict that the present infestation on the north and west shores of Diamond Lake
   will spread to other areas, perhaps quickly. Infested stands will likely suffer as much as 90
   percent mortality of overstory lodgepole pines and may also lose large proportions of any
   ponderosa, western white, or white bark pines (Goheen and Bridgewater, 2007). Prior to the
   present epidemic, a mountain pine beetle outbreak occurred at the south end of Diamond Lake
   during the late 1970s and early 1980s (FEIS, pgs. 1- 2).

   The ongoing mountain pine beetle outbreak has contributed to dangerous conditions in the area.
   Lodgepole pine stands are generally at high risk of mountain pine beetle infestation when they
   are in dense stand conditions with an overstory 80 years or older and generally greater than eight
   inches diameter at breast height (Goheen, 2008). These conditions are found throughout the
   planning area as demonstrated by Map 1 and in the FEIS (FEIS, pg. 92). The FEIS thoroughly
   documents how the mountain pine beetle, coupled with fire exclusion, has resulted in changes to
   fuels conditions in the planning area (FEIS, pgs. 1, 2, 80-86, 92, 93, 111-115).

   The Forest assessed the dramatic difference in fuels conditions in the 1998 Diamond
   Lake/Lemolo Lake Watershed Analysis (App. B, USDA, Umpqua National Forest, 1998). It
   shows that, prior to fire exclusion, most fuel conditions consisted of light fuels in low quantities,
   while the vast majority of current conditions consist of heavy fuels in higher concentrations.




                                                     2
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project          Record of Decision




   Figure 1. D-Bug Planning Area Vicinity Map




                                                3
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   The mountain pine beetle/wildfire cycle in lodgepole pine forests is a natural process that has
   been repeated for centuries. However, decades of fire suppression following what appears to be
   an unnaturally high occurrence of fire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in
   unusually homogenous tracts of mature lodgepole forest. These conditions have left the
   landscape with a high fire hazard in a location where summer lightning is common and high
   human use and occupancy increases the risk of fire starts. Based on the information documented
   in the FEIS, I believe that this could lead to an extensive wildfire that could be difficult and
   dangerous to manage in the heavily-used recreation sites around Diamond and Lemolo lakes.

   I recognize that there is scientific controversy surrounding whether logging is effective at
   preventing or suppressing mountain pine beetle outbreaks and to reduce fire risk. The FEIS fully
   discloses both sides of the controversy (FEIS, pgs. 106-107). After the FEIS was published, I
   was asked to consider a recently published research article that examined how fuel
   characteristics, microclimate, and potential fire behavior changed with time since severe
   mountain pine beetle outbreaks in lodgepole pine forests in the Greater Yellowstone area
   (Simard, M., et al 2011. Ecological Monographs 8: 3-24). I directed my interdisciplinary team to
   review the paper. The article indicates that mountain pine beetle outbreaks did not increase the
   probability of active crown fires and surface fires. Additionally, the article indicates that passive
   crown fire probability does not change in the short term but greatly increases in the long term. I
   have reviewed the fire hazard and risk analysis presented in the FEIS, which indicated that the
   combination of fire exclusion and bark beetle activity have created high fuel loads. The current
   fuel loads are at such a magnitude and extent that they threaten life and property, especially in
   areas with developed recreation infrastructure and high recreational use. I still believe that the D-
   Bug project represents a concerted effort to balance these risks in the face of existing scientific
   uncertainty.

   Mixed Conifer and Fire Exclusion

   The mixed-conifer stands in the planning area avoided the large stand-replacement fires of the
   late 19th and early 20th centuries that resulted in lodgepole pine dominance elsewhere. Now, due
   to fire exclusion, the stands in the white fir, mountain hemlock, and Shasta red fir series are
   exhibiting a change from their historic composition and structure. As a result of this change in
   structure and composition, stand-replacement fire in mixed-conifer stands is now more probable
   due to the uncharacteristic buildup of live and dead vegetation in most of the mixed-conifer
   forest types in the planning area (FEIS, pgs. 80-94).

   Fire Risk

   Fire risk is the probability of a fire starting, as determined by the presence of ignition sources.
   Ignition sources include natural causes, such as lightning, and human causes such as unattended
   camp fires. Fire risk generally increases as human presence increases because these types of
   activities become more frequent. Recreational areas and areas along travel routes like trails and
   roads are usually at a higher risk of a fire ignition than areas that experience less frequent human
   activity. The D-Bug project area experiences a high level of human activity during fire season
   due to recreational use during the summer months. Lightening is also common in the project
   area. It is not uncommon to have several fires each fire season due to the lightning caused


                                                     4
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



   ignitions from a single storm in and around the planning area. The fuel conditions created by the
   beetle epidemic and years of fire suppression coupled with a high risk of ignition from lightning
   and humans puts the area at high risk for a catastrophic wildfire (see Map 2 – Fire Starts 2000-
   2010).

   Recreational Use and Values at Risk

   The Diamond Lake area has about 450 campsites, numerous picnic sites, several boat ramps and
   docks, a visitor information center, and miles of trails for hiking, equestrian, bicycle, all-terrain
   vehicle and winter snow use. The Diamond Lake Improvement Company runs a resort, lodge,
   horse-rental corral, two grocery stores, a gas station, a pizza parlor, and several permanent
   residences associated with the resort under a special use permit. Also under permit are 102
   privately owned recreation residences, an RV park, and a state-owned cabin for water-level and
   fishery management (FEIS, pgs. 310-312).

   The Lemolo Lake area contains another 95 campsites, and many more miles of trails. The
   Lemolo Lake Resort runs a year-round lodge and restaurant, a seasonal boat dock, an RV park,
   and permanent residences associated with the resort under a special use permit. In total, these
   two areas receive more than 700,000 visitors each year. Additionally, the Diamond Lake area
   abuts Crater Lake National Park. Two of the primary access routes to the park (Highways 138
   and 230) run through the project area. These highways would serve as primary evacuation routes
   in the event of a wildfire.

   On any given mid-summer weekend, thousands of visitors and employees are likely to be in the
   area at any one time. A large fire in this area could have catastrophic consequences, both in
   terms of damage to infrastructures and to people who are in the area at the time of the fire. See
   Maps 5 and 6 that display the campgrounds, trails, resorts, picnic areas, and summer homes areas
   in the project area.

   My decision to proceed with this project takes into account the fuel buildup, the fire risk, and the
   extensive use of the area and the values that are at risk, should a stand-replacement fire move
   through the area.




                                                     5
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                         Record of Decision




      Figure 2. The Diamond Lake recreation area is one of the most visited areas on the Umpqua
                        National Forest with over 700,000 visitors every year.




                                                 6
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                          Record of Decision




       Figure 3. Conditions in the planning area show dead and dying trees and high fuel loads.



                                                  7
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   P URP OS E AND NEED FOR ACTION
   Based on the existing and desired conditions, I established a four-fold need for this project. The
   overall purpose of this project is to lessen the fuel and safety hazards associated with the ongoing
   outbreak of mountain pine beetles and the ongoing impacts from fire exclusion by the timely
   implementation of commercial harvest and non-commercial treatments in strategic locations. The
   difference between the existing condition and the desired condition defines the need for action.

   The four elements of the D-Bug purpose and need, as described in the FEIS on pages 17 to 19,
   are:

   Element 1: The need for modifying mountain pine beetle habitat conditions in stands containing
   lodgepole to reduce potential infestation.

   Existing dense timber stands containing mature lodgepole pines have an abundance of host trees
   that allow the spread of mountain pine beetles, resulting in overstory tree mortality and fuel
   accumulations over landscape areas. In pure stands of lodgepole pine, the removal of overstory
   host trees, or the heavy thinning of such host trees (20-50 feet of spacing between host leave
   trees), would remove the trees needed by beetles for population expansion. This also would
   increase the vigor of the residual trees, increasing the likelihood they would survive an
   infestation. This desired type of habitat modification also would alter the microclimate by
   removing the shady conditions preferred by beetles and interrupt their tree-to-tree spread. A
   literature review that examined the effectiveness of such beetle prevention treatments concluded
   that the various treatments studied are effective tools for suppressing mountain pine beetle
   infestations (Fettig, et al., 2007).

   In mixed-conifer stands containing mature lodgepole in the overstory, harvest of the lodgepole
   overstory and retention of the other non-host conifers can prevent stand infestation. The
   remaining mixed conifer understory can be cultured once the host lodgepoles are removed.
   Although no treatment can guarantee complete protection of mature residual pine species, the
   expansion of beetles into pure blocks of mature, contiguous lodgepole pine may be interrupted
   by harvest treatments that result in breaking up the existing homogenous landscape pattern
   (Fettig, et al., 2007; Goheen and Bridgewater, 2007).

   Element 2: The need to reduce existing and predicted fuel loads in areas identified as high fire
   hazard within the Diamond and Lemolo Lake WUIs and their evacuation routes identified in the
   2006 Douglas County Wildfire Protection Plans.

   The 2006 Douglas County Wildfire Protection Plans for Lemolo and Diamond Lake WUIs
   identified the need for fuel reduction treatments around homes and recreation areas in these at-
   risk communities, such as mechanical clearing and thinning, including harvesting, thinning,
   mowing, chipping, cutting, piling, and prescribed burning where appropriate. Such treatments
   would reduce wildland fire hazard and improve the ability to suppress fires and protect both
   public lands and developments and homes on leased public land. Beetle-caused mortality within
   these WUI areas has created and will continue to create additional fuel loadings. Proactive
   commercial and non-commercial thinning in stands within the WUI that are susceptible to



                                                    8
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   mountain pine beetle attack would result in the desired condition of removing fuels that would
   otherwise accumulate following an attack and reduce fuel loads to desired levels. Treatments
   within the WUIs also would treat existing fuel loads, independent of mountain pine beetle
   activity.

   Element 3: The need for removing existing dead and imminently dying pine and other hazard
   trees where human use is high in order to protect the recreating public.

   Mountain pine beetle hot spots exist on the east and north sides of Diamond Lake. Since 2004,
   these areas are experiencing increased annual mortality. In some stands within campgrounds and
   other concentrated use areas such as trails, snow parks, developed facilities and homes, most of
   the lodgepole host trees are now snags that are hazard trees. Portions of the Diamond Lake
   campground were not safe enough to open in 2007 because hazard tree felling could not keep up
   with the rapid and progressive mortality. Removing imminently dying trees and salvaging dead
   trees would result in the desired condition of reduced human exposure to hazard trees.

   Element 4: The need for increasing stand vigor in densely stocked mixed conifer stands
   containing older, large ponderosa pine, western white pine, Shasta red fir, and Pacific silver fir in
   order to improve stand resiliency.

   Competition from excessive vegetation has reduced existing stand vigor in older mixed conifer
   stands containing ponderosa pine, western white pine, and Shasta red fir. This condition has
   developed in the absence of natural surface fires over many years. In the stands containing
   ponderosa and western white pine, the dense stocking has increased the pine‘s susceptibility to
   mortality from mountain pine beetle and other pathogens and has increased the risk of stand
   replacement fire. Reducing stand density by thinning would result in the desired condition of
   improved resiliency of older mixed conifer timber stands to the effects of fire and potential
   insects and disease outbreaks.

   P ROP OS ED ACTION
   Alternative 2 is the proposed action used in the scoping process. The Forest developed the
   proposed action to meet the purpose and need. It includes the following:

   •   Variable-density commercial thinning of 3,165 acres in lodgepole pine stands (leaving 20-70
       TPA); thinning 1,145 acres of lodgepole and mixed-conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and
       thinning of 2,247 acres in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-90 TPA). These commercial
       thinnings include 620 acres within Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek Appendage IRAs, and 318
       acres within the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area.
   •   Overstory removal in two lodgepole pine stands on 59 acres, leaving 20 overstory TPA.
       These overstory removals would not generate any openings greater than 40 acres.
   •   Salvage of 375 acres of dead and dying lodgepole.
   •   The commercial harvest would use ground-based and skyline logging systems in both the
       matrix and riparian reserve land allocations to generate an estimated 44.8 million board feet
       of timber.


                                                     9
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   •   Non-commercial removal of fuels on about 2,026 acres by pre-commercial thinning,
       mastication, whip felling, chipping, and piling and burning of slash. This includes treatment
       on about 344 acres of stands along the edges of the Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek Appendage
       IRAs and 15 acres in the OCRA.
   •   Re-using about 25.6 miles of existing spur roads to access thinning areas, then obliterating
       about 11.1 miles after use.
   •   Building a total of about 15.5 miles of new temporary spur roads to provide access for
       logging machinery and for accessing stands for non-commercial treatments, then obliterating
       them after use.
   •   Reconstructing portions of 11 sections of existing system roads (totaling 4.7 miles of road),
       including road re-alignment, intersection improvement, widening, continuous placement or
       replacement of surface rock and rock armoring, reshaping road beds, replacing culverts,
       adding culverts, and hazard tree felling.
   •   Maintaining about 67 miles of existing system roads (approximately nine miles are currently
       closed), including grading and shaping existing road surfaces, dust abatement, blading road
       beds and ditches, hazard tree felling, cleaning/maintaining ditches and culverts as needed,
       isolated placement or replacement of surface rock and rock armoring, opening and re-closing
       existing closed roads, removing debris from the roadway, and cutting intruding vegetation
       along roadsides.
   •   Utilizing the existing Lemolo Dam rock pit and the Boundary rock pit as rock sources for the
       road work.
   •   Amending the following sections of the LRMP: scenery standards; timber harvest in
       Management Area 1; and opening size limitations and firewood cutting in Management Area
       2.

   PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
   Initial contacts with public for the D-Bug project began in August of 2007. Numerous contacts
   were made with interested individuals, homeowners, special use permittees, conservation groups,
   industry representatives, and other agencies over a six-month period of time, with the goal of
   collaborating on the development of the proposed action. This collaboration also included
   newspaper articles, an advertised public meeting at the Douglas County library on September 27,
   2007, and a follow-up field trip on October 3, 2007 to the project area. The feedback received
   was used in developing the proposed action.

   The proposed action was listed in the Umpqua National Forest Schedule of Proposed Actions
   since October 2007 and updated periodically during the environmental analysis. On January 10,
   2008, a scoping notice was sent to over 350 interested stakeholders describing the proposed
   action and requesting comments by February 5, 2008. A notice of intent to prepare an EIS was
   published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2008 (73 FR 3689). During the scoping period,
   letters, face-to-face discussions, e-mails, and phone calls regarding the project were received
   from 37 individuals or groups.



                                                   10
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was published for review and comment on
   March 13, 2009 (71 FR 10911). I extended the comment period at the request of the public until
   June 8, 2009, for a total of 87 days for public comment. I received 428 comments within the
   comment period. An additional 634 comments, primarily in the form of emails, were received
   after the close of the extended comment period.

   In response to the comments received on the DEIS, the Forest prepared a “working alternative”
   that was shared via public collaboration meetings on March 18-19, 2010, in Roseburg. After
   those meetings, the working alternative was refined to become what is now Alternative 5.
   A final environmental impact statement (FEIS) was published for objection on October 8, 2010
   (75 FS 62386).

   Multiple letters, notices of meetings, news releases, and phone calls kept the public informed of
   the status of the project. Additionally, the project was covered by the local newspaper, The News
   Review, and in the national press. The FEIS lists agencies, organizations, and people who
   received copies on pages 376 -381.

   Tribal governments (Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Indians, Confederated Tribe of the Grand
   Ronde Indians, and the Confederated Tribe of the Siletz Indians) were sent a letter describing the
   project, with a request that the Forest be contacted for further information. To date, no responses
   have been received. The Tribes were also consulted under the National Historic Preservation
   Act.

   ISSUES

   The following issues were identified from scoping comments and were used to determine the
   scope of the analysis and develop alternatives to the proposed action. A full description of issues
   significant to the proposed action appears in the FEIS on pages 21-25.

   Issue 1--Amendments to the Forest Plan
   Several conservation groups felt that the proposed Forest Plan amendments that would amend
   scenery standards and include the harvest of lodgepole pine, which is normally excluded from
   the timber harvest base, would be harmful to the ecosystem and scenic quality of the area.

   Issue 2--Treatments in Inventoried Roadless Areas, Oregon Cascades Recreation Area,
             and Potential Wilderness Areas
   Conservation groups stated that scheduled timber harvest activities on a programmed basis are
   not permitted in the OCRA; creating fuelbreaks (which require periodic maintenance) along the
   Thirsty Creek Road and Kelsay Point Road within the Thirsty Creek Appendage IRAs violated
   the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which states that any cutting of timber in IRA must
   be infrequent; and harvest activities in potential wilderness areas could severely degrade the rare
   features and the potential wilderness characteristics of these important areas.

   Issue 3--New Road Building
   Several conservation groups were concerned that the proposed 15.5 miles of temporary road
   building and subsequent obliteration would cause ecological damage.



                                                   11
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision




   Issue 4--Trails
   Some conservation groups were concerned that impacts from logging and other fuel reduction
   treatments next to existing trails would negatively affect trails and the recreation experience.

   Issue 5--Fuelbreaks
   Multiple commenters expressed concerns about the location, width, and thinning techniques
   proposed on some of the fuelbreaks, questioning their effectiveness and the possible impacts of
   such fuelbreaks. In particular, the fuelbreaks along Thirsty Creek and Kelsay Point roads were
   thought to be redundant because the proposed action also included a fuelbreak on the Windigo
   Pass Road, located directly to the northwest. Moreover, these fuelbreaks entered the Thirsty
   Creek IRA and were outside the WUIs.

   Issue 6--Extent and Intensity of Treatments in Lodgepole Pine and Project Economics
   Several conservation groups were concerned that the proposed action included too much harvest,
   resulting in impacts in the lodgepole pine ecosystem. Several other commenters stated that the
   proposed action was not doing enough removal to achieve project needs in terms of treatment
   intensity, treatment extent, and economic returns.

   ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

   I considered three alternatives in the Final EIS, which are discussed below. A detailed
   comparison of these alternatives can be found in the Final EIS on pages 36 to 68.

   Alternative 1 – No Action
   Under Alternative 1, no thinning, fuel treatment, biomass utilization, temporary road
   construction, road reconstruction and maintenance, or other similar or connected activities such
   as pre-commercial thinning, subsoiling, weed control, or road decommissioning would occur. No
   ground-disturbing activities would take place and no timber would be offered for sale. On-going
   activities, including road maintenance, recreation use, and noxious weed control would continue
   to occur. Future activities would also occur.

   Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
   This alternative is the proposed action used in the scoping process. The Forest developed the
   proposed action to meet the purpose and need. See the Proposed Action section on page 10 for a
   description of the activities associated with Alternative 2.

   Alternatives 3 and 4 - as described in the DEIS
   Alternatives 3 and 4 were eliminated after publication of the DEIS. Alternative 3 was developed
   to address Issues 2 through 6 and was similar to the concepts found in Alternative 5. It was
   eliminated in the FEIS because of its similarities to Alternative 5 and because Alternative 5
   makes greater progress towards reaching common ground with the public and better responds to
   issues 2 through 6 as described in the FEIS on pages 22 to 25.

   Alternative 4 was developed to respond specifically to Issue 6. It was identified as the preferred
   alternative in the DEIS, but it received a great deal of opposition. Many comments received



                                                   12
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   stated the alternative went too far into undeveloped areas and would cause considerable
   ecological impacts. Additional collaborative public meetings held after the DEIS comment
   period indicated more support for a new alternative. In addition, the HFRA only requires that I
   consider one additional action alternative besides the proposed action. Because of these reasons,
   Alternative 4 was eliminated.

   Alternative 5 – Preferred Alternative in the FEIS
   The Forest developed Alternative 5 to respond to comments received from the public on the
   DEIS, and further refined the alternative following an additional collaboration period with the
   public. This alternative is similar to Alternative 3 from the Draft Environmental Impact
   Statement, but focused treatments on critical fuel breaks and evacuation routes. It includes the
   following:

       •   Variable-density commercial thinning of 2,016 acres in lodgepole pine stands, leaving
           20-70 TPA interspersed with 10 percent of the area with no treatment; commercial
           thinning of 1,332 acres of lodgepole-mixed conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and
           commercial thinning of 1,500 acres in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-200 TPA). These
           commercial thinnings include 78 acres within Mt. Bailey IRA.

       •   Salvage of 285 acres of dead and dying lodgepole.

       •   The thinnings would use ground-based and skyline logging systems in both the matrix
           and riparian reserve land allocations to generate between 29.8 to 32.5 million board feet
           of timber.
       •   Non-commercial removal of fuels on about 2,069 acres by pre-commercial thinning,
           mastication, whip felling, chipping, and piling and burning of slash. This includes
           treatment on about 297 acres of stands along the edge of the Mt. Bailey IRA, and 32
           acres along the edge of the Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA.
       •   Biomass utilization could occur on as many as 2,022, depending on the market at the time
           operations occur. Nine one-to-five-acre landings would be created to process the
           biomass, if needed.
       •   Treating activity-created fuels (slash) on all acres commercially thinned by underburning,
           crushing, machine piling, masticating, or yarding tops attached.
       •   Re-using about 16 miles of existing spur roads to access thinning areas, then obliterating
           about 7.4 miles after use.
       •   Building about 8.1 miles of new temporary spur roads to provide access for logging
           machinery and for accessing stands for commercial treatments, then obliterating them
           after use.
       •   Reconstructing portions of 11 sections of existing system roads (totaling 4.7 miles of
           road), including road re-alignment, intersection improvement, widening, continuous
           placement or replacement of surface rock and rock armoring, reshaping road beds,
           replacing culverts, adding culverts, and hazard tree felling.




                                                   13
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                 Record of Decision



       •   Maintaining about 62 miles of existing system roads (approximately nine miles are
           currently closed), including the grading and shaping of existing road surfaces, dust
           abatement, blading road beds and ditches, hazard tree felling, cleaning/maintaining
           ditches and culverts as needed, isolated placement or replacement of surface rock and
           rock armoring, opening and re-closing existing closed roads, removing debris from the
           roadway, and the cutting of intruding vegetation along roadsides.
       •   Utilizing the existing Lemolo Dam rock pit and the Boundary pit as the rock sources for
           the road work.
       •   Amending the 1990 Umpqua National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan
           (LRMP) in the following areas:
               1. The LRMP assigned Visual Quality Objectives of Retention and Partial Retention
                  along Highways 138 and 230, and areas surrounding Diamond Lake and Lemolo
                  Lakes. The LRMP would be amended for this project to modify these objectives
                  in the short term in order to meet the purpose and need.
               2. The LRMP does not permit timber harvest in Management Area 1, except in the
                  event of catastrophic damage and as approved in a vegetation management plan.
                  The Forest Plan would be amended for this project to include commercial timber
                  harvest in MA-1 in order to lower the effects of the ongoing mountain pine beetle
                  outbreak and reduce fuels in the vicinity of the wildland-urban interface area, as
                  recommended in the 2008 Vegetation Management Plan (USDA, Umpqua
                  National Forest, 2008).
               3. The LRMP places a size limitation on timber harvest openings (units) that can be
                  created within Management Area 2 around Diamond and Lemolo Lakes. In
                  addition, prescription A4-I for this Management Area does not allow for
                  commercial or personal-use firewood cutting. In order to accomplish effective
                  treatments of adequate size, the LRMP would be amended for this project to allow
                  for timber harvest units greater than one-half acre in size. Also, in order to allow
                  for the removal of dead and dying lodgepole pine, the LRMP would be amended
                  to allow for commercial and personal-use firewood cutting.

   Alternatives Considered but Eliminated from Detailed Study
   I considered two other alternatives but eliminated them from detailed study. These alternatives
   are documented in the Final EIS on pages 33 to 34.

   Environmentally Preferable Alternative
   Under the National Environmental Policy Act, the agency is required to identify the
   environmentally preferable alternative (40 CFR 1505.2(b)). This is interpreted to mean the
   alternative that would cause the least damage to the biological and physical components of the
   environment, and which best protects, preserves, and enhances, historic, cultural, and natural
   resources (Council on Environmental Quality, Forty Most Asked Question Concerning CEQ’s
   National Environmental Policy Act Regulations, 46 CFR 18026). Factors considered in
   identifying this alternative include: (1) fulfilling the responsibility of this generation as trustee of
   the environment for future generations, (2) providing for a productive and aesthetically pleasing
   environment, (3) attaining the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without



                                                      14
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   degradation, (4) preserving important natural components of the environment, including
   biodiversity, (5) balancing population needs and resource use, and (6) enhancing the quality of
   renewable resources. An agency may discuss preferences among alternatives based on relevant
   factors, including economic and technical considerations and statutory missions {40 CFR
   1505.2(b)}.

   I have determined that the environmentally preferable alternative is the Selected Alternative, as
   described in the Decision section on pages 16 to 21, for the following reasons:

       •   The prescriptions associated with this project were expressly designed to decrease the
           potential damage from wildfire to the forested areas within the treatment units and the
           recreational facilities and residences by improving fire resiliency and reducing the fire
           hazard risk, thereby fulfilling the responsibility of this generation as trustees of the
           environment for future generations and providing for a productive and aesthetically
           pleasing environment.

       •   Specific types of prescriptions and utilization methods were consciously located in
           strategic areas and designed in concert with the Best Management Practices, Project
           Design Features, and Mitigation Measures intentionally for the purpose of ensuring that
           the project attains the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without
           degradation.

       •   The planning process for this project has included consultation with appropriate
           regulatory agencies and completion of surveys for species and habitat to ensure
           compliance with federal laws such as the Endangered Species Act and retain the diversity
           of forest conditions across the landscape, thereby preserving important natural
           components of the environment, including biodiversity.

       •   The Purpose and Need of this project includes enhancing public and firefighter safety as
           well as improving the fire resiliency of the forested stands in the treatment units. These
           factors were purposefully combined to strike a balance between population needs and
           resource use while enhancing the quality of renewable resources.

   The Selected Alternative will achieve the Purpose and Need of the project by reducing fuel loads
   that will result in enhancing public safety and increasing fire resiliency while posing the least
   amount of impact to undeveloped areas. Therefore, I consider it the Environmentally Preferable
   Alternative of the D-Bug project.


   DECIS ION
   Based on my review of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), I have decided to
   implement the Selected Alternative, which is Alternative 5 as described on pages 44 to 53 of the
   Final Environmental Impact Statement with the changes described below. Maps 3 and 5 –
   Selected Alternative Treatment Units reflects these changes.




                                                    15
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



       1) Decisions on units 15, 82, 83, 86, 89, 90, 98, 107, 115, 118, 160, 161, 162 and 176 will
          be deferred until fungi surveys have been completed in the fall of 2011. These units
          include approximately 1,289 acres of mixed conifer stands that were to be treated
          commercially. I feel it’s critical to make a decision on the remainder of the project now
          because of the fire risk in the project area. When surveys are completed on these units, I
          will issue a second Record of Decision that describes whether or not these units will be
          harvested in their entirety, or in part, based on any buffers needed to protect fungi. The
          analyses in the FEIS assumes that these units are treated.

       2) I have decided to implement all design and mitigation measures specified in the FEIS on
          pages 55 to 68 with the following changes:

              •   Including this project design feature for big game travel lanes: “For
                  precommercial thinning units (Prescription 6), when big game travel lanes are
                  identified during operations, slash will not be piled on top of these travel lanes,
                  allowing unimpeded passage for big game.” This design feature is necessary to
                  comply with the LRMP (pg. IV-37) standard and guidelines that requires that
                  “Established big game travel lanes will not have their character altered through
                  precommercial thinning.” The character of a travel lane itself provides physical
                  access for big game from one location to another. This project design feature
                  preserves this character by ensuring that slash from precommercial thinning does
                  not disrupt or block this access with physical obstructions.
              •   Changing the following project design features to better provide for a positive
                  recreation experience and provide operator flexibility.
                  a. For all trails affected by the project, operations will be limited to Monday
                     through Friday with no operations on weekends or holidays.
                  b. Eliminate the existing PDF that states: “For operations near the Dellenback
                     Trail, limit hours of operations to 8 a.m. to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
                     There will be no limit on operating hours to provide flexibility to the operator,
                     especially during fire season.”
                  c. All trails will be closed and posted when operating near (within 200 feet) of
                     the trail.
                  d. Stumps of harvested trees will be cut to a maximum height of 6 inch to 8 inch
                     within 50 feet of all trails and next to Broken Arrow and Thielsen
                     Campgrounds (units 201, 202, and 203). Hazard trees in the above areas may
                     need to be cut to a taller height for safety reasons. As funding is available,
                     these stumps would be cut flat with the bark side of the stump to the trail or
                     campground. The stumps would be cut as low to the ground as safety allows,
                     ideally flush cut but not to exceed 6 to 8 inches in height.


       3) I am eliminating the temporary road riparian crossing across Silent Creek in units 62 and
          63. The unit can be adequately accessed using temporary roads from the north and south
          without crossing Silent Creek riparian area.



                                                   16
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                  Record of Decision




        4) I am eliminating the Forest Plan Amendment that reads::
                   “The LRMP does not permit timber harvest in Management Area 1,
                   except in the event of catastrophic damage and as approved in a
                   vegetation management plan. The Forest Plan would be amended for
                   this project to include commercial timber harvest in MA-1 in order to
                   lower the effects of the ongoing mountain pine beetle outbreak and
                   reduce fuels in the vicinity of the wildland-urban interface area, as
                   recommended in the 2008 Vegetation Management Plan (USDA,
                   Umpqua National Forest, 2008)” (FEIS, pg. 46).
           The Selected Alternative does not propose timber harvest in Management Area 1;
           therefore, this amendment will not be included in this Decision.
        5) I am changing boundaries and/or prescriptions in the units in Table 1. Concern over these
           units and others were raised during the objection process. Upon further examination of
           these units, I feel the changes identified below could be made while still achieving the
           primary objective of the D-Bug project, to provide safe conditions for firefighters and
           adequate evacuation routes. I have also considered other changes that were proposed
           during the objection process; however, based on the professional judgment of my staff
           that these were critical places to be treating, I could not adopt those changes while still
           meeting the purpose and need of the project.
           For unit 164, I am changing part of the unit to personal firewood cutting with monitoring
           to evaluate if additional thinning or other fuels treatment will be necessary. In the event
           that future treatment is necessary, I determine that this treatment may go forward without
           subsequent environmental analysis because the original prescription was for variable
           density thinning for the entire unit, and the effects documented in the FEIS is adequate.
           As with the entire project, stakeholders will be given the opportunity to participate in the
           monitoring of this stand.

   Table 1. Unit Specific Changes to Alternative 5
   Unit                   Change                          Rationale for Change             Number of Acres
                                                                                              Affected

   65      Reduce the commercial thinning portion      An adequate fuel break exists   65 acre decrease in
           to within 100 feet of forest road 760; no   by reducing the width and       lodgepole variable density
           treatment would occur on the remainder      maintaining unit 64.            thinning
           of the unit.
   69      Reduce the width of the hazard tree         The width of the hazard tree    57 acre decrease in hazard
           removal treatment to 150 ft. on both        treatment was wider than        tree removal
           sides of the road, with the remainder of    needed to prevent trees from
           the unit to be changed to non-              being a hazard to road users.   129 acre increase in non-
           commercial fuels reduction treatment.                                       commercial fuels reduction
   72      Reduce the width of hazard tree             The width of the hazard tree    47 acre decrease in hazard
           removal treatment to 150 ft. on both        treatment was wider than        tree removal
           sides of the road, with the remainder of    needed to prevent trees from
           the unit to be changed to non-              being a hazard to road users.   89 acre increase in non-
           commercial fuels reduction treatment.                                       commercial fuels reduction




                                                        17
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                   Record of Decision



   Unit                   Change                        Rationale for Change                Number of Acres
                                                                                               Affected

   164    Lodgepole variable density thinning        The commercial treatment           115 acre decrease in
          treatment will occur: between Birds        would create an adequate           lodgepole variable density
          Point Road and Battery Spring/Creek;       fuelbreak and the firewood         thinning
          along a 150 foot strip north of road       cutting will contribute to the
          2614; and in the northwest portion of      fuelbreak while providing
          the unit. The remainder of the unit will   firewood source for the public.
          be changed to allow for a personal
          firewood cutting area and will be
          monitored to evaluate if additional
          thinning or fuels treatment are
          necessary to meet objectives. See
          explanation above.
   164a   The area changed in unit 164 to allow      See above rationale for unit       80 acres changed to
          for a firewood cutting area.               164.                               firewood cutting area
   164b   Changed from commercial thinning to        See above rationale for unit       22 acres
          non-commercial fuels reduction.            164.
   197    Portion of unit 164 north of Trail #1476   See above for rationale for unit   14 acres
          changed from lodgepole variable            164.
          density thinning to non-commercial
          fuels reduction and added to Unit 197.
   194    Reduce commercial thinning to one          This treatment will focus fuels    4 acre decrease of mixed
          site- potential tree height (180 feet).    reduction treatments along road    conifer thinning
          The remainder of the unit will change to   050 and allow for some
          non-commercial fuels reduction             enhanced resiliency to             38 acre increase of non-
          treatment around individual and groups     scattered larger pine species      commercial fuels reduction
          of fire tolerant ponderosa pine species    present throughout the stand.
          followed by prescribed burning of fuel
          concentrations.
   239    Do not treat.                              This treatment was primarily in    10 acre decrease in
                                                     response to pine beetle activity   lodgepole variable density
                                                     but the unit’s location away       thinning
                                                     from key infrastructure and
                                                     evacuation routes makes it a
                                                     low priority for treatment to
                                                     achieve fire risk reduction
                                                     objectives.
   240    Do not treat.                              This treatment was primarily in    20 acre decrease in
                                                     response to pine beetle activity   lodgepole variable density
                                                     but the unit’s location away       thinning
                                                     from key infrastructure and
                                                     evacuation routes makes it a
                                                     low priority for treatment to
                                                     achieve fire risk reduction
                                                     objectives.
   244    Do not treat.                              This treatment was primarily in    20 acre decrease in
                                                     response to pine beetle activity   lodgepole variable density
                                                     but the unit’s location away       thinning
                                                     from key infrastructure and
                                                     evacuation routes makes it a
                                                     low priority for treatment to
                                                     achieve fire risk reduction
                                                     objectives.



                                                      18
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision




   These additions, reductions, and changes result in 3,629 acres being treated commercially; 2,377
   acres of non-commercial fuels reduction; and 80 acres made available for firewood cutting. Due
   to dropping and deferring units, there will be fewer temporary roads needed to implement the
   Selected Alternative. There will be approximately 3.7 miles of temporary road constructed with
   this alternative.

   I also want to clarify commercial fuel treatments within riparian reserves. The upper end of the
   range of trees per acre will be retained in riparian reserves. Additionally, there would be no gaps
   created in riparian reserves or the uplands. However, it is important to note that, in some places,
   natural conditions exist where there are fewer trees per acres and gaps in the riparian reserves.

   I would also like to clarify how the 15% green tree retention standard from the NWFP is applied
   in the lodgepole variable density prescription. The lodgepole variable density thinning
   prescription (Prescription #2) represents an intermediate thinning treatment in which 10% of unit
   acres will not be treated and 90% of unit acres will be thinned. Specifically, this prescription
   retains 20-70 TPA 5” dbh and greater (dispersed green tree retention) interspersed with 10% of
   the unit acres receiving no treatment (aggregated green tree retention). This combination of
   aggregated green tree retention (“no thin” prescription) and dispersed green tree retention thus
   meets green tree retention guidelines for Matrix land allocations specified in the ROD for the
   Northwest Forest Plan (USDA/USDI, 1994, Attachment A, pgs. C-41-42).

   I have reviewed these changes with the interdisciplinary team and they will result in fewer
   impacts to natural resources than what was analyzed for Alternative 5 in the FEIS because units
   were eliminated and reduced in size, prescription changes were to ones that resulted in less
   impacts (from commercial treatment to non-commercial and firewood). Therefore, I find that the
   FEIS adequately covered these changes. I also reviewed the changes with the Forest fuels
   specialist and assessed the trade-offs of making these changes with achieving the Purpose and
   Need. I am confident that the critical objectives of the project can be met with these changes,
   because the selected alternative still reduces fuels and removes hazard trees around recreational
   infrastructure and evacuation routes and reduces fuels and modifies projected fire behavior in the
   Wildland Urban Interfaces.


   DECISION RATIONALE
   From the amount and popularity of recreation use in the project area along with the numerous
   public comments we have received on the D-Bug Project, I recognize that the areas around
   Diamond and Lemolo Lakes are important to many people. There is a tremendous passion for the
   landscape and rightfully so with its proximity to Crater Lake National Park, Mt. Thielsen
   Wilderness Area, Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, and Mt. Bailey along with the developed
   recreation facilities around Lemolo and Diamond Lakes. It’s the very nature of this passion that
   there is high recreation use in the area which makes it essential to treat the fuels that result from
   the mountain pine beetle outbreak and years of fire exclusion. I find my decision provides an
   appropriate balance between recognizing and respecting this passion for this special place and
   meeting the purpose and need of the project; particularly, the critical need of providing safer


                                                    19
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision



   conditions for evacuation and fire fighting when a wildfire does occur, and issues raised by the
   public.

   Mountain pine beetles continue to progress on the landscape (see Map 1 – Mountain Pine Beetle
   Infestation 2005-2010). Lodgepole pine is susceptible to mountain pine beetle infestation when it
   is over 80 years old in dense stands with trees greater than 8 inches dbh. These conditions exist
   throughout the area. This doesn’t mean that all the lodgepole pine and other susceptible trees
   have been killed or will be killed by the beetle but what it does tell us is the landscape is
   following a natural successional path that includes the high likelihood of large scale wildfire and
   increased fire risk to the infrastructure, fire fighters and public in the area. The risk and potential
   consequences to the recreational infrastructure and the recreating public is too high to ignore and
   not take actions to reduce hazards, especially the risk of a wildfire. Some roadside hazard trees
   have already been removed around Diamond Lake and Lemolo Lake lodges and along roadsides
   to protect the public and limited non-commercial fuel treatment has occurred in some of the
   areas that will be treated. However, this is not adequate risk reduction given what’s at risk:
   human safety and the recreation infrastructure which serves over 700,000 visitors annually.

   I acknowledge that there is scientific controversy on whether fuel treatments are effective at
   reducing fire risk within stands of lodgepole pine that are affected by mountain pine beetle.
   There is also controversy over whether treatments can prevent or suppress the mountain pine
   beetle outbreak. I feel that controversy has been adequately addressed in the FEIS and this
   Record of Decision. Based on my personal experience of managing wildfires for over 30 years, I
   find that there is a heightened risk of a wildfire under the existing and potential future fuel
   conditions that result from the mountain pine beetle outbreak and decades of fire suppression.

   It is only a matter of time when the natural cycle of fire following a mountain pine beetle
   outbreak will occur. After the trees are killed by the beetles, fire will eventually regenerate the
   stand. I acknowledge that these natural processes will continue to some extent across the
   undeveloped surrounding landscape of Mt. Thielsen Wilderness Area, Oregon Cascades
   Recreation Area, Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek IRAs and Crater Lake National Park. These
   continued natural processes increase the risk of a wildfire coming out of these undeveloped areas
   to the developed recreation areas and evacuation routes that we’re trying to protect through this
   project. Suppression of wildfires in these areas will continue because of this high risk; however
   the fuel treatments will provide fire managers with more options in how to manage fires.

   The potential for a human caused wildfire is also high because of the extent of developed
   recreation in the area. The fuel treatments in the areas frequented by humans will also reduce the
   risk of a human caused wildfire affecting the larger landscape.
   It is not possible to predict exactly where and when a fire will happen. However, we do know the
   fire history of the area (see Map 2 – Fire Starts 2000-2012) and, with the conditions created from
   bark beetle and decades of fire exclusion, the likelihood of a large catastrophic fire will continue
   to increase consistent with the natural fire regime.
   I also want to acknowledge that implementation of the project does not guarantee that the
   infrastructure and the public will be safe when a wildfire occurs. Under extreme weather
   conditions, fire fighters will likely not be able to control a wildfire and protect the recreation
   infrastructure and evacuation routes. Fire fighter safety is paramount and I will not put fire


                                                     20
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   fighters in undue harm’s way to protect the infrastructure and evacuation routes. However, under
   less extreme conditions, my experience and the analysis in the FEIS tells me that the fuel
   treatments will provide safer conditions where fire fighters have a better chance of protecting the
   infrastructure and visitors will have a better chance at evacuating safely.
   Throughout the design of this project I have considered the applicable laws, regulations and
   policies. Laws, regulations, and policies which played a key role in the design and in my
   decision include: National Forest Management Act and its accompanying regulations and
   policies, the Healthy Forest Restoration Act, the Endangered Species Act including the 2001
   Recovery Plan for the Northern Spotted Owl, and the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule
   and the Secretary of Agriculture’s policy on inventoried roadless areas. Compliance with these
   laws is documented in the Consistency with Policy, Law, and Regulation section. I find that the
   D-Bug project is consistent with these laws, regulations, and policies.
   The selected alternative and the associated mitigations and project design features incorporate
   appropriate means to avoid or minimize environmental harm. I’ve weighed the tradeoffs between
   the impacts that will result from implementing the project and the impacts that would occur if no
   action was taken and find that implementing the project will result in fewer impacts overall
   because fire fighters will have more opportunities to manage a wildfire. With more options
   available for managing a wildfire, fire managers will have a better chance of reducing the
   environmental impacts resulting from fire suppression and also have a better chance of
   protecting life and property.
   I have considered the analysis and conclusions in the D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale
   Draft and Final EISs in addition to the information in the project record and the attachments to
   this ROD in making this decision.

   How the Selected Alternative best meets the Purpose and Need for Action
   All action alternatives analyzed in detail were designed to meet the purpose and need. The
   degree to which the alternatives meet each element of the purpose and need varies. Following is
   a discussion of each element, how the selected alternative compares to the proposed action and
   my rationale for my decision with each element. Table 2 displays how each alternative, including
   the selected alternative, responds to each element of the purpose and need. The four elements of
   the D-Bug project purpose and need are:

   Element 1: The need for modifying mountain pine beetle habitat conditions in stands
   containing lodgepole to reduce potential infestation.

   The Selected Alternative treats approximately 1,429 acres less than the proposed action
   (Alternative 2) in lodgepole susceptible to mountain pine beetle, primarily in the southern part of
   the planning area (Table 2). This reduced level of treatment responds to the issues of temporary
   road construction and the extent and intensity of treatments in lodgepole pine. Approximately
   3,314 acres of lodgepole pine will be treated in the Selected Alternative. While treating the
   additional acres would have provided more assurances of reducing the risk to the public and
   firefighters from a wildfire coming out of Crater Lake National Park, I feel this was a worthwhile
   tradeoff in responding to concerns over the extent of lodgepole treatments in this area. In
   addition to addressing the issues identified from scoping, it also provides for a more undisturbed
   travel corridor for wide ranging mammals, such as fisher, traveling between Mt. Thielsen



                                                   21
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision



   Wilderness Area, Crater Lake National Park, and Mt. Bailey IRA. The most critical areas for
   public and firefighting safety are still being treated.

   Element 2: The need to reduce existing and predicted fuel loads in areas identified as high fire
   hazard within the Diamond and Lemolo Lake WUIs and their evacuation routes identified in
   the 2006 Douglas County Wildfire Protection Plans.

   The Selected Alternative treats approximately 270 acres less in the Wildland Urban Interface
   than the proposed action and approximately 350 acres more than the proposed action along
   designated evacuation routes (Table 2). This element of the purpose and need is critical to
   provide safer conditions for the public and firefighters which is why we expanded the treatments
   in the Selected Alternative. The tradeoff in reducing treatments elsewhere was to expand
   treatment in WUIs and evacuation routes.

   Element 3: The need for removing existing dead and imminently dying pine and other hazard
   trees where human use is high in order to protect the recreating public.

   The Selected Alternative commercially treats the same amount of acres as the proposed action
   within developed recreation sites and by private dwellings and businesses (Table 2). This
   element is also critical to provide safer conditions. Review of the treatments found that what was
   initially proposed in the proposed action was appropriate, so no changes were made.

   Element 4: The need for increasing stand vigor in densely stocked mixed conifer stands
   containing older, large ponderosa pine, western white pine, Shasta red fir, and Pacific silver
   fir in order to improve stand resiliency.

   The Selected Alternative treats approximately 1,930 acres less than the proposed action in mixed
   conifer stands (Table 2). Reducing the treatments in densely stocked mixed conifer stands was a
   tradeoff with the issues of commercial treatments in inventoried roadless areas and potential
   wilderness areas and constructing temporary roads. I feel this was a reasonable tradeoff to make
   and in review of these changes with the forest fuels specialist, feel that critical project needs will
   still be met with these changes.


   Table 2. Comparison of Alternative for the Elements of the Purpose and Need


                   Purpose and Need                        Alt. 1   Alt. 2      Alt. 5     Selected
                                                                                             Alt.
       Element 1 – Pine Beetle Habitat Modification
          • Acres of susceptible lodgepole
              treated.                                       0      4,743       3,634        3,314

       Element 2 – Fuel loading in WUIs and along
       WUI Evacuation Routes.
          • Acres treated within the WUIs.                   0      3,781       3,890        3,511
          • Acres of treatment along designated
              evacuation routes.                             0      6,225       5,913        4,595




                                                      22
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision




                   Purpose and Need                      Alt. 1      Alt. 2      Alt. 5    Selected
                                                                                             Alt.
       Element 3 – Hazard Tree Reduction
          • Acres of commercial harvest within
              developed recreation sites and by            0             199        199      199
              private dwellings/businesses.

       Element 4 – Improved Fire Resiliency &
       Stand Vigor
           • Acres of mixed conifer stands                 0         2,247       1,500       315
              thinned.



   How the Selected Alternative Responds to the Issues

   Six significant issues were identified through scoping. I recognize that the public is passionate
   about what they feel is the best for the land and the recreational infrastructure, and that there is
   no management strategy that could totally satisfy all expressed concerns. I have selected an
   alternative that addresses all these concerns in a manner that is responsive to the issues and
   purpose and need for the project. While this decision will likely not resolve all conflicting points
   of view, I believe it represents a fair and balanced decision that is responsive to public concerns
   on all sides of the issues. The issues are identified below along with a discussion on how the
   selected alternative responds to these issues. Table 3 illustrates how each alternative, including
   the selected alternative, responds to the issues.

   Table 3. Comparison of Issues by Alternative


                                                    Alt.          Alt.         Alt.        Selected
                 Significant Issues
                                                     1             2            5            Alt.

     Issue 1 – Plan Amendments
         • Acres of lodgepole harvested.             0            4,744        3,633         3,314
         • Acres of Retention VQO along
            Highways 138 and 230 moved to:
                   o Partial Retention               0            220          220            132
                   o Modification                                 265          265            242
         • Acres of Partial Retention VQO along
            Highways 138 and 230 moved to:
                   o Modification                    0            164          164            117

     Issue 2 – IRA/OCRA/Potential Wilderness
     Areas
         • Acres of commercial thinning in the
             OCRA.                                   0            318           0              0
         • Acres of forest treated in the IRAs.
                    o Commercial treatment           0            620           78             70
                    o Non-Commercial treatment       0            345          329            329
         • Acres of treatment Potential
             Wilderness Areas (excluding overlap     0            1,140        433            218
             with IRA and OCRA acres)



                                                    23
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                                            Record of Decision




                                                                      Alt.          Alt.              Alt.              Selected
                      Significant Issues
                                                                       1             2                 5                  Alt.


     Issue 3 – Road Building
         • Miles of temporary roads constructed
             and subsequently obliterated.                             0            15.4               8.1                  3.7

     Issue 4 –Impacts of Thinning/Haul on Trails
         • Miles of existing trail used for logging                    0            8.2                4.9                  6.2*
                       1
             access.
         • Acres of commercial & non-
             commercial treatment within 200 feet                      0           2,253             2,229                 2,395*
             of trails.                                                                                                (includes 5
                                                                                                                          acres in
     Issue 5 – Fuelbreaks – Effectiveness,                                                                               firewood
     Redundancy and Extent.                                                                                           cutting area)
         • Acres of commercial/non-commercial
             treatments along Thirsty Creek and                        0            970                 0                    0
             Kelsay Point fuelbreaks.
         • Total acres in roadside fuelbreaks                          0           7,347             6,627                 5,540

     Issue 6 – Lodgepole Pine Prescriptions,
     Extent of Lodgepole Treatment, and Project
     Economics
         • Acres of lodgepole pine regenerated
         • Acres of lodgepole pine and                                 0             59                 0                    0
             lodgepole-mixed conifer
             commercially thinned                                      0           4,685             3,634                 3,629


     Extent of Lodgepole Pine Treatment
         • Acres harvested south of Hwy. 230
                                                                       0           1,660              668                   436
             toward Crater Lake National Park

     Economic Efficiency
                                                                       0        $239,396          -$947,272           -$1,429,046
        • Net Present Value
                                                                                 $1,367             $1,121               $871
        • Least Cost (Total Cost/Total Acres
           Treated)




   1) Amendments to the Forest Plan – Two amendments to the LRMP are required in order for
      the Selected Alternative to be compliant with NFMA. These amendments are discussed in
      detail in the section entitled Consistency with Policy, Law, and Regulation. One amendment
      modifies the Visual Quality Objectives (VQO) from retention to partial retention or


   1
     Between the proposed action and Alternative 5, there was a reduction of approximately three miles of motorized trails that
   would be used as temporary roads. However, some trails were inadvertently excluded from the FEIS. When these trails are
   factored into the calculation of determining the impact of the use of trails for logging access, the result is an increase of 1.3 miles
   from Alternative 5 to the Selected Alternative and an increase in the number of acres of fuel treatment within 200 feet of trails of
   165 acres.



                                                                     24
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                           Record of Decision



       modification in the short term, along Highways 138 and 230, and areas surrounding Diamond
       and Lemolo Lakes. Although I have prescribed mitigation to reduce the visual impact of the
       project, management activities will still be visually evident, thus prompting the need to
       amend the VQO’s. While I recognize concerns over the scenery of this beautiful area, I feel
       that the tradeoff between short-term impacts to visual quality and providing safer conditions
       for the public and fire fighters is warranted. The other amendment allows for timber harvest
       units greater than ½ acre and for commercial and personal firewood use in Management Area
       2 (see Maps 9 and 10 – Alternative 5 LRMP Management Areas). The limitation of having
       units less than ½ acre would provide challenges to implement and would not meet the
       purpose and need of the project. I’m also amending the plan to allow firewood use in MA 2,
       in order to provide additional economically feasible treatment options and provide firewood
       for commercial and public use. The analysis displayed in the FEIS indicates that the need of
       reducing the fire risk cannot be achieved without these amendments.

   2) Treatment in Inventoried Roadless Areas, Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, and
      Potential Wilderness Areas – Commercial fuel treatments within the Mt. Bailey and Thirsty
      Creek Appendage Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs) is the most controversial piece of the
      D-Bug project. I understand that management within IRAs is of concern to many
      stakeholders locally and nationally. I listened to the concerns and made substantial changes
      between Alternative 2, which was the proposed action in the FEIS, and Alternative 5. These
      changes are displayed below in Table 4. There were 620 acres of commercial fuels reduction
      treatments within the IRAs in Alternative 2 compared to 78 acres in Alternative 5. The
      Selected Alternative includes 70 of the 78 acres, the remainder of which are still being
      surveyed for fungi, with a future decision on the remaining eight acres when surveys are
      completed. Maps 11 and 12 display where treatments will occur within the IRAs.

   Table 4. Acres of commercial and non-commercial treatment by IRA by Alternative
                   Thirsty Creek   Thirsty Creek     Mt. Bailey     Mt. Bailey
                                                                                  Total IRA
                        IRA           IRA non-          IRA          IRA non-
    Alternative                                                                   treatment
                    commercial      commercial      commercial     commercial
                                                                                    acres
                     treatment       treatment       treatment      treatment
         2              335             33              286            312           966
         5               0              32              78             297           407
      Selected           0              32              70             297           399



       Within the Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA, I removed the lodgepole variable density thinning
       and mixed conifer thinning commercial fuel treatments and limited noncommercial
       treatments to 32 acres immediately adjacent to an evacuation route (Road 60). To make up
       for this reduction and to create an adequate fuel break, I expanded commercial fuel
       treatments on the opposite side of Road 60, outside of the IRA. I feel this was a reasonable
       tradeoff to lessen the impacts on this IRA while still providing for an adequate fuel break.

       Within the Mt. Bailey IRA, I’ve reduced the commercial fuel treatments from 286 acres in
       Alternative 2 to 78 acres in the Alternative 5. The remaining commercial treatments are



                                                   25
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



       essential because they are immediately across the road from 102 recreation residences and
       Thielsen View Campground. Road 4795 is the only evacuation route for the residences and
       campground. The commercial treatments in this IRA will reduce canopy closure, fuel ladders
       and overall fuel loads which will change fire behavior under most circumstances. The
       commercial treatments will be confined to between Road 4795 and Dellenback Trail, a paved
       hiking and bike trail within the IRA. Out of the 78 acres of commercial treatment in the IRA,
       this decision for the Selected Alternative includes approximately 70 acres. The remaining
       eight acres are associated with the deferred units (a portion of unit 15) and will be included in
       a future decision once the fungi surveys are completed.

       I gave serious considerations on whether the same objectives could be achieved with
       noncommercial treatment in the Mt. Bailey IRA and determined that, in order to adequately
       reduce canopy closure and associated fire hazard potential, it is necessary to fall commercial
       sized trees. Leaving these trees on site would contribute to fuel loads and it would be
       operationally infeasible and cost prohibitive to pile the material to burn. The burn piles
       would of a sufficient size that there would likely be damage to the residual stand.

       The area within Mt. Bailey IRA that will receive commercial treatment is extremely critical,
       because of its proximity to the recreation residences and campground. The recreation
       residences have been under permit for decades; many of these residences are passed from
       generation to generation. Throughout this project the majority of the summer home owners
       have consistently repeated the need for us to reduce fuels in the area. Additionally, the
       commercial treatments are located between the paved bike trail and road. Hazard trees have
       been felled in the past and most forest visitors are used to seeing some sort of management in
       this developed recreation area. To eliminate all commercial treatment would be irresponsible
       and unacceptable to me, as it would create a situation where I would not be willing to ask
       firefighters to defend the recreation residences.

       All fuel treatments in the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area were eliminated in the Selected
       Alternative, thus I believe the selected alternative responds fully to the issue of impacting
       this area.

       Within potential wilderness areas (PWAs) (as defined by Forest Service Handbook 1909.12
       Chapter 70), I have reduced commercial fuel treatments from approximately 1,140 acres in
       the Proposed Action (Alternative 2) to approximately 218 acres in the Selected Alternative
       (see Table 5). Maps 13 and 14 display where treatments will occur within the PWAs. The
       tradeoff was to increase non-commercial treatments in potential wilderness areas from
       approximately 575 acres in Alternative 2 to approximately 720 acres in the Selected
       Alternative. The analysis shows that non-commercial fuel treatments would not affect an area
       from qualifying as potential wilderness because the areas treated non-commercially would
       still meet the criteria for potential wilderness outlined within the Forest Service Handbook.
       Non-commercial treatments would generally be substantially unrecognizable to the general
       forest visitor. The resulting stumps would be small and disintegrate and covered with
       vegetation in a few years. Therefore, potential wilderness areas (PWA) would only be
       affected by commercial treatments (FEIS, pg. 337).




                                                    26
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                     Record of Decision



       The Selected Alternative includes approximately 218 acres of commercial treatments within
       the three potential wilderness areas which would no longer qualify as potential wilderness
       following implementation; 89 acres in PWA-1, 42 acres in PWA-4 and 87 acres in PWA-5.
       There would be 3,218 acres remaining in PWA-1, 18,711 acres in PWA-4 and 35,246 acres
       in PWA-5 that would still qualify as potential wilderness following implementation (see
       Table 6). Commercial treatments in potential wilderness occur primarily along Highway 138,
       Road 4795 and Road 60, which are key evacuation routes. I believe that modifying fuels in
       these areas is critical to meeting the purpose and need, given the adjacency to the evacuation
       routes. I believe the Selected Alternative reduces the impact to potential wilderness, but still
       allows for treatment along critical evacuation routes.

   Table 5. Affected Acres in Potential Wilderness Areas
                 Acres
   Potential
                 on the                                                                  Selected Alternative
   Wilderness                 Alternative 2 Acres              Alternative 5 Acres
                 Umpqua                                                                         Acres
   Area
                 NF
                                           Non-                              Non-                      Non-
                            Commercial                        Commercial                Commercial
                                         Commercial                        Commercial                Commercial

   PWA – 1          3,307          221             50                217           78          89            78
   PWA – 4         18,753          167           305                  94         303           42           303
   PWA – 5         35,333          752           220                 122         338           87           338
   TOTAL           57,393        1,140           575                 433         719          218           719



   Table 6. Remaining Areas Qualifying as Potential Wilderness

                 Acres
   Potential
                 on the
   Wilderness                 Alternative 2 Acres              Alternative 5 Acres       Selected Alternative
                 Umpqua
   Area                                                                                         Acres
                 NF
                                          Remaining                        Remaining                  Remaining
                            Commercial      Area              Commercial     Area       Commercial      Area
                             Treatment   Qualifying as         Treatment   Qualifying    Treatment    Qualifying
                                            PWA                             as PWA                     as PWA

   PWA – 1          3,307          221         3,086                 217       3,090            89        3,218
   PWA – 4         18,753          167        18,586                  94      18,659            42       18,711
   PWA – 5         35,333          752        34,581                 122      35,211            87       35,246
   TOTAL           57,393        1,140        56,253                 433      56,960           218       57,175



   3) New Road Building – All roads that would be constructed to implement the D-Bug project
      are temporary roads necessary to commercially treat the area. All new temporary roads will
      be decommissioned after use. The Selected Alternative responds to this issue by constructing
      approximately 3.7 miles of temporary roads, which is approximately eleven miles less than
      Alternative 2. This was largely the result of eliminating units, reducing the size of units, and
      changing the treatments from commercial to non-commercial in the Selected Alternative.


                                                         27
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision




   4) Trails – Some motorized trails would be used as temporary roads for implementing the D-
      Bug project. Additionally, snowmobile and hiking trails will be impacted from temporary
      roads crossing trails and from fuel treatments near trails. Between the proposed action and
      Alternative 5, there was a reduction of approximately three miles of motorized trails that
      would be used as temporary roads. However, as indicted in the FEIS errata sheet,
      (Attachment 1), some trails were inadvertently excluded from the FEIS. When these trails are
      factored into the calculation of determining the impact of the use of trails for logging access,
      the result is an increase of 1.3 miles from Alternative 5 to the Selected Alternative and an
      increase in 165 acres of fuel treatment within 200 feet of trails. These impacts are within the
      scope of the effects considered in the FEIS. The project design features for recreation (FEIS
      pages 63-64 and in the Decision section of this ROD) are designed to lessen the impact on
      trails and recreationists. The trails that will be used as temporary roads are motorized trails
      and snowmobile trails. The motorized trails that will be affected are actually parts of the old
      Highway 138, which is one or two lanes wide in places (FEIS, pg. 307-308). The
      snowmobile trails are generally existing system roads that are used as snowmobile trails in
      the winter. I find the impacts to trails a reasonable tradeoff considering the potential adverse
      affects to recreationists from wildfires. Overall, the selected alternative responded to this
      issue by reducing the impacts to trails compared with the proposed action, but still allows me
      to meet the purpose and need by treating along trails and roads.

   5) Fuelbreaks – Concerns were raised over particular fuel breaks (Thirsty Creek and Kelsay
      Point) and over the effectiveness of fuelbreaks in general. The Thirsty Creek fuel break was
      reduced in size and changed to a non-commercial treatment and Kelsay Point fuelbreak was
      eliminated from the Selected Alternative (see Map 3). Both fuelbreaks involved treating
      within the Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA. As noted in the above discussion on IRAs, a
      tradeoff was made to make a wider fuelbreak on the other side of the road from the IRA. In
      terms of the effectiveness of the fuelbreaks, I find that the FEIS adequately discusses this on
      page 129. Additional concerns were raised over the maintenance of the fuelbreaks. I
      acknowledge that maintenance treatments, which I believe will be non-commercial
      treatments, will be needed at some point in the future to maintain the effectiveness of the
      treatment. Timing of the maintenance treatments is difficult to predict because of differences
      in site productivity, the role of continued natural processes and climatic conditions.
      Therefore, the Selected Alternative responds to this issue by eliminating the Kelsay Point
      fuel break.

   6) Extent and Intensity of Treatments in Lodgepole Pine and Project Economics – The
      Selected Alternative reduced the amount of treatments in pure lodgepole pine stands. In the
      area south of Highway 230 toward Crater Lake National Park, approximately 230 acres were
      eliminated from commercial treatment when compared to the proposed action (see Table 3).
      Considering the extent of pure lodgepole pine stands throughout this area of the Cascades, I
      find that implementing the Selected Alternative will not significantly affect the lodgepole
      ecosystems in the area. I also find that the extent of the treatments will be adequate for
      achieving the primary need of providing safer evacuation routes and fire fighting conditions.
      I also acknowledge that, by reducing the amount of commercial fuel treatments overall and
      increasing the amount of non-commercial treatments, the project will be more costly to



                                                   28
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



       implement. I feel that this is a necessary tradeoff to address issues raised in response to the
       proposed action.


   CONSISTENCY WITH POLICY, LAW, AND REGULATION
   The National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP),
   and the Umpqua National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP)
   This decision with its associated amendments is consistent with the Umpqua National Forest
   Land Management Plan (LRMP) as amended by the 1994 Record of Decision for Amendments
   to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Planning Documents within the Range of the
   Northern Spotted Owl (NWFP). Tables 7 and 8 display the acres within D-Bug treatment units
   that fall within LRMP Management Areas and NWFP Land Allocations. LRMP Management
   Areas are also displayed in Maps 9 and 10. NWFP Land Allocations are displayed in Maps 7 and
   8.The treatment units associated with the Selected Alternative are located within LRMP
   Management Areas 2, 10 and 11 and within NWFP Land Allocations of Administratively
   Withdrawn, Matrix, and Riparian Reserve.


   Table 7. LRMP Management Areas within D-Bug Treatment Units

              LRMP Management Area                          Alt. 2            Alt. 5        Selected
                                                                                           Alternative
                                                            acres             acres
                                                                                              acres
    MA2: Developed Recreation- provides an            2,860             2,811             2,593
    appropriate environment and associated
    facilities for concentrated, developed recreation
    opportunities.
    MA10: Timber Production- provides for                5,181          4,406             3,696
    production of timber on a cost-efficient
    sustainable basis consistent with other resource
    objectives.
    MA11: Big Game Winter Range- provides                507            529               118
    for big game winter range habitat and timber
    production consistent with other resource
    objectives.




                                                    29
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                         Record of Decision



   Table 8. NWFP Land Allocations within D-Bug Treatment Units

                 NWFP Land Allocation                   Alternative Alternative       Selected
                                                             2           5           Alternative
                                                           acres         acres            acres
    Matrix: consists of those areas of federal lands    5,709         4,955         3,835
      outside the six categories of designated areas
      (Congressionally Reserved Areas, Late-
      Successional Reserves, Adaptive Management
      Areas, Managed Late-Successional Areas,
      Administratively Withdrawn Areas, Riparian
      Reserves). Most silvicultural activities are
      conducted in this land allocation.
    Riparian Reserves: provide an area along streams, 779             630           536
       wetlands, ponds, and lakes where riparian-
       dependent resources receive primary emphasis
    Administratively Withdrawn: are identified in      2,902          2,792         2,573
       current Forest and District Plans or draft plan
       preferred alternatives and include recreation
       and visual areas, back country, and other areas
       where management emphasis precludes
       scheduled timber harvest.

   Upon review of the LRMP, the Proposed Action was not consistent with the LRMP in
   Management Areas 1 and 2, therefore requiring three Forest Plan Amendments. Due to the
   changes between the Proposed Action and the Selected Alternative, the number of amendments
   needed has been reduced to two. The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) states that forest
   plans can “be amended in any manner whatsoever after final adoption after public notice (16
   USC 1600 (6)(f)(4)).” In compliance with the NFMA and accompanying Regulations (36 CFR
   219.10(f)), I am amending the LRMP for this project. I weighed the tradeoffs between
   implementing these standards and guidelines with the wildfire risk and determined that a site-
   specific amendment of the LRMP was required. Two amendments are included in this Decision
   as described below:
       1. Amending the VQO objectives of Retention and Partial Retention along Highways 138
          and 230. The LRMP assigned Visual Quality Objectives (VQOs) of Retention and Partial
          Retention along Highways 138 and 230, and areas surrounding Diamond Lake and
          Lemolo Lakes (LRMP, pg. IV-22). I am amending the LRMP for this project to modify
          these objectives in the short term in order to address the purpose and need of reducing
          fire risk.
       2. Amending Management Area 2 and its associated prescriptions to allow for timber
          harvest units greater than ½ acre in size, and commercial and personal-use firewood
          cutting. The LRMP places a ½ acre size limitation on timber harvest units that can be
          created within Management Area 2 around Diamond and Lemolo Lakes (LRMP Chapter
          IV-110) and Prescription A4-I for Management Area 2 does not allow for commercial or



                                                 30
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                                         Record of Decision



             personal-use firewood cutting (LRMP Chapter IV-153). In order to provide effective fuel
             treatments and allow for the economic removal of dead and dying lodgepole pine, I am
             amending the LRMP to allow for units sizes in excess of ½ acre as well as commercial
             and personal-use firewood cutting.

   The Draft EIS included an amendment to the LRMP to harvest in climax lodgepole pine
   ecoclasses. This land was determined unsuitable for timber production in the LRMP. Upon
   further review, I determined that the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) supported timber
   management in these areas in order to “protect other multiple-use values” (16 USC 1600 (6)(k)).
   Furthermore, 1982 NFMA regulations (36 CFR 219.27(c)(1-2)) support timber management in
   these areas, precluding the need for an amendment. The regulations state that “sales necessary to
   protect other multiple-use values or activities that meet other objectives” may occur on lands not
   suitable for timber production if the Forest Plan supports the action. The regulations also state
   that stands that are in “imminent danger of insect or disease attack” may count towards planned
   volume, as long as the harvest is consistent with silvicultural and environmental standards. The
   Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines for Timber/Vegetation Management support harvest on
   unsuitable lands when needed to enhance other resource objectives, protect capital improvements
   or human health and safety, as long as activities are documented in the environmental analysis
   for particular timber sales (LRMP, pg. IV-44). I find that timber harvest in climax lodgepole pine
   ecoclasses is needed to enhance the recreation objectives of the area, protect recreational
   improvements and to provide safer conditions for recreating visitors and fire fighters. This is
   consistent with NFMA and the Forest Plan.

   NFMA-Determination of Significance 2
   Forest Service Manual (FSM) 1926.51 and 1926.52, outline the factors to determine whether or
   not an amendment is significant based on National Forest Management Act requirements. I find
   that existing goals and objectives as defined by the Forest Plan would not be changed by the two
   amendments; there would be no adjustment of management area boundaries; and there are no
   additional projects or activities that would contribute to achievement of management
   prescriptions. The VQO amendment does modify standards and guidelines for visual quality
   within existing management areas (areas of retention become partial retention or modification,
   areas of partial retention become modification). The MA 2 amendment modifies the prescription
   for this management area by increasing the unit size and allowing firewood cutting. These
   changes are short term and apply to this project only (DEIS, pg. 293; FEIS, pg. 354-355). There
   will some short term localized impacts on recreation use from implementing these amendments,
   but I find that the impacts will only have a minor affect on the level of recreation use in the
   project area and will not change the overall goals for forest management in the area. I find the
   amendments to be minor as they will only affect a small area of the forest for the life of the
   project. Therefore, I find that the two amendments proposed with the Selected Alternative are
   non-significant.



   2
     The four factors of non-significance include: 1. Actions that do not significantly alter the multiple-use goals and objectives for
   long-term land and resource management; 2. Adjustments of management area boundaries or management prescriptions resulting
   from further on-site analysis when the adjustments do not cause significant changes in the multiple-use goals and objectives for
   long-term land and resource management; 3. Minor changes in standards and guidelines; and, 4. Opportunities for additional
   projects or activities that will contribute to achievement of the management prescription.



                                                                   31
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   LRMP-Vegetation Management Plan
   I find that the D-Bug project is in compliance with the LRMP in regards to the Vegetation
   Management Plan. The LRMP requires the development of a Vegetative Management Plan for
   Management Area 2 in order to harvest timber in stands that are susceptible to catastrophic insect
   and disease situations (Prescription A4-I, page IV-153 and Prescription A4-III, page IV-156). A
   Vegetation Management Plan was developed in 2008 in conjunction with revising the Diamond
   Lake-Lemolo Lake Watershed Analysis. This plan reinforced the need to treat the fuels in the
   project area.

   LRMP-Management Indicator Species
   The LRMP designated seven species, and one group of species (cavity nesters), as Management
   Indicator Species (MIS). These species were selected to track and evaluate the effects of forest
   management activities on all wildlife species that occur on the Forest. The project would have
   inconsequential long term effects on population trends or viability for primary cavity nesters,
   Roosevelt elk or Black-tailed deer, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon and varying effects to Pine
   Marten and Northern Spotted Owl. Consistent with the LRMP, the effects of management
   activities associated with the D-Bug project have been evaluated for each of the Management
   Indicator Species: Primary cavity nesters, Roosevelt elk and Black-tailed deer, and Pine Marten
   are addressed in the MIS section of the FEIS (pages 192-207), and Northern Spotted Owl,
   Peregrine Falcon, and Bald Eagle are discussed in Attachment 1.

   NFMA-Timber Management Requirements
   NFMA (16 USC 1604(g)(3)(E)) sets forth minimum specific management requirements when
   managing timber. These requirements and my findings follow.

       1. Soil, slope, or other watershed conditions will not be irreversibly damaged.
          I find that the FEIS documents that there will not be irreversible damage to soil, slope, or
          other watershed conditions on pages 233 to 240 and 250 to 293. The Best Management
          Practices, Mitigation Measures, Project Design Features, and Monitoring on pages 55 to
          68 provide measures for protecting these resources.

       2. There is an assurance that the lands can be adequately restocked within five years after
          final regeneration harvest (FSM 1921.12g).
          There is no regeneration harvest with the selected alternative; therefore, this requirement
          is not applicable.

       3. Streams, streambanks, shorelines, lakes, wetlands, and other bodies of water are
          protected from detrimental changes in water temperatures, blockages of water courses,
          and deposits of sediment where harvests are likely to seriously and adversely affect
          water conditions or fish habitat.
          I find that the FEIS documents that waterbodies are protected from detrimental changes
          that can adversely affect water conditions and fish habitat on pages 250-293.

       4. The harvesting system to be used is not selected primarily because it will give the
          greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output of timber.
          This project is designed to reduce fire risk. While timber is being produced, it is a by-



                                                    32
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



          product of treating hazardous fuels. In fact, the economic analysis shows that overall this
          project will require additional funding to implement. Additionally, harvest systems
          identified in other alternatives provided a greater dollar return and a greater unit output of
          timber. Therefore, I find that the harvesting systems that will be used were not selected
          because it will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest output of timber.

   NWFP-Aquatic Conservation Strategy
   Based on the project level evaluation of the environmental effects documented in the FEIS, I find
   that the project is consistent with and does not prevent attainment of the nine objectives of the
   Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) as described in the 1994 Record of Decision for
   Amendments to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Planning Documents within the
   Range of the Northern Spotted Owl. The activities within the Riparian Reserve land allocation
   comply with Riparian Reserve Standards and Guidelines as well as the nine ACS objectives.
   ACS objectives have been discussed throughout the FEIS: Terrestrial Environment (page 210);
   Aquatic Environment (pages 250-288); Appendix A, Response to Comments (pages 62-63, 82,
   106-109, 168-171, 204, 227-232); and are summarized in Attachment 4.

   I am confident that Best Management Practices, mitigations, project design features, and
   monitoring identified in the FEIS on pages 55 to 68 will protect beneficial uses of the streams in
   the project area in a manner consistent with the Aquatics Conservation Strategy outlined in the
   Northwest Forest Plan and the Clean Water Act of 1972. These practices have been used
   numerous times on the Umpqua National Forest in contract provisions and for other similar
   vegetation management projects and have been proven to be effective in resource protection.

   NWFP-Survey and Manage Species
   The selected alternative is consistent with the Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines
   for Amendments to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer, and other Mitigation Measures
   Standards and Guidelines (2001) as surveys have been completed for mollusks and red tree
   voles. One survey and manage terrestrial mollusk species, the Crater Lake tightcoil (Pristiloma
   arcticum crateris) has known sites within the action area; all suitable habitat and all known sites
   will be buffered by a minimum of 50 feet to avoid impacts to this species. As noted above in the
   decision, I am deferring a decision on units that require Category B fungi equivalent-effort
   surveys in order to complete the surveys to protocol. Surveys for all other Survey and Manage
   lichens, bryophytes, and vascular plants have been completed to protocol. There would be no
   impact to known sites of any of these species within the planning area.

   Healthy Forest Restoration Act

   The D-Bug Project was prepared under the authority of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act
   (HFRA) which seeks “to improve the capacity….to conduct hazardous fuels reduction
   projections….aimed at protecting communities, watersheds, and certain other at-risk lands from
   catastrophic wildfire…” The act encouraged the development of Community Wildfire Protection
   Plans (CWPPs) under which communities designate their wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas
   where expedited projects may take place. In 2006, the Umpqua National Forest collaborated with
   Douglas County and other entities to finalize the Douglas County Community Wildfire
   Protection Plans. Diamond Lake and Lemolo Lake areas were identified as WUIs because of the



                                                   33
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



   recreational infrastructure and use. The protection plans for Diamond and Lemolo Lake WUIs
   list hazardous fuel treatments and methods to protect these at risk communities:

       •   Thin 300 feet around structures and critical infrastructure.
       •   Clear and thin evacuation routes for homes and areas of recreation.
       •   Fuel reduction treatments include mechanical clearing and thinning in the WUIs by
           harvesting, thinning, mowing, chipping, cutting, and piling.

   My decision is based on considering the applicability of HFRA to this project. Particularly:
   Fuel treatments in old growth
   The HFRA requires “fully maintain, or contribute toward the restoration of, the structure and
   composition of old growth stands according to the pre-fire suppression old growth conditions
   characteristic of the forest type, taking into account the contribution of the stand to landscape fire
   adaption and watershed health, and retaining the large trees contributing to old growth structure.”
   The Northwest Forest Plan set forth the management direction for old growth for the Umpqua
   National Forest. Based on the definition of old growth in the Northwest Forest Plan (p. F-4),
   fifteen units within the D-Bug project are either all old growth or part of the unit is old growth
   (units 15, 82, 83, 86, 89, 90, 98, 107, 115, 118, 160, 161, 162, 176, 300). (Note that RA-32
   stands are not necessarily old growth but rather contain habitat for the northern spotted owl.)
   See Maps 15 and 16 for the location of units that contain old growth in Alternative 5. These units
   are adjacent to evacuation routes with some of the units immediately across the road from
   recreational residences and campgrounds.
   At this time, I am only making a decision to proceed with treating unit 300 because botanical
   surveys have not been completed for the remaining twelve units. Non-commercial treatment of
   unit 300 will remove smaller fuels and retain the large trees contributing to the old growth
   structure. I find this project consistent with old growth direction in HFRA.

   Large tree retention
   The HFRA requires that management “Focuses largely on small diameter trees, thinning,
   strategic fuel breaks, and prescribed fire to modify fire behavior …” (Section 102 (f)(1)(A)) and
   “maximizes the retention of large trees, as appropriate for the forest type, to the extent that the
   trees promote fire-resilient stands” (Section 102 (f)(1)(B)). This requirement applies to “covered
   projects”, which are those projects that are authorized under Section 102(a)(1), Section
   102(a)(2), Section 102(a)(3), or Section 102(a)(5) of the HFRA.
   Non-commercial fuel treatments remove small fuels and clear meet this requirement of HFRA.
   Commercial fuel treatments within the mixed conifer stands for this project will be treated with
   the prescription of “thinning from below” which is the removal of the understory trees, leaving
   the larger trees in the stand which are the more fire resilient ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir in
   mixed conifer stands. Thinning from below meets the requirement of retaining large trees.
   The exception to retaining the large trees is in lodgepole pine stands, where the purpose of the
   treatment is to reduce the fuels and impact caused by the ongoing mountain pine beetle outbreak.
   Under Section 102(e)(1)(B), an authorized project for treating insect and disease outbreaks does
   not need to comply with the large tree component of the Act. As such, the lodgepole stands
   would be managed by variable density thinning which retains 20 to 70 trees per acre at variable
   spacing with 10 percent of the stand not treated. In these forest types, it is the older stands (at


                                                    34
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   least 80 years old) with relatively larger trees (at least 8 inches in diameter) that are highly
   susceptible to mountain pine beetle attack. The larger trees are being killed by the beetle
   resulting in an increased fire risk. Retaining the large trees in this forest type would not “promote
   fire-resilient stands”, nor would it reduce the impact from the outbreak. Retaining the larger trees
   would not meet the purpose and need for this project nor is it required under Section 102
   (e)(1)(b) of the HFRA. There would be no overstory removal in the selected alternative.
   Therefore, I find that this project is in compliant with the HFRA for retaining large trees.

   Fuel treatments outside of WUI
   Much of the project area is included in the Lemolo Lake and Diamond Lake Wildland Urban
   Interfaces (WUIs) identified in the Community Wildfire Protection Plans; however some of the
   project includes treatment along evacuation routes located outside of these identified WUIs. (See
   Maps 3 and 5 for the location of WUIs in relation to the treatment units.) I find that treating these
   areas is appropriate under the HFRA Section 102(a)(4) authority. Section 102(a)(4) of HFRA
   authorizes vegetation management projects on lands where insect or disease epidemic impacts
   national forest system lands.
   The attached D-Bug Mountain Pine Beetle Progression map identifies mountain pine beetle
   outbreak locations in the vicinity of the project area from 2005 to 2010. Further, the FEIS (page
   103) describes the impact of continued mountain pine beetle infestations and the resulting fuel
   accumulations in the project area. The FEIS also addresses this issue related to insect outbreak
   and treated areas (FEIS Appendix A, pg. 199). As identified in the Community Wildfire
   Protection Plan (CWPP), State Highways 138 and 230 are critical transportation routes in and
   out of eastern Douglas County (http://www.co.douglas.or.us/planning/Wildfire
   Plans/pdfs/Diamondlake.pdf).
   Stands outside of the immediate outbreak are at high risk of being infested by the beetle because
   they have stand characteristics that put them at risk (dense stands that are older than 80 and have
   lodgepole pines greater than 8 inches dbh). History shows us that it is only a matter of time that
   these stands will also be affected. These stands outside of WUI are immediately adjacent to
   evacuation routes and treatment is necessary to reduce the number of potential host trees which
   in turn will decrease beetle caused tree mortality and subsequent accumulation of fuel and hazard
   trees.

   LRMP Amendments
   Section 102(b) of the HFRA states that “An authorized hazardous fuel reduction project shall be
   conducted consistent with the resource management plan and other relevant administrative
   policies or decisions applicable to the Federal land covered by the project.” As noted above on
   page 29, amending the LRMP is consistent with Forest Service planning regulations at 36 CFR
   218.3. The project specific amendments for the D-Bug project ensure consistency with the
   Umpqua LRMP.

   Endangered Species Act

   All required consultation on the effects to northern spotted owl with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
   Service (USFWS) is completed. A biological assessment (BA) was provided to the USFWS on
   August 6, 2010. On September 10, 2010, the USFWS issued a biological opinion (BO) for the D-



                                                    35
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale. The findings were that the D-Bug project may affect, and is
   likely to adversely affect, the northern spotted owl, but was not likely to jeopardize the continued
   existence of the species (Biological Opinion, pages 1 and 57). Additionally, the USFWS issued
   incidental take in the form of non-lethal harm for six pairs and nine young spotted owls. The D-
   Bug project will downgrade 1,195 acres of nesting, roosting, and foraging (NRF) habitat.

   Recovery Action 32 requires maintaining substantially all of the older and more structural
   complex multi-layered conifer forests, while allowing for other threats, such as fire and insects to
   be addressed by restoration management actions. RA-32 stands “are characterized as having
   large diameter trees, high amounts of canopy cover, and decadence components such as broken-
   topped live trees, mistletoes, cavities, large snags, and fallen trees.” These stands for the D-Bug
   project are displayed in Maps 15 and 16 and identified in Table 9. RA-32 allows for restoration
   management actions to address insect and disease. The USFWS felt that,

            “Approximately 5 percent of the proposed treatments will occur within stands considered
            to be high-quality spotted owl habitat. These stands are all either within WUIs or along
            designated evacuation routes. As such the long-term results of project implementation
            will likely be a significant reduction in the risk of losing untreated NRF and dispersal
            habitat within and adjacent to the Action Area due to the presence of the various fuel
            breaks that will be created and maintained in a functional condition throughout the
            Action Area. This risk reduction goal comports well with several long-term recovery plan
            objectives, including Recovery Actions #5, 32, and 33.”

   The Forest Service wildlife biologist assigned to the D-Bug project did not identify any RA-32
   stands in the Biological Assessment nor the FEIS. However, during formal consultation, the
   USFWS biologists did identify 216.5 acres as meeting RA-32 requirements (Table 10). The
   Forest Service biologist’s professional opinion was that there wasn’t enough snags and down
   wood present within those stands, coupled with the amount of disturbance from recreation during
   the breeding season and winter within those units. The USFWS biologist felt that the stands did
   qualify. The FEIS was printed prior to receiving the BO from USFWS resulting in a discrepancy
   between the FEIS and BO.

   Table 9. Stands Meeting RA-32 Definition
      Unit Number                             Treatment Type                             Acres
             82          Mixed Conifer Thinning                                             74
             83          Mixed Conifer Thinning                                            28.5
             84          Lodgepole Variable Density Thinning                                10
             85          Lodgepole Variable Density Thinning                                19
             86          Mixed Conifer Thinning                                             47
             89          Mixed Conifer Thinning                                             30
             90          Mixed Conifer Thinning                                              4
            997          Non Commercial Fuels Reduction                                      4
    Total                                                                                 216.5




                                                   36
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



   The D-Bug Project action area ranges in elevation from 3,770 to 6,434 feet with the mean
   elevation being 5,098 feet. The project area is a mixture of pure lodgepole pine and mixed
   conifer stands dominated by Douglas-fir and Shasta red fir with a western hemlock and white fir
   understory. The project is at the eastern edge of the Western Cascades Physiographic Province,
   and is within 2 ½ miles of the boundary of the Eastern Cascades Province. However, in terms of
   the functionality of the habitat, the northern spotted owl effects analysis (FEIS, pgs. 171-173)
   describes risk reduction strategies for both eastern and western cascades provinces. The project
   area boundary is along the eastside province boundary and several of the spotted owl home
   ranges would be part of that province as well as those that are long the edge of the Western
   Cascades.

   The cumulative effects considered in both the BA (pg. 11-15) and BO (pg. 25-26) include past
   logging, barred owl, and wildfire (BA, pgs. 13-14 and 39 and BO, pgs. 57).

   There are no effects to listed fish species and their Essential Fish Habitat, thus consultation was
   not required. There are also no effects to listed plants or their habitats.

   Biological Evaluations for Sensitive Species

   Biological Evaluations were prepared to assess potential effects to sensitive species as identified
   by the Regional Forester. This evaluation for aquatic species and terrestrial wildlife determined
   that while there may be impacts to individual sensitive species, those effects are not likely to
   contribute to a trend toward federal listing or loss of viability of the population or species. There
   would be no impact to any sensitive plant species.

   The Preservation of American Antiquities Act and The National Historic
   Preservation Act

   A cultural resource inventory has been completed for the project area. On November 24, 2008,
   the Umpqua National Forest submitted to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
   fulfilling the requirements of the 2004 Programmatic Agreement Among the United States
   Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), the Advisory
   Council on Historic Resources, and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office Regarding
   Cultural Resource Management in the State of Oregon by the USDA Forest Service. The
   activities in the selected alternative have been designed to have No Effect or No Adverse Effect
   for cultural resource sites through both protection and avoidance. SHPO concurred with a “No
   Adverse Effect” finding.

   Clean Water Act

   The Clean Water Act establishes a non-degradation policy for all federally proposed projects.
   The selected alternative meets anti-degradation standards through planning, application, and
   monitoring of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The Environmental Protection Agency has
   certified the Oregon Forest Practices Act and regulations as BMPs. The State of Oregon has
   compared Forest Service practices with the State practices and concluded that Forest Service
   practices meet or exceed State requirements. Chapter 2 of the FEIS lists site-specific BMPs,
   project design features (PDFs), and resource protection measures that are common to all action


                                                    37
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   alternatives.

   The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has identified water quality impaired
   streams and bodies of water throughout the State of Oregon as required by the Clean Water Act,
   Section 303(d). The water quality listings of the D-Bug planning area are summarized in Table
   3-49 of the FEIS. Lake Creek was identified as water quality impaired for elevated water
   temperatures and pH. Lemolo Reservoir was also listed for elevated pH. Diamond Lake was
   listed for pH, aquatic, weeds/algae and dissolved oxygen. Both temperature and pH in Lake
   Creek are influenced by the water quality of the outflow from Diamond Lake.

   The Umpqua Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was approved in 2007. It allows for no
   increase in stream temperature. The selected alternative would not have a direct or indirect
   effect on stream temperature as the riparian thinning would retain the effective shade in the
   primary shade zone along perennial streams as described in the “Northwest Forest Plan
   Temperature TMDL Implementation Strategies” (USDA/USDI, 2009). BMPs include primary
   shade protection, stream course identification, limited operation near streams, and directional
   falling where applicable, to ensure protection of perennial stream shade.

   Dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH would not be affected by the selected alternative. According to
   the Umpqua Basin TMDL (ODEQ, 2006), Diamond Lake’s high pH and low DO levels were a
   result of changes in the internal lake loading of nitrogen and phosphorus, not external nutrient
   loading from the watershed. The internal lake nutrient output is a result of the introduction of tui
   chub and the subsequent population explosion changing the lake biology, which had dramatic
   consequences on nutrient cycling in the lake which ultimately led to algae blooms, high pH
   values, and reduced dissolved oxygen levels. The internal nutrient output is also the source of
   the pH in Lake Creek. Water quality recovery has been observed since the rotenone treatment in
   2006 and will likely continue. Therefore, the selected alternative would not affect nutrient input
   to Diamond Lake, Lemolo Reservoir, or planning area streams and thus have no affect on pH or
   DO levels.

   2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule

   The 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule (36 CFR Section 294.13) provides direction for
   management within Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs) including particular requirements when
   timber may be cut, sold, or removed within Inventoried Roadless Areas. Two inventoried
   roadless areas would be affected by the D-Bug project, Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek
   Appendage. Maps 11 and 12 display where the treatments will occur with the IRAs. Within
   Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA, there will be 32 acres of non-commercial fuel treatments. Within
   Mt. Bailey IRA, 297 acres of non-commercial fuel treatment and 78 acres of commercial fuel
   treatment were analyzed in Alternative 5. This decision encompasses all 329 acres of non-
   commercial fuel treatments within the two IRAs. However, for commercial treatments, I am
   deferring a decision on a unit 15 (approximately 8 acres within Mt. Bailey IRA), because surveys
   have not been completed. My decision includes commercial treatments on 70 acres.

   The particular following requirements of the Roadless Rule apply to my decision:




                                                    38
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   A road may not be constructed or reconstructed in inventoried roadless areas of the National
   Forest System, expect as provided in paragraph (b) of this section (36 CFR 294.12).

   The D-Bug project does not include any construction or reconstruction of roads within an IRA;
   therefore, I find that the project complies with this requirement of the Roadless Rule.

   The purpose is to maintain or restore the characteristics of ecosystem composition or
   structure, such as to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire effects, within the range of
   variability that would be expected to occur under natural disturbance regimes of the current
   climatic period (36 CFR 294.13 (b)(1)(ii)).

   Both commercial and non-commercial treatments are within mixed-conifer stands which, as the
   result of fire-suppression, have developed closed crowns and fuel ladders. Lodgepole and other
   pines are mixed in with these stands. Because of stand density, these stands are stressed making
   the pine species more susceptible to insect attack, further increasing the fuel loads. These forest
   conditions put them at increased risk of an uncharacteristic wildfire and the adverse resource
   effects that would result. Element 4 of the Purpose and Need (FEIS, pg. 19) describes this need.

   Treatments within IRAs are designed to alter fire behavior to a point where it is safe and
   manageable and to reduce fire effects within treatment units. Prescriptions are designed such that
   resulting stand conditions both meet fire behavior reduction goals and more closely mimic
   historical stand structures.
   Commercial and non-commercial removal of small-diameter trees would open the stands and
   increase the distance between the tree canopies. The treatments would also decrease small trees
   that are likely to serve as ladder fuels, and reduce ground-level fuel loads. As described in the
   Fuels section of the FEIS, by reducing tree densities and ground fuels, there is an indirect
   beneficial effect of reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire effects (FEIS, pg. 129). In
   addition, acres outside of the areas treated would also benefit from reduced uncharacteristic
   wildlife effects (FEIS, pgs. 323-324).

   The timber is generally small diameter (36 CFR 294.13 (b)(1)).

   I find that the timber to be removed from the IRAs is generally of small diameter in both non-
   commercial and commercial fuel treatments within the IRAs based on the analysis in the FEIS.
   Within Thirsty Creek IRA, modeling indicates that the weighted average quadratic mean
   diameter of trees will be 7.0 inches post-treatment versus 4.9 inches pre-treatment (FEIS, pg.
   331). Within Mt. Bailey IRA, the weighted average quadratic mean diameter of trees will be 7.3
   inches post-treatment versus 5.4 inches pre-treatment (FEIS, pg. 333). A larger quadratic mean
   diameter post-treatment means that the material removed is the smaller material in the stand.

   Timber cutting, sale and/or removal are needed to maintain or improve one or more of the
   roadless area characteristics (36 CFR 294.13 (b) (1)).

   Roadless area characteristics are resources or features that are often present in and characterize
   inventoried roadless areas, including:




                                                    39
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



       1)   high quality or undisturbed soil, water, and air;
       2)   sources of public drinking water;
       3)   diversity of plant and animal communities;
       4)   habitat for threatened, endangered, proposed, candidate, and sensitive species and for
            those species dependent on large, undisturbed areas of land;
       5)   primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized and semi-primitive motorized classes of
            dispersed recreation;
       6)   reference landscapes;
       7)   natural appearing landscapes with high scenic quality;
       8)   traditional cultural properties and sacred sites; and
       9)   other locally identified unique characteristics.

       Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA - As noted in the FEIS on page 325, this IRA is bordered
       around 80 percent of its perimeter with Forest Service roads. The distance between roads is
       about one mile where it is contiguous to the Oregon Cascades Recreational Area (OCRA).
       Appendix C of the LRMP (pg. 138 to 144) identifies hunting as the primary recreational
       pursuit; however, we know that others visit the area primarily while enroute to other
       destinations. While Appendix C notes that “the natural ecosystems have remained
       unchanged”, it also recognizes the roads separate the IRA from the larger, generally
       unroaded OCRA. Therefore; this IRA does not contribute to “species dependent on large,
       undisturbed areas of land”. Additionally, Appendix C notes that the area is not unique as the
       primary vegetation is lodgepole pine with pockets of other species which is also represented
       in the OCRA and Mt. Thielsen Wilderness Area, not providing for the roadless characteristic
       of “reference landscapes”. Additionally, the roads and vegetation types do not provide for
       natural appearing landscapes with high scenic quality. The primary roadless characteristic of
       this area is “primitive, semi-primitive, non-motorized and semi-primitive motorized classes
       of dispersed recreation”.

       I find that the non-commercial fuel treatment in the Thirsty Creek Appendage IRA is needed
       to maintain the dispersed recreation in the area. The non-commercial fuel treatments will
       occur immediately adjacent to county road 60. These treatments will provide for safer
       conditions for recreationists to evacuate when a wildfire occurs. Additionally, these
       treatments will reduce the risk of human caused fires, which generally are started along
       roads, from impacting the OCRA and Mt. Thielsen Wilderness Area.

       Mt. Bailey IRA – The Mt. Bailey IRA is 18,627 acres, bordered on the east side by Road
       4795. Mt. Bailey IRA, as a whole, provides for several roadless characteristics. Appendix C
       of the LRMP (pg. 128-136) describes the vegetation in the IRA as diverse with four forest
       zones represented; Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock-Shasta red fir, and
       subalpine fir-mountain hemlock. Additionally, there are non-vegetated areas in the IRA;
       cinder, lava flows, glacial washes, or talus slopes. Recreation uses in the area include: guided
       downhill cat-ski operation, hunting, hiking, camping, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling.
       Because of the IRAs large size, the diversity in vegetation and the variety of motorized and
       non-motorized use in the area, it provides for a diversity of plant and animal species, habitat
       for threatened, endangered, proposed, candidate, and sensitive species and for those species
       dependent on large, undisturbed areas of land; primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized and



                                                    40
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



       semi-primitive motorized classes of dispersed recreation; reference landscapes; and natural
       appearing landscapes with high scenic quality. Similar reference landscapes do occur in areas
       protected from management including the wilderness areas and Crater Lake National Park.

       In considering the effects on the roadless characteristics, I considered existing impacts to the
       roadless characteristics in the area to be treated because of the proximity to the road and
       developed recreation areas and the paved trail which receives a lot of visitor use. Roadless
       area characteristics in the project area are different from the remainder of the roadless area.
       Immediately across Road 4795 are 102 recreation residences and a campground. It is along
       this road that both non-commercial and commercial fuel treatments will occur within the Mt.
       Bailey IRA. Additionally, the commercial fuel treatments within the IRA will occur between
       Road 4795 and Dellenback Trail, a paved bike and hiking trail within the IRA. In this
       particular part of the IRA, the roadless characteristics are primitive, semi-primitive non-
       motorized and semi-primitive motorized classes of dispersed recreation. Both non-
       commercial and commercial fuel treatments will provide for safer conditions for
       recreationists to evacuate when a wildfire occurs.

       Additionally, the planned fuel treatments will reduce the risk of a human caused fires, which
       are generally associated with frequent human use (along roads and trails, in campgrounds,
       and in recreation residential areas), from affecting the larger intact Mt. Bailey IRA. The
       treatments will also give fire managers more options to use suppression strategies that are
       less obtrusive and provide a more complete range of response options to address fires that do
       not threaten roadless characteristics and may be beneficial to the resources. Also, on a
       landscape scale, the fuel treatments along the road will help to maintain the roadless
       characteristics of diversity of plant and animal species, habitat for threatened, endangered,
       proposed, candidate, and sensitive species and for those species dependent on large,
       undisturbed areas of land; primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized and semi-primitive
       motorized classes of dispersed recreation; reference landscapes; and natural appearing
       landscapes with high scenic quality. Therefore, I find that both non-commercial and
       commercial fuel treatment are needed to maintain the roadless characteristics within the Mt.
       Bailey IRA.

   The cutting, sale, or removal of timber is incidental to the implementation of a management
   activity not otherwise prohibited. (36 CFR 294.13 (b)(2)). This criteria applies to cutting and
   removal of roadside danger trees. The primary reason for removing danger trees is they are a
   hazard to the public; therefore, I find the cutting, sale, and removal of roadside danger trees
   incidental to removing the hazard.

   The cutting and sale of timber is expected to be infrequent (36 CFR 294.13 (b)). Once a
   fuelbreak is established, non-commercial methods, such as removing saplings or shrubs, are
   typically used to maintain the fuelbreak. In this situation, fuels would likely be treated every 10
   to 30 years based on site productivity. The exact frequency of the maintenance cannot be
   predicted because of the variability of site productivity and will be identified through time.
   However, based on maintenance treatments every 10 to 30 years, I find that cutting timber
   (saplings and shrubs) within IRAs would be infrequent.




                                                    41
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   Secretary of Agriculture Policy on Inventoried Roadless Areas

   On May 28, 2009, Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack reserved final decision authority of certain forest
   management and road construction projects in inventoried roadless areas. On October 2, 2009,
   the Secretary re-delegated authority to the Forest Service for the cutting, sale, or removal of
   generally small diameter timber when needed for certain purposes; this was re-iterated in the
   Secretary of Agriculture’s memorandum 1042-155 dated May 28, 2010. One of these purposes is
   “To maintain or restore the characteristics of ecosystem composition and structure, such as to
   reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire effects within the range of variability that would be
   expected to occur under natural disturbance regimes of the current climatic period.” As noted
   above, this project achieves this purpose; therefore, the Forest Service has the authority for this
   decision.

   Civil Rights and Environmental Justice

   Executive Order (EO) 12898 on environmental justice requires federal agencies to identify and
   address any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on
   minority and low income populations. The FEIS analysis (pgs. 359 to 360) at 359 and 360
   focuses on potential effects from the project to minority populations, disabled persons, and low-
   income groups. There would be no change in access and no known adverse effects that would be
   disproportional to any minority or low income population as a result of implementation of the D-
   Bug Project, thus this project complies with EO 12898.

   ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OPPORTUNITIES
   The D-Bug Hazard reduction Timber Sale Project is an HFRA project subject to regulations at
   36 CFR 218 rather than appeal regulations at 36 CFR 215. The Forest Service completed the
   objection process set forth in 36 CFR 218, which implements a predecisional administrative
   review process for proposed hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized by the HFRA (§
   218.13). Four objections were received by the Regional Forester. One objection was dismissed
   because the objector had not commented on the project as a private individual. Another objector
   withdrew their objection; however it was after the objection was reviewed and responded to by
   the Regional Office. I met with the three remaining objectors. The objections were not resolved
   during the objection period; however, I continued discussions with the parties to better
   understand their interests. This decision was signed after all pending objections were responded
   to and no sooner than the fifth business day following the end of the objection-filing period (§
   218.11). Therefore, implementation of this decision is now authorized to begin.
   The Healthy Forest Restoration Act established that a person may bring a civil action challenging
   an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project in a Federal district court only if the person has
   challenged the project by exhausting the administrative review process established by the
   Secretary of Agriculture. Only those who objected to this project may challenge it in district
   court. In accordance with 36 CFR 218.11(b)(2), there is no further administrative review for this
   project. Section 106 of the HFRA establishes direction governing judicial review of lawsuits
   challenging hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the Act.




                                                   42
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   IMPLEMENTATION
   Implementation of this project can begin immediately. My intention is to implement this project
   through service contracts, timber sale contracts, and/or stewardship contracts. As described in the
   Best Management Practices, Mitigation Measures, Project Design Features, and Monitoring
   section of the FEIS (pages 55-68), the following seasonal restrictions apply for project activities:
       •   To protect water quality, all work in stream crossings is limited to the dry season only.
       •   To protect nesting Northern Spotted Owls, timber harvesting and road construction
           operations are prohibited from March 1 to July 15 in mixed conifer stands that contain
           portions of nesting, roosting or foraging habitat.
       •   To protect nesting Bald Eagles, timber harvest operations are prohibited during the
           breeding season (January through August 31st) within 660 feet of nests.
       •   To provide visitors a positive recreation experience, no operations will be conducted
           between Memorial Day and Labor Day on west side of Diamond Lake summer
           homes/recreation residences area; South Shore Picnic Site; Broken Arrow Campground;
           Thielsen View Campground, Poole Creek Campground; and within all special use permit
           areas (Diamond Lake Resort, Diamond Lake RV Park and Lemolo Resort).

   Procedure for Change during Implementation
   Minor changes may be needed during implementation to better meet on-site resource
   management and protection objectives. In determining whether and what kind of further NEPA
   action is required, the Responsible Official will consider the criteria for whether to supplement
   an existing Environmental Impact Statement in 40 CFR 1502.9(c) and FSH 1909.15, sec. 18, and
   in particular, whether the proposed change is a substantial change to the intent of the Selected
   Alternative as planned and already approved, and whether the change is relevant to
   environmental concerns. Connected or interrelated proposed changes regarding particular areas
   or specific activities will be considered together in making this determination. The cumulative
   impacts of these changes will also be considered.
   The intent of field verification prior to my decision was to confirm inventory data and to
   determine the feasibility and general design and location of a road or unit, not to locate the final
   boundaries or road locations. Minor adjustments to unit boundaries may be needed during final
   layout for resource protection, to improve logging system efficiency, and to better meet the intent
   of my decision. Many of these minor changes will not present sufficient potential impacts to
   require any specific documentation or action to comply with applicable laws.
   Best management practices, project design features, and mitigation measures
   Best management practices (BMPs), mitigation measures, and project design features (PDFs) are
   site-specific management activities designed to avoid or reduce the adverse impacts of the fuel
   treatments and associated activities. These measures will be implemented through project design
   and layout, contract specifications, contract administration, and monitoring. I have decided to
   implement all design and mitigation measures specified in the FEIS (pages 55-68), with the
   changes noted in the Decision section above.
   These selected measures will adequately prevent adverse effects for the following reasons: 1) the
   selected mitigation measures are practices we have used successfully in the past; 2) they are


                                                    43
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                 Record of Decision



   State-recognized best management practices for protecting water quality; and 3) they are based
   on current research. I have decided to monitor the implementation of these measures and, in
   some instances, to monitor their effectiveness.
   Monitoring
   Monitoring of the D-Bug Project is designed to accomplish three purposes: 1) to assure that all
   aspects of the project are implemented as intended; 2) to determine, for certain critical activities,
   that the effects of the activities are consistent with the intent; and 3) to allow adaptation if it is
   found that activities are not being implemented correctly or are not having the desired effects.
   My decision includes establishment of a multi-party monitoring group. This group would
   conduct periodic field reviews to evaluate implementation practices and effectiveness of
   prescribed project design features and mitigation measures. I encourage interested parties to
   participate in the monitoring activities. The following specific monitoring items were identified
   in the FEIS:
          •   Forest long-term stream temperature monitoring sites include Mowich Creek and Lake
              Creek which are applicable to the D-Bug planning area. The ongoing stream temperature
              monitoring at these sites is evaluated each year.
          •   The levels of effective ground cover will be monitored, as funding allows. If monitoring
              determines that effective ground cover goals are not met, then site-specific
              recommendations will be developed by a soil scientist and the timber sale administrator.
              Units around summer homes and lodgepole pine stands shall be given priority for
              monitoring.
          •   Post-harvest fuels monitoring will take place at a scale deemed appropriate by district fire
              managers to ensure activity-created fuel loads do not generally exceed those predicted or
              otherwise present hazardous conditions.
          •   Additionally, I am including specific monitoring for unit 164. This unit was changed
              from commercial thinning to firewood. The objective of the monitoring is to evaluate if
              additional thinning or fuels treatment are necessary to meet objectives.


   C ONTACT P ERS ON
   For additional information concerning this decision, contact: Bill Gamble, Diamond Lake
   District Ranger, 2020 Toketee Ranger Station Road, Idleyld Park Oregon 97447, (541) 498-
   2531.


   RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL


   /s /   Clifford J. Dils                                                          APRIL 22, 2011

   Clifford J. Dils                                                                     Date
   Forest Supervisor



                                                       44
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                            Record of Decision



                                       ATTACHMENT 1
                     FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
                                ERRATA SUMMARY

   Information from the D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project Final Environmental Impact
   Statement (FEIS) that has been corrected is indicated in this errata summary by bold italicized
   text and information that has been deleted is indicated by strikethrough.

   Summary, Alternative 2 – Proposed Action (page S-7):

   “Variable-density commercial thinning of 3,165 acres in lodgepole pine stands (leaving 20-70
   TPA); thinning 1,145 acres of lodgepole and mixed-conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and thinning
   of 2,247 acres in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-90 TPA). The lodgepole variable-density
   thinning would not generate any openings greater than 40 acres in size. These commercial
   thinnings include 620 acres within the outer edges of the Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek
   Appendage IRAs, and 318 acres along the edge of within the OCRA.”

   Summary, Alternative 5- Preferred Alternative (page S-8):

   “Variable-density commercial thinning of 2,016 acres in lodgepole pine stands, leaving 20-70
   TPA interspersed with 10 percent of the area with no treatment; commercial thinning of 1,332
   acres of lodgepole-mixed conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and commercial thinning of 1,500 acres
   in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-200 TPA). These commercial thinnings include 78 acres
   along the outer edges of the within Mt. Bailey IRA. The lodgepole variable-density thinning
   would not generate any openings greater than 40 acres in size.”


   Summary, page S-10

   Table S-2. Response to Significant Issues by Alternative.

                                                          Alternative   Alternative
               Significant Issues                Alt. 1
                                                               2             5


   Issue 2 – IRA/OCRA/Potential Wilderness
   Areas
       • Acres of commercial thinning in the       0           318          0
           OCRA.
       • Acres of forest treated in the IRAs.      0           620          78
                  o Commercial treatment           0           345         329
                  o Non-Commercial treatment
       • Acres of treatment Potential              0           1,515      1,041
           Wilderness Areas (excluding overlap                 1,140       433
           with IRA and OCRA acres)




                                                   45
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                       Record of Decision




   Chapter 2, Description of Activities in Alternative 2 (page 36):

   “Variable-density commercial thinning of 3,165 acres in lodgepole pine stands (leaving 20-70
   TPA); thinning 1,145 acres of lodgepole and mixed-conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and thinning
   of 2,247 acres in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-90 TPA). The lodgepole variable-density
   thinning would not generate any openings greater than 40 acres in size. These commercial
   thinnings include 620 acres within the outer edges of the Mt. Bailey and Thirsty Creek
   Appendage IRAs, and 318 acres along the edge of within the OCRA.”

   Chapter 2, Description of Activities in Alternative 5 (page 45):

   “Variable-density commercial thinning of 2,016 acres in lodgepole pine stands, leaving 20-70
   TPA interspersed with 10 percent of the area with no treatment; commercial thinning of 1,332
   acres of lodgepole-mixed conifer (leaving 50-200 TPA); and commercial thinning of 1,500 acres
   in mixed-conifer stands (leaving 50-200 TPA). These commercial thinnings include 78 acres
   along the outer edges of the within Mt. Bailey IRA. The lodgepole variable-density thinning
   would not generate any openings greater than 40 acres in size.”

   Chapter 3, Forest Vegetation analysis (page 97):

   “Alternative 2 includes 200-300 acres of mixed conifer stands that qualify as nesting, roosting,
   and foraging (NRF) habitat for Northern Spotted Owls (Table 3-25, Wildlife section).
   Treatments in these areas would maintain 60% canopy closure, thus maintaining suitable NRF
   habitat following treatment. Alternative 5 removed the 200-300 acres of NRF habitat, as those
   areas were greater than 400m away from a roadside.”


   Chapter 3, Sensitive Species analysis (page 148):

   FEIS Table 3-21. List of the sensitive species and their habitats on the Umpqua National Forest.

     Common        Scientific
      Name                                            Habitat Description and Information
                    Name



                   Strix          Old growth conifer forests or younger forests with old growth remnant structures
  Northern
                   occidentalis   such as large trees, snags and down wood. There are 7 historic owl cores within 2
  Spotted
                   caurina        miles of the D-Bug planning area. The D-Bug planning area is at the eastern
  Owl
                                  edge of the western cascades physiographic province, and is within 2 ½ miles
                                  of the boundary of the eastern cascades province.




                                                        46
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                                   Record of Decision



   Chapter 3, Sensitive Species analysis (page 150-151):

   FEIS Table 3-22. Umpqua National Forest sensitive species pre-field review and summary.
    Sensitive       Is species or habitat in or           Is impact or effect               Loss of viability or trend?
    Species         adjacent?                             expected?
                    Yes, there are 7 historic owl cores                                     No loss of population viability or trend
    Northern        within 2 miles of the planning area   May impact individuals or
                                                                                            towards Federal listing would occur
    spotted owl     and 14 NSOOM points in the            habitat
                                                                                            as a result of any alternative.
                    planning area




   Chapter 3, Riparian Reserve analysis (page 278):
   The thinning in the riparian mixed conifer stands under the action alternatives would lower the
   existing overstory canopy closure, (ranging from 50-60 percent today) down to 40 percent. This
   drop in overstory canopy closure would gradually recover over several decades, as long as no
   fires or follow-up treatments occur. These changes in canopy closure would allow more light
   penetration in these mixed conifer stands, resulting in warmer and dryer riparian forest
   conditions compared to Alternative 1.

   Chapter 3, OCRA, IRAs, and Potential Wilderness Areas analysis (page 333):

   FEIS Table 3-65. Units within the Mt. Bailey IRA under Alternative 5.
                                                                                      Pre-Treatment          Post-
   Unit Numbers             Prescription                  Acres                       Average QMD            Treatment
                                                                                                             Average QMD
   2, 8, 15, 86, 89, 94     9                             41.5                        9.5                    9.7
   TOTALS                                                 373                         Weighted               Weighted
                                                                                      Average –              Average –
                                                          (78 commercial; 306
                                                          non-commercial)             5.4 DBH                7.3 DBH


   The total acres of commercial treatment in the Mt Bailey IRA was changed from 68 to 78 acres
   to include hazard tree removal treatments which is consistent with Table S-2 of the FEIS.

   Chapter 3, Potential Wilderness Area analysis (pages 334 - 339):

   FEIS Table 3-66. Affected Acres in Potential Wilderness Areas.
   Potential
                  Acres on the
   Wilderness                                   Alternative 2 Acres                         Alternative 5 Acres
                  Umpqua NF
   Area
                                                                   Non-                                         Non-
                                        Commercial                                    Commercial
                                                                 Commercial                                   Commercial
   PWA – 1        3,307               221                   48 50                217                       78
   PWA – 4        18,753              167                   442 305              16 94                     379 303
   PWA – 5        35,333              1,048 752             666 220              51 122                    3,408 338
   TOTAL          57,393              1,436 1,140           1,156 575            284 433                   3,865 719




                                                                 47
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                            Record of Decision




   Potential
                Acres on the
   Wilderness                          Alternative 2 Acres                 Alternative 5 Acres
                Umpqua NF
   Area
                                                   Remaining
                                                                                       Remaining
                                 Commercial          Area          Commercial
                                                                                     Area Qualifying
                                  Treatment       Qualifying as     Treatment
                                                                                        as PWA
                                                     PWA
   PWA – 1      3,307          221               3,086            217                3,090
   PWA – 4      18,753         167               18,586           16 94              18,737 18,659
   PWA – 5      35,333         1,048 752         34,285 34,581    51 122             35,282 35,211
   TOTAL        57,393         1,436 1,140       55,957 56,253    284 433            57,109 56,960



   PWA-4
   There would be 167 acres in Alternative 2 and 16 94 acres in Alternative 5 that would be
   commercially harvested in PWA-4. Essentially this management would remove those areas from
   consideration as potential wilderness. Under Alternative 2 there would be 18,586 acres
   remaining as potential wilderness while under Alternative 5 there would be 18,737 18,659 acres
   remaining (see Table 3-67 3-66).
   PWA-5
   There would be 1,048 752 acres in Alternative 2 that would be commercially harvest in PWA-5.
   Under Alternative 2 there would be 34,285 34,581 acres remaining as potential wilderness.
   Under Alternative 5 there would be 51 122 acres commercially harvested.
   With the 51 122 acres of commercial treatment there would be 35,282 35,211 acres remaining as
   potential wilderness.

   Chapter 3, Areas Proposed as Wilderness analysis (page 339)

   FEIS Table 3-68. Affected Acres in Areas Proposed as Wilderness (APW) by Environmental
   Organizations.
      Area
   Proposed     Acres on the
                                       Alternative 2 Acres                 Alternative 5 Acres
       as       Umpqua NF
   Wilderness
                                                     Non-
                                 Commercial                        Commercial        Non-Commercial
                                                   Commercial
   APW-8        1,765          21.8              18.4             21.8               12.6
   TOTAL        8,337          459.9             25.2             400.8              50.6




                                                   48
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   APW-8 (page 343): “Under Alternative 5, 18.4 acres would receive commercial treatment and
   12.6 acres would receive non-commercial.”


   Chapter 3, Management Indicator Species (pages 192-207)

   Analyses of the effects of the D-Bug project to the Northern Spotted Owl and Bald Eagle were
   included in the Threatened and Sensitive species section of the FEIS, and the Peregrine Falcon in
   the Sensitive Species section. However, these three species have also been identified as
   Management Indicator Species in the LRMP, therefore, the following language should have been
   included in the MIS portion of the FEIS, which begins on page 192:
   Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
   Existing Condition
   Please refer to the Northern Spotted Owl portion of the Threatened and Sensitive species section
   of the D-Bug FEIS.
   Status of the Species in the Planning Area
   There are no current surveys for owls within the action area. Due to the lack of recent survey
   data, spotted owl activity centers and home ranges within the action area have been estimated
   using the method identified by USDI-USDA (2008). That analysis resulted in an estimate of 17
   potential NSO home ranges/territories located around activity centers based either on known
   historic or on predicted activity center locations (KPACs) within the action area. Owl home
   ranges in southwestern Oregon are 1.2 miles and typically contain greater than 40% suitable
   habitat at the home range scale to support reproduction,
   Direct and Indirect Effects
   There are 17 known or predicted NSO home ranges overlapping proposed units in the D-Bug
   planning area (KPACs). There will be 1,195 acres of NRF habitat downgraded to dispersal
   habitat and 194 acres of dispersal habitat being treated and maintained. Three of these 17
   KPACs will be reduced below 40% suitable NRF at the home range scale after the proposed
   treatments, and 9 of the KPACs already have less than 40% suitable NRF at the home range prior
   to implementation of any action alternatives. There are 483 known or predicted NSO home
   ranges on the Umpqua NF, and the D-Bug Project contains 17 home ranges, or 3.5% of the entire
   Forest’s known or predicted owl locations.
   Disturbance Effects
   NSOs can be affected through noise generating disturbances within close proximity to both
   known NSO activity centers and spatially suitable habitat that may support nesting owls (USDI
   2009). All treatments within the action area will be subject to seasonal restrictions to reduce the
   potential for direct effects and disturbance impacts to spotted owls during the breeding season.
   The historic owl pair nest patch locations are all located more than ¾ of a mile away from any
   treatment unit. There are three KPACs within ¼ mile of treatment units, though all are along
   Highway 138. There are no helicopter units proposed for this project, so helicopter noise or
   flights will not be a source of disturbance. The temporary roads will be an increased source of
   disturbance until harvest actions have been completed and the roads have been decommissioned



                                                    49
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   after use. Temporary roads will provide additional access for OHV’s and snowmobiles while
   they remain open, which will be an additional source of disturbance to spotted owls. One KPAC
   (#382, which is 500m from Highway 138) has a temporary road adjacent to the nest patch along
   Highway 138, and KPACs 382, 430 and 434 have portions of temporary roads within their cores
   (Figure 12). The roads will only be used outside of the breeding season, and will be blocked
   from public access when not in use, however there is the potential that snowmobiles and cross
   country skiers could disturb nesting owls in the early spring prior to logging being completed.


   Effects to Critical Habitat
   There is no critical habitat located within the D-Bug planning area; therefore there will be no
   effect to Critical Habitat.


   Cumulative Effects
   Cumulative effects were disclosed in the TES portion of the FEIS.


   Effects Determination
   Because this project impacts less than 1% of the suitable NRF habitat across the Forest (D-Bug
   will downgrade 1,095 acres of NRF to dispersal habitat, out of a total of 431,763 acres of NRF
   on the Umpqua NF using 2008 biomapper NRF layer developed by Davis), and will result in the
   loss of suitability of three KPACs out of the 483 on the Forest, the overall direct, indirect and
   cumulative effects will result in a small negative trend in habitat on the Umpqua. The loss of
   habitat will be insignificant at the scale of the Forest. The D-Bug project is consistent with the
   NWFP. The NWFP analysis found that implementation will result in population viability for the
   NSO at the Regional and Forest scale (USDA 1994).

   Peregrine Falcon
   No species or habitat present.



   Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
   Existing Condition and Status of the Species in the Planning Area:
   Please refer to the Bald Eagle portion of the Threatened and Sensitive species section of the D-
   Bug FEIS.




                                                   50
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



                                                Diamond Lake
                                Site Name       Time Period   Young Fledged
                                                 2000-2004         6 Total
                                                                  3* Total
                                                 2005-2007      (1* in 2005)
                                 Rocky Point                     (2 in 2007)
                                                2008                None
                                                2009*                 2
                                                2010                  2


                                                 2000-2004        6 Total
                                 Silent Creek
                                                                    1*
                                                 2005-2007
                                                               (1* in 2005)
                                                2008-10        Not Occupied
                                                  Lemolo Lake
                                 Site Name      Time Period   Young Fledged
                                                 2000-2004       4 Total
                                                                    1*
                                                 2005-2007
                                Lemolo Lake                    (1* in 2005)
                                                2008              None
                                                2009                 1
                                                2010              None


   Direct and Indirect Effects
   There are four historic Bald Eagle nest locations on the Umpqua National Forest, and the D-Bug
   planning area contains three of those nest locations (the fourth is located at Toketee Lake). There
   will be not habitat lost as a result of any of the proposed alternatives. Territorial occupancy has
   been documented to continue without adverse effects to productivity after selective harvest in the
   fall adjacent to other Bald Eagle nest sites in Oregon (Arnett et al. 2001). In 2007, the area
   comprised of unit 84 was non-commercially thinned (all trees 5” dbh and less) and pile burned
   after the breeding season. In 2008 the pair returned to this area. Additional direct and indirect
   effects are disclosed in the Sensitive species section of this project.
   Cumulative Effects
   Cumulative effects were disclosed in the TES portion of the FEIS. None of the past, present or
   reasonably foreseeable actions described in table 3-1 of the FEIS are not expected to result in
   cumulative effects in combination with the D-Bug Project, because they will have no affect on
   species habitat. No short- or long-term Bald Eagle population decrease would occur; therefore,
   additive cumulative effects are not anticipated.
   Effects Determination
   Bald Eagle habitat (suitable nest stands and trees, as well as clean water for prey habitat) within
   the D-Bug Project Area will be maintained after the implementation of any of the action
   alternatives, therefore the D-Bug project will not affect Bald Eagles in the project area.


                                                        51
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



   Therefore, the D-Bug Project will not contribute to a negative trend in viability on the Umpqua
   National Forest for the Bald Eagle.


                                                    TRAILS
   The following trails were inadvertently not included in the Affected Environment. In the
   Diamond Lake area, Rodley Butte - #1452, Pizza Connect - #1457-D, Silent Creek - #1479, and
   Porcupine Creek Nature Trail - #1594 are all in the project area. In the Lemolo Lake area, Pit
   Lake – 1446 is in the project area. These trails are used year-around. The direct, indirect and
   cumulative effects to the trails listed above would be the same as what was described in the FEIS
   for the other trails.

   With Alternative 5, there would be no direct effects the Mt. Bailey Trail - #1451 because the unit
   where the trail went though was dropped under the alternative. For Alternative 5, 21.1 miles of
   trails and over 40 miles of roads that are used for Nordic skiing and snowmobiling would be
   affected by the project.

   Between the proposed action and Alternative 5, there was a reduction of approximately three
   miles of motorized trails that would be used as temporary roads. However, as indicted above,
   some trails were inadvertently excluded from the FEIS. When these trails are factored into the
   calculation of determining the impact of the use of trails for logging access, the result is an
   increase of 1.3 miles from Alternative 5 to the Selected Alternative and an increase in the
   number of acres of fuel treatment within 200 feet of trails of 165 acres.

   FEIS Table S-2. Response to Significant Issues by Alternative.

                                                             Alternative   Alternative
                Significant Issues                  Alt. 1
                                                                  2             5


   Issue 4 –Impacts of Thinning/Haul on Trails
       • Miles of existing trail used for logging
           access.                                    0          8.2           6.5
       • Acres of commercial & non-
           commercial treatment within 200 feet
           of trails.                                 0        2,253         2,229




                                                      52
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision



   Table 10. Trails affected by D-Bug treatment units, including those that will be used as temporary
   roads in implementing the Selected Alternative

                                                                                  Temp.
                                                          Length
                                                                       Total       Road
      Trail #                   Name                     Impacted
                                                                      Length      Length
                                                           (mi.)
                                                                                   (mi.)
    1410        NORTH CRATER                                4.4         8.6
    1446        PIT LAKE                                    0.1         0.5
    1448        HOWLOCK MTN.                                0.3         5.2
    1456        MT. THIELSEN                                0.1         4.8
    1457        CRATER (SUMMIT ROCK)                        7.2         7.9         4.9
    1457-D      PIZZA CONNECT                               0.5         0.5
    1460        DIAMOND LAKE LOOP                           3.7        10.9
    1460E       THIELSEN VIEW CONNECT                       0.1         0.1
    1460J       BROKEN ARROW CONNECTION SOUTH               0.2         0.2
    1460K       BROKEN ARROW CONNECTION NORTH               0.2         0.2
    1476        LEMOLO LAKE                                 2.0         5.7
    1479        SILENT CREEK                                0.6         1.3
    1481        HORSE N TEAL LAKES                          0.0         0.7
    1589Q       SILENT CREEK CONNECT                        1.5         1.6
    1594        PORCUPINE CREEK NATURE TRAIL                0.5         0.5
    SNO-1410    NORTH CRATER                                0.0         0.0
    SNO-1448    HOWLOCK MTN.                                0.0         0.0
    SNO-1456    MT. THIELSEN                                0.0         0.0
    SNO-1457    CRATER LAKE TRAIL                           0.0         7.9
    SNO-
    1457D       PIZZA CONNECT                               0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1457W       NORTH CRATER EXTENSION                      0.1         1.3
    SNO-1460    DIAMOND LAKE LOOP                           0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1460E       THIELSEN VIEW CONNECT                       0.0         0.0
    SNO-1460J   BROKEN ARROW CONNECTION SOUTH               0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1460K       BROKEN ARROW CONNECTION NORTH               0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1460L       OUTBACK                                     0.8         0.8
    SNO-1476    LEMOLO LAKE                                 0.0         0.0
    SNO-1479    SILENT CREEK                                0.0         0.0
    SNO-1481    HORSE N TEAL LAKES                          0.0         0.0
    SNO-1560J   OUTBACK                                     3.3         3.3
    SNO-1589    DIAMOND LAKE LOOP RD                        6.0        12.1
    SNO-        LAKE WEST                                   3.8         3.8



                                                   53
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                               Record of Decision



                                                                                  Temp.
                                                          Length
                                                                       Total       Road
      Trail #                   Name                     Impacted
                                                                      Length      Length
                                                           (mi.)
                                                                                   (mi.)
    1589A
    SNO-
    1589B       THIELSEN VIEW CG ROADS                      1.3         1.3
    SNO-
    1589C       BAILEY CONNECT                              0.1         3.1
    SNO-
    1589E       LEMOLO                                      7.8        15.8        0.6
    SNO-
    1589F       ELEPHANT MTN. LOOP                          0.8        15.0        0.4
    SNO-
    1589L       SOUTH CRATER CONNECT                        0.6         0.6
    SNO-
    1589M       WINDIGO WAY                                 4.0         7.4
    SNO-
    1589N       WINDIGO-LEMOLO CONNECT                      1.2         1.2
    SNO-
    1589P       BEAR CREEK                                  0.1        16.1
    SNO-
    1589Q       SILENT CREEK CONNECT                        0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1589R       NORTHERN EXPOSURE                           0.4         3.3        0.2
    SNO-
    1589T       WINDIGO-BEAR CONNECT                        0.6         1.4
    SNO-1590    CINNAMON BUTTE                              0.1         3.1
    SNO-1591    POOLE CREEK LOOP                            1.5         3.0
    SNO-
    1591A       POOLE-LEMOLO CONNECT NORTH                  0.1         0.1
    SNO-
    1591B       POOLE-LEMOLO CONNECT SOUTH                  0.0         0.0
    SNO-
    1591C       SIDEWINDER                                  0.6         1.2
    SNO-
    1591D       BOBTAIL                                     0.3         0.5
    SNO-
    1591E       PIPELINE                                    0.3        1.1
    SNO-1591I   KELSAY CONNECT                              0.3        1.2
                Total                                      55.6       153.5        6.2


   The trails listed in the table above with an impacted length of less than 0.05 mile are displayed
   with a length of 0.0 mile. Trails that are also SNO trails have impacted length displayed in non-
   SNO trail portion of table and are zeroed out in SNO trail portion in order to avoid double



                                                   54
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   counting impacted length. Trails with portions being used as temporary roads have lengths
   impacted in the Temp. Road Length (mi.) column.


                                                 S ILVICULTURE

   Lo d g e p o le P in e P re s c rip tio n s

   The lodgepole pine variable density thinning prescription (Prescription #2) will retain 20-70 trees
   per acre (TPA) 5” dbh and greater interspersed with 10 percent of the area with no treatment
   using mechanical harvest, yarding with tops attached, and masticating fuels.

   Page 54: Clarify second bullet point for Issue 6: “Acres of lodgepole pine w/40 lg. trees per
   acre retained” as follows:

            Two indicators for Issue 6 were used to track lodgepole thinning prescriptions, including:

            1. Acres of lodgepole pine regenerated: This indicator applies to Prescription #1, the
               overstory removal lodgepole pine prescription, which proposes to retain 20 TPA 5”
               dbh and greater. This prescription is proposed in Alternative 2 only.
            2. Acres of lodgepole and lodgepole pine/mixed conifer commercially thinned: This
               indicator applies to Prescription #2 which proposes to retain 20-70 TPA 5” dbh and
               greater. This prescription is proposed in both Alternative 2 and Alternative 5. This
               variable density thinning prescription would use variable density thinning to achieve
               unit-specific management objectives and would retain an average of 40-45 TPA 5”
               dbh and greater. The 40 large TPA metric captured the lower end of this retention
               range and was used as a second indicator to track Issue 6.

   Page 95: In Alternative 5, 20-70 TPA 5” dbh and greater will be retained. Retained trees will
            be variably spaced and interspersed with ten percent of the stand area not treated.”

   Page 104: Revise second sentence of paragraph 4 as follows:
           “Alternative 2 proposes to implement the variable density lodgepole pine treatment
           retaining 20-70 TPA 5” dbh and greater (Prescription #2) on 1,051 more acres than
           Alternative 5 (4,685 acres and 3,634 acres, for Alternative 2 and Alternative 5,
           respectively).”




                                                      55
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



                                       ATTACHMENT 2
            BIOLOGICAL EVALUATION AND BIOLOGICAL AS S ES S MENT
                            ERRATA SUMMARY


   Information from the D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project Wildlife Biological
   Evaluation and Biological Assessment that have been corrected are indicated in this errata
   summary by bold italicized text.

   Biological Evaluation, Wildlife-NWFP Requirements of Retention (page 4):

    “Prescriptions 2-4 would retain a minimum of 15% of each unit as uncut in a combination of
   aggregates and dispersed trees.”


   Biological Assessment, Wildlife-Northern Spotted Owl Province (page 22):

   The D-Bug Project action area ranges in elevation from 3,770 ft to 6,434 ft with the mean
   elevation being 5,098 ft. The action area is a mixture of pure lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)
   stands and mixed conifer stands dominated by Doug-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Shasta red
   fir, with a western hemlock and white fir understory. The action area is at the eastern edge of the
   western cascades physiographic province, and is within 2 ½ miles of the boundary of the
   eastern cascades province.




                                                   56
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                  Record of Decision




                                         ATTACHMENT 3
             CLARIFICATION REGARDING EFFECTS TO NORTHERN S P OTTED
                               OWLS AND HABITAT


   UNITS   WITH DOWNGRADING OF NRF HABITAT

   Biological Assessment (page 34):

   FEIS Table 10. List of all Northern Spotted Owl Occupancy Map points within the D-Bug Project action
   area listed by Id. The status column documents if it is a historically occupied site, or a computer
   generated point based upon the amount of suitable habitat available. The effects are listed at the nest
   patch (300m radius), core (800m radius) and home range (1931m radius) both “Pre” implementation
   and “Post” implementation. Post treatment habitat losses are highlighted in dark grey.
                             Pre      Post             Pre    Post               Pre    Post
                               Nest     Nest   Nest                                Home  Home   Home
                              Patch % Patch % Patch % Core % Core %     Core % Range % Range % Range %
      Id SITE #     STATUS      NRF     NRF   NRF Lost    NRF   NRF     NRF Lost    NRF   NRF  NRF Lost
       348        COMPUTED      52%     52%      0%       35%   35%        0%       38%   38%     1%
       352        COMPUTED      53%     53%      0%       32%   32%        0%       42%   37%     5%
       370        COMPUTED      96%     96%      0%       75%   75%        0%       34%   34%     0%
       376        COMPUTED      55%     55%      0%       38%   38%        0%       47%   43%     4%
       379        COMPUTED      96%     96%      0%       66%   66%        0%       48%   41%     7%
       381        COMPUTED      12%     12%      0%       12%   12%        0%       22%   19%     3%
       382        COMPUTED      72%     53%     19%       60%   38%       22%       43%   33%    11%
       417        COMPUTED      49%     49%      0%       59%   59%        0%       47%   47%     0%
       425        COMPUTED      17%     17%      0%       20%   19%        1%       18%   16%     2%
       430        COMPUTED      73%     73%      0%       49%   41%        8%       49%   41%     8%
       431        COMPUTED      42%     42%      0%       22%   22%        0%       28%   28%     0%
       434        COMPUTED      52%     52%      0%       48%   47%        0%       40%   36%     5%
       514 0830   PAIR          96%     96%      0%       87%   87%        0%       67%   67%     0%
       551 0835   PAIR          93%     93%      0%       65%   65%        0%       28%   28%     0%
       554 0831   PAIR          50%     50%      0%       43%   43%        0%       20%   20%     0%
       559 0858   PAIR          68%     68%      0%       51%   51%        0%       27%   27%     0%
       562 0810   PAIR          56%     56%      0%       56%   56%        0%       26%   26%     0%


   This language was not included in the BA and is provided here for clarification purposes: Owl
   ID’s 352, and 434 will both drop below 40% suitable NRF at the home range scale as a result of
   implementation of Alternative 5. Owl ID 382 will drop below 40% suitable owl habitat at the
   home range scale, and below 50% at the core scale in Alternative 5. Owl ID’s 348, 376, 379,
   381, 425, and 430 will all have NRF habitat downgraded at the home range scale.

   Stands that contain NRF habitat: 81-86, 89, 95-98, 101-120, 122, 133, 147, 156-158, 160-163,
   176, 198, 220, 300, and 997 (not all of these stands are 100% NRF; some contain small portions
   of NRF, but are included in this list).




                                                      57
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                            Record of Decision




   R ATIONALE FOR NORTHERN S P OTTED OWL HABITAT P OS T CANOP Y COVER
   Biological Assessment (page 36):
    “The units identified for this project are focused along roadsides and structures to function as
   fuel breaks, therefore it was determined that these treatments within and outside of NRF habitat
   are needed to modify within stand fire behavior, and the only means to do so and effect the
   ability of the stands to carry a crown fire is to reduce the canopy closure to 40%, which reduces
   the within stand likelihood of crown fire initiation from high to low (Dumm, Fuels Specialist
   Report). This level of treatment would substantially increase the within stand resiliency to
   crown replacing fire which would provide some level of long term benefit to spotted owls within
   the treatment units. Therefore, if these stands encounter wildfire fire post treatment, the
   structural components of spotted owl habitat, primarily larger diameter trees and larger diameter
   mid story trees will be more likely to survive than untreated stands encountering the same fire.
   Additionally, there is a documented “shadow” effect of reduced fire severity on stands directly
   adjacent to treated stands. The treated stand burns at a lower severity, which in turn slows or
   moderates fire behavior, which extends, conservatively, benefits approximately half of the width
   of the treated stand into the adjacent untreated stand (Dumm, Fuels Specialist Report, Loehle
   2004).”


   Biological Assessment (page 34):
   The D-Bug project is being proposed primarily to reduce risk of wildfire around WUI’s and to
   improve the ability of the public to safely evacuate in case of a wildfire. However it will also
   have benefits to spotted owl habitat by placing treatments alongside roads which reduces the
   need to treat away from roadsides in areas which have more values as spotted owl habitat (as
   they have less disturbance), and will allow Umpqua NF fire managers increased operational
   flexibility to suppress fires at the fuel breaks or manage wildfires by using the fuel breaks to
   check fire spread. Roadside suitable habitat will be adversely impacted by being degraded from
   suitable NRF to dispersal habitat in the short term, but the treatments may minimize large scale
   habitat loss by allowing fire managers to hold fires at the roadside treatment units. More spotted
   owl habitat has been lost as a result of wildfire than from timber harvest, with the trend
   increasing towards more frequent and larger wildfires consuming more owl habitat since the
   establishment of the Northwest Forest Plan (see Davis and Lint 2005, Healey et al. 2008,
   USFWS 2008a and Spies et al. 2010 among others).

   E FFECTS   OF P AS T LOGGING AND BARRED OWLS

   Biological Assessment (page 39):

   The effect of thinning and fuels reduction treatments on spotted and barred owl interactions is
   not well studied. In Washington State, studies of radio telemetry marked barred owls indicate
   that barred owls have smaller home range sizes than spotted owls, and that they prefer older
   contiguous forested habitat with low slope positions and gentle gradients, high amounts of



                                                   58
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                           Record of Decision



   canopy closure (Hamer et al. 2007, Singleton et al. 2010). There are also indications that barred
   owls are competitively displacing spotted owls from larger patches of older and larger diameter
   forest habitat (Pearson and Livezey 2003, USDI 2008b, Singleton et al. 2010). Recent studies
   and evaluations of habitat use between the two species indicate that barred owls are
   preferentially packing into larger patches of older forest, low slope and gentle topography and
   displacing spotted owls to areas of higher slope position and younger, smaller diameter and more
   fragmented forests (Buchanan et al. 2004, Hamer et al. 2007, Singleton et al. 2010). However,
   barred owls are also documented to use a wider variety of habitat types and successional classes
   than are spotted owls, suggesting that fragmentation of habitat may not impacted barred owls as
   much as it would spotted owls (Courtney et al. 2004). There are potential implications of these
   findings to the post treatment use of habitat by both spotted and barred owls.

   It is unknown if there are barred owls in the D-Bug action area. However, if present, it may be
   that barred owls could vacate stands treated as a result of the D-Bug project as the treatments
   would reduce canopy cover and increase habitat fragmentation, decreasing their suitability as
   NRF habitat for both species. There may be potential for the displacement of spotted owls using
   adjacent non treated stands by barred owls dispersing from treated stands, but this has not been
   documented before in scientific literature. Barred owls are a larger, more aggressive owl, and
   have been documented to be more dominant and aggressive when interactions between the two
   species take places (USDI 2008, Van Lanen 2010). However, thinning treatments could result in
   a smaller impact to barred owls than to spotted owls as barred owls are able to exist in a wider
   range of habitat types and successional classes (Courtney et al. 2004). Any benefits to stand
   resiliency as a result of these treatments would equally benefit barred owls and spotted owls, as
   their habitat niches are very similar.

   Barred owls are also disclosed as a threat on pages 13-14 of the Biological Assessment.

   The Biological Assessment includes a discussion of past logging effects on pages 13 and 39. The
   Biological Evaluation discusses the cumulative effects of logging within and adjacent to the
   planning area on page 51.




                                                  59
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision




                                         ATTACHMENT 4
         AQUATIC CONS ERVATION S TRATEGY CONS IS TENCY S UMMARY


   The Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ASC) of the Northwest Forest Plan was designed to
   maintain and restore ecosystem health at the watershed and landscape scales to protect habitat for
   fish and other riparian-dependent species and resources, and restore currently degraded habitats
   (NWFP, 1994). The consistency of the project with ACS is addressed in the D-Bug Hazard
   Reduction Timber Sale Project FEIS. The results of the watershed analyses are presented, a
   description of the existing condition of the important physical and biological components of the
   ACS are discussed, and conclusions are presented regarding how the alternatives move
   conditions toward desired conditions in terms of the ACS objectives are disclosed throughout
   Chapter 3.

   The selected alternative would result in long-term beneficial effects to riparian forest structure
   and composition with increased fire resiliency and improved stand structural characteristics that
   more closely approximate the natural disturbance regime compared to more closed stand
   conditions that currently exist. As such, under the selected alternative S&G TM-1 (c) would be
   met because the silvicultural practices applied to control stocking in the riparian reserve
   contribute to meeting the desired vegetation characteristics needed to attain Aquatic
   Conservation Strategy objectives. Over time the commercial thinning of the mixed conifer
   riparian stands would result in stands that are more likely to attain the characteristics of late seral
   forests, thus meeting desired conditions for riparian reserves.

   The riparian reserve network for the three fifth-level watersheds that D-Bug overlays (Diamond,
   Lemolo, and Upper Clearwater) equates to 13,480 acres. The selected alternative would treat
   less than 5% of the network. The magnitude of these beneficial effects from the action
   alternatives are limited since only 4-5 percent of the riparian reserve land allocation in the
   watersheds would experience the benefits and the rate at which these effects would accrue over
   time is gradual.

   The FS discloses in Chapter 3 of the FEIS that there would be short term site-specific effects
   from project implementation including reduced canopy cover, ground disturbance, and the
   potential loss of snags within units. At the larger watershed scale, all the direct and indirect
   effects to riparian reserves would be very diluted and limited in the extent and magnitude. The
   possible exception would be the potential beneficial indirect effect of reduced fire behavior both
   within and adjacent to fuel reduction treatments. Such an effect may be realized at the watershed
   scale if fire behavior is substantially modified by the fuel breaks and the concentrated thinning
   treatments around the lakes.

   The following is a summary which discloses the project’s consistency with all nine of the
   Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) Objectives:




                                                     60
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   1) Maintain and restore the distribution, diversity, and complexity of watershed and
      landscape-scale features to ensure protection of the aquatic systems to which species,
      populations and communities are uniquely adapted.

   Most stands in the planning area currently lack both the openings and the structural diversity
   consistent with natural disturbance processes. Open conditions in today‘s low and high-
   elevation mixed conifer forests are well below reference conditions, particularly in the mature
   and late-seral age classes where most thinning is proposed. The uniform structure and expanse
   of the even-age lodgepole pine stands and the density of trees in mixed conifer types in the
   planning area indicate a departure from historic conditions, particularly in the unmanaged forest
   at low elevations.

   The FEIS acknowledges the immediate direct effects of the selected alternative for lodgepole
   pine stands would include reduced stand densities, lower number of snags, lower amounts of
   forest floor litter, and reduced crown volume. The long-term indirect effects of the action
   alternatives for lodgepole pine stands would include more space between residual trees,
   increased light availability, increased species diversity, increased fire resiliency, reduced
   susceptibility to mountain pine beetle attack, and improved structural diversity over time. Over
   time, the indirect effects would be increased vigor and health of stands as individual trees
   increase growth and competitive stress is reduced.

   For mixed-conifer stands containing mature lodgepole in the overstory, indirect effects of
   treatment would include more open stands over time, less suitable mountain pine beetle habitat,
   and more fire-resistant and beetle-resistant mixed conifer species. Shifting the future species
   composition away from lodgepole pine dominance toward fire-resilient mixed conifer tree
   species dominance by removing some suitable host lodgepole pine and retaining fire- and beetle-
   resistant mixed conifer species would maintain species diversity, improve structural diversity,
   increase residual tree vigor, and limit the extent of mountain pine beetle habitat over time.

   2) Maintain and restore spatial and temporal connectivity within and between watersheds.
      Lateral, longitudinal, and drainage network connections include floodplains, wetlands,
      upslope areas, headwater tributaries, and intact refugia. These network connections
      must provide chemically and physically unobstructed routes to areas critical for
      fulfilling life history requirements of aquatic and riparian-dependent species.

   As disclosed in the Riparian Reserve section of the FEIS, commercial thinning of the mixed
   conifer riparian stands would result in stands that are more likely to attain the characteristics of
   late seral forests, thus meeting the desired future condition. By restoring more open stands, like
   those that historically developed following disturbance, the dense stem exclusion and mature
   mixed conifer stands would be less prone to stand-replacement fire, and more likely to develop
   habitat characteristics needed by riparian-dependant species. These beneficial effects would help
   to maintain habitat connectivity for riparian dependant species that rely on late-successional
   forest conditions. At the broader scale, the riparian forest treatments under the action
   alternatives advance the role of riparian reserves in providing connectivity within and between
   watersheds, consistent with ACS objective 2.




                                                   61
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                              Record of Decision



   3) Maintain and restore the physical integrity of the aquatic system, including shorelines,
      banks, and bottom configurations.

   The Fluvial Erosion section of the FEIS discloses that the action alternatives would not increase
   peak flows or accelerate sedimentation that would cause channel erosion which is consistent with
   ACS objective 3. No-thin stream buffers and BMPs ensure that harvest activity would not
   disturb stream banks or beds leading to increased sedimentation. The D-Bug alternatives were
   purposefully designed to lower hazardous conditions and reduce the chances of uncharacteristic
   fire effects. The riparian reserve thinning would improve overall health and vigor of the riparian
   leave trees and the potential future channel recruitment of large wood, while reducing the long-
   term risk of wildfire impacts including potential channel erosion.

   4) Maintain and restore water quality necessary to support healthy riparian, aquatic, and
      wetland ecosystems. Water quality must remain within the range that maintains the
      biological, physical, and chemical integrity of the system and benefits survival, growth,
      reproduction, and migration of individuals composing aquatic and riparian
      communities.

   The Clean Water Act establishes a non-degradation policy for all federally proposed projects.
   The selected alternative meets anti-degradation standards through planning, application, and
   monitoring of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The Environmental Protection Agency has
   certified the Oregon Forest Practices Act and regulations as BMPs. The State of Oregon has
   compared Forest Service practices with the State practices and concluded that Forest Service
   practices meet or exceed State requirements. Chapter 2 of the Final EIS lists site-specific BMPs,
   design criteria and resource protection measures that are common to all action alternatives.

   The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has identified water quality impaired
   streams and bodies of water throughout the State of Oregon as required by the Clean Water Act,
   Section 303(d). The water quality listings of the D-Bug planning area are summarized in Table
   3-49 of the FEIS. Lake Creek was identified as water quality impaired for elevated water
   temperatures and pH. Lemolo Reservoir was also listed for elevated pH. Diamond Lake was
   listed for pH, aquatic, weeds/algae and dissolved oxygen. Both temperature and pH in Lake
   Creek are influenced by the water quality of the outflow from Diamond Lake.

   The Umpqua Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was approved in 2007 allowing for no
   increase in stream temperature. The selected alternative would not have a direct or indirect
   effect on stream temperature as the riparian thinning would retain the effect shade in the primary
   shade zone along perennial streams as described in the “Northwest Forest Plan Temperature
   TMDL Implementation Strategies” (USDA/USDI, 2009). BMPs include primary shade
   protection, stream course identification, limited operation near streams and directional falling
   where applicable, would insure protection of perennial stream shade.

   Dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH would not be affected by the selected alternative. According to
   the Umpqua Basin TMDL (ODEQ, 2006), Diamond Lake’s high pH and low DO levels were a
   result of changes in the internal lake loading of nitrogen and phosphorus, not external nutrient
   loading from the watershed. The internal lake nutrient output is a result of the introduction of tui



                                                    62
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                            Record of Decision



   chub and the subsequent population explosion changing the lake biology, which had dramatic
   consequences on nutrient cycling with the lake which ultimately led to algae blooms, high pH
   values, and reduced dissolved oxygen levels. The internal nutrient output is also the source of
   the pH in Lake Creek. Water quality recovery has been observed since the rotenone treatment in
   2006 and will likely continue. Therefore, the selected alternative would not result in higher
   nutrient input to Diamond Lake, Lemolo Reservoir, or planning area stream that would affect pH
   or DO.

   As disclosed in the Water Quality section of the FEIS, no prolonged or adverse impacts to water
   quality or the associated beneficial uses of water are expected from any of the proposed
   activities. The long-term trend of improving water quality in the watersheds will not be set back.
   The planning area streams will continue to support healthy riparian, aquatic and wetland
   ecosystems. The action alternatives were designed to reduce the chances of uncharacteristic
   wildfire effects due to a lack of natural fire in both riparian and upland communities. The action
   alternatives proactively accomplish this in keeping with the broad landscape intent of the ACS
   while also meeting the specific requirements of ACS Objective 4.

   5) Maintain and restore the sediment regime under which aquatic ecosystems evolved.
      Elements of the sediment regime include the timing, volume, rate, and character of
      sediment input, storage, and transport.

   The FEIS describes the historic sediment regimes as one of occasional, episodic sediment
   delivery following large fires. These events were followed by years of recovery with little to no
   disturbance. Fire exclusion has temporarily curtailed the pre-management sediment regime of
   occasional, episodic sedimentation. Yet, as fire hazard builds due to the lack of natural fire in
   combination with the pine beetle outbreak, more extreme sediment pulses may be possible once
   wildfire escapes control efforts. The D-Bug alternatives were purposely designed to lower
   hazardous conditions and reduce the chances of uncharacteristic fire effects, which in turn, are
   expected to help maintain or restore the sediment regime. Moreover, the long-term benefits of
   the road maintenance and reconstruction activities under the action alternatives outweigh the
   small short-term impacts of road work to be implemented, as disclosed in the Fluvial Erosion
   section of the FEIS. As such, the action alternatives are consistent with ACS Objective 5 which
   calls for the restoration of sediment regimes.

   6) Maintain and restore in-stream flows sufficient to create and sustain riparian, aquatic,
      and wetland habitats and to retain patterns of sediment, nutrient, and wood routing.
      The timing, magnitude, duration, and spatial distribution of peak, high, and low flows
      must be protected.

   The forest canopy has a major influence on snow accumulation, distribution, and melting rates.
   Sizeable canopy openings can result in greater snow accumulation and more rapid snowmelt in
   the transient snow zone (between 2,000 to 5,000 feet in elevation) compared to locations lacking
   large canopy openings. Standard and guideline 4 requires an analysis of forest canopy condition
   and effects to peak streamflows.




                                                  63
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                             Record of Decision



   The hydrologic recovery procedure (HRP) was used to estimate the hydrologic recovery of the
   forest canopy at the subwatershed, and watershed scales. The hydrologic recovery level
   represents an area compilation of forest canopy re-development following disturbance. It also
   represents the potential influence on the streamflow and stream channel effects from floods. The
   hydrologic recovery levels for all the transient snow zone subwatersheds are currently above the
   level of concern as displayed in the FEIS. Therefore, the hydrologic recovery would maintain
   current peak flows and avoid adverse changes to physical channel conditions and associated
   factors such as water quality and fish habitat.

   The desired condition is the protection of flow regimes in keeping with ACS Objective 6, while
   addressing the growing fuel load associated with the beetle infestation and moving these forest
   stands toward the desired range of natural variability. As disclosed in the Stream Flows section
   of the FEIS, no impacts to flow regimes or the associated beneficial uses of water are expected
   from any of the proposed activities including those actions occurring in riparian reserves such as
   density management, underburning, and other fuel reduction activities such as hand
   piling/burning, chipping and mastication. As such, the timing, magnitude, and duration of
   stream flows are protected under all action alternatives, consistent with ACS Objective 6.

   7) Maintain and restore the timing, variability, and duration of floodplain inundation and
      water table elevation in meadows and wetlands.

   As disclosed above in the Unique Habitats section of the FEIS, no measurable negative impacts
   to the wetlands are expected from any of the proposed activities in any of the action alternatives
   including road work, thinning, burning, or yarding activities. As such, there would be likely no
   measurable effect upon water tables associated with the project‘s wet areas so wet areas would
   remain unaltered and wet, consistent with ACS Objective 7.

   A similar action common to the action alternatives is the decommissioning of 0.8 miles of Road
   6592-100, which is an abandoned segment of old Highway 230. This road segment was built
   through a wetland. The original construction placed fill in the wetland that interrupted surface
   and subsurface flow paths, which dried part of the wetland. The decommissioning would remove
   the road fill and reconnect these flow paths to restore wetland function consistent with ACS
   objective 7, which calls for the restoration of water table elevation in meadows and wetlands.
   Moreover, the road decommission in a wetland would restore the presently impacted water table
   of that area, proactively addressing the requirements of ACS objective 7.

   8) Maintain and restore the species composition and structural diversity of plant
      communities in riparian areas and wetlands to provide adequate summer and winter
      thermal regulation, nutrient filtering, appropriate rates of surface erosion, bank
      erosion, and channel migration and to supply amounts and distributions of coarse
      woody debris sufficient to sustain physical complexity and stability.

   The uniform structure and expanse of the even-age lodgepole pine stands and the density of trees
   in mixed conifer types in the planning area indicate a departure from historic conditions,
   particularly in the unmanaged forest at low elevations. The desired condition for riparian
   reserves is increased species and structural diversity that would approximate the effects of fire



                                                   64
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                Record of Decision



   that has been excluded while lowering the risk of stand replacement fire in keeping with ACS
   objective 8.

   Shifting the future species composition away from lodgepole pine dominance toward fire-
   resilient mixed conifer tree species dominance by removing some suitable host lodgepole pine
   and retaining fire- and beetle-resistant mixed conifer species would maintain species diversity,
   improve structural diversity, increase residual tree vigor, and limit the extent of mountain pine
   beetle habitat over time. The commercial thinning of the mixed conifer riparian stands would
   result in stands that are more likely to attain the characteristics of late seral forests thus meeting
   the desired future condition. By maximizing the amount of riparian treatment in
   uncharacteristically dense mixed conifer stands and by lowering densities of older lodgepole
   overstories, portions of the riparian reserve network in the planning area would be more
   representative of the lodgepole and mixed conifer disturbance regimes of both mixed conifer and
   lodgepole pine forest types.

   The FEIS acknowledges that thinning the mixed conifer stands under the action alternatives
   would lower snag and down wood recruitment rates by removing trees that would die from
   suppression mortality or from pine beetles. The majority of the snag recruitment loss from the
   low thinning in mixed conifer would be from smaller-sized trees because suppression mortality
   typically kills smaller, suppressed trees rather than the larger dominant trees. The lodgepole
   thinning would occur in the overstory, and would remove trees that would become snags and
   down wood recruitment to the riparian forest floor and streams.

   The loss of wood recruitment to perennial stream channels would be largely mitigated by the 50-
   60-foot no-cut buffers, because most of the wood that naturally recruits to streams comes from
   within the first 65 feet of the stream (Murphy and Koski, 1989; McDade, et. al., 1990). The
   selected alternative would not have a direct or indirect effect on stream temperature as the
   riparian thinning would retain the effect shade in the primary shade zone along perennial streams
   as described in the “Northwest Forest Plan Temperature TMDL Implementation Strategies”
   (USDA/USDI, 2009). There would be a decreased potential for large-scale, high-severity fire
   and an increase in potential for smaller scale fires to create snag patches and areas of future
   downed wood recruitment from fallen snags. The project would restore species composition
   and diversity and continue to supply sufficient coarse woody debris in riparian areas sufficient to
   sustain physical complexity and stability.

  9) Maintain and restore habitat to support well-distributed populations of native plant,
     invertebrate and vertebrate riparian-dependent species.

   As disclosed in the Stream Channel section of the FEIS, the restorative riparian thinning in
   mixed conifer stands would be consistent with ACS objective 9, because the thinning would
   provide long-term habitat for riparian-dependant plant and animal species. By restoring more
   open stands, like those that historically developed following disturbance, the dense stem
   exclusion and mature mixed conifer stands would be less prone to stand-replacement fire, and
   more likely to develop habitat characteristics needed by riparian-dependant species.




                                                     65
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                                                             Record of Decision



   Table 12. Alternative 2 and 5 NWFP Riparian Reserve Acres by Unit

                  RIPARIAN RESERVE                     RIPARIAN RESERVE                       RIPARIAN RESERVE                     RIPARIAN RESERVE
   PRESCRIPTION      ALT_2     ALT_5    PRESCRIPTION      ALT_2       ALT_5    PRESCRIPTION      ALT_2      ALT_5   PRESCRIPTION      ALT_2     ALT_5
       UNIT          acres      acres       UNIT           acres      acres        UNIT          acres      acres       UNIT          acres     acres
        2              5.5       5.5          53            0.9         0.9         111           7.0        7.0         200           20.4      20.4
        3              2.3       2.3          56            1.0         1.0         112           0.5        0.5         202           4.5       4.5
        5              0.0       0.0          57            2.2         2.2         113           14.6       4.4         203           9.1       9.1
        6             16.9      16.9          58            1.6         1.5         114           3.0        2.5         204           4.2       4.2
        7              7.3       7.3          59            0.0         0.0         115           2.8        0.0         205           3.5       3.4
        9              3.9       3.9          60            2.8                     116           0.0        0.0         215                     8.3
        11            19.0      19.0          61            3.4                     117           0.8        0.8         216                     0.0
        12             5.7       5.7          62           14.2         9.5         118           52.0       27.5        223                     0.8
        15             5.6       5.6          63           15.1        15.1         120                      4.1         230                     0.6
        16             1.7       1.9          64           11.7        11.3         130           2.1                    300                     15.3
        17             1.2       1.2          65            0.1         0.5         131           5.1                    997                     2.5
        18             2.1       0.9          66            1.9         1.9         132           10.3                   998                     0.2
        19             0.6       0.6          69           37.0        37.7         135           0.7        0.7         999                     3.3
        20             2.3       2.3          71            0.1         0.1         143           0.0                                  752       604
        21             1.4       1.4          72            6.5         6.5         159                      0.3
        22             4.0       2.6          73           71.3                     162           0.0        0.0
        23             0.1                    75            2.3         2.3         163           1.8        1.8
        24             0.1       0.1          76            3.7         3.7         164           49.5       37.6
        25             2.9       2.4          80            1.5                     165           0.1        0.1
        26             0.8                    82           25.4        25.4         167           0.1        0.1
        27             0.1       0.1          86           11.2        11.2         169           0.8        0.8
        28             1.7       1.1          88                        1.1         170           6.5        6.5
        29             4.8                    89            1.6         1.6         171           12.6       12.6
        30             3.7       3.7          90            6.2         6.2         172           1.3        1.3
        31             5.8       5.8          91            1.0         0.6         173           0.8        0.8
        32             7.6       1.1          94            0.7         0.7         174           2.4        2.4
        33             0.3       0.2          95           15.7        15.7         175           1.3        0.1
        34             0.1       0.1          98           13.4        13.4         178           7.0        7.0
        35             7.6       6.4          99            3.2         3.2         179           8.1        8.1
        37             3.3       3.3         100            8.5                     183                      4.0
        40             9.1       9.1         101            0.2         0.2         185           2.7        0.5
        42             9.0       7.0         104            9.3         7.6         189           0.1        1.2
        44             6.4       6.4         105           20.5        20.5         192           0.0        0.0
        45            22.6      22.6         106            3.2         3.2         194           0.0        0.0
        46             0.7       0.7         107            9.8         9.8         195           0.1        0.1
        47             2.2       2.2         108            6.7         6.7         196           0.0
        51             2.4       2.4         109            7.7         7.7        197            0.6        0.6
        52             1.7       1.7        110             2.6         2.6        199            18.9       12.5


   Acres displayed in the table above are acres of proposed activity that are outside of prescribed
   riparian buffers but still within Riparian Reserve buffers as designated under the NWFP (ROD
   pp 9, April 1994).




                                                                          66
D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project                                           Record of Decision




   Table 13. Selected Alternative NWFP Riparian Reserve Acres by Unit (Total of 620 acres)

    Unit #    Acres     Unit #    Acres      Unit #        Acres   Unit #   Acres   Unit #   Acres
      2        5.5       42a       4.1        90            6.2    164b      4.9     230      0.6
      3        2.3       44        6.4        91            0.5     165      0.1     300      15.3
      5        0.0       45        22.6       94            0.7     167      0.1     997      2.5
      6        16.9      46        0.7        95           15.7     169      0.8     998      0.2
      7        7.3       47        2.2        98           13.4     170      6.5     999      3.3
      9        3.9       51        2.4        99            3.2     171     12.6
     11        19.0      52        1.7        101           0.2     172      1.3
     12        5.7       53        0.9        104           7.6     173      0.8
     15        5.6       56        1.0        105          20.5     174      2.4
     16        1.9       57        2.2        106           3.2     175      0.1
     17        1.2       58        1.5        107           9.8     178      7.0
     18        0.9       59        0.0        108           6.7     179      8.1
     19        0.6       62        9.5        109           7.7     183      4.0
     20        2.3       63        15.1       110           2.6     185      0.5
     21        1.4       64        11.3       111           7.0     189      1.2
     22        2.6       65        0.5        112           0.5     192      0.0
     24        0.1       66        1.9        113           4.4    194a      0.0
     25        2.4       69        13.9       114           2.5     195      0.1
     27        0.1       69a       16.6       115           0.0     197     13.1
     28        1.1       69b       7.2        116           0.0     199     12.5
     30        3.7       71        0.1        117           0.8     200     20.4
     31        5.8       72        1.6        118          27.5     202      4.5
     32        1.1       72a       4.9        120           4.1     203      9.1
     33        0.2       75        2.3        135           0.7     204      4.2
     34        0.1       76        3.7        159           0.3     205      3.4
     35        6.4       82        25.4       162           0.0     215      8.3
     37        3.3       86        11.2       163           1.8     216      0.0
     40        9.1       88        1.1        164          25.8     223      0.8
     42        2.9       89        1.6       164a           6.4     224      4.5




                                                      67

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:8
posted:8/9/2011
language:English
pages:71