By Reader Staff
Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced Sept. 24 that the Sandpoint Ranger District issued a final decision to move forward with the Scattered Lands Project — an effort to reduce fire danger on about 7,000 acres of Forest Service lands in Bonner County west of Lake Pend Oreille.
IPNF officials called the project a “collaborative effort to reduce wildfire danger on thousands of acres of public and private forest lands across North Idaho,” which will be undertaken in coordination with fuels reduction work on neighboring State Endowment Lands and privately-owned forests.
“The Scattered Lands Project is a great example of what can be accomplished when we truly embrace a shared-stewardship model and work side-by-side with our partners and stakeholders,” said District Ranger Jessie Berner. “I’m excited to be part of a project that will have such a significant impact on the landscape, making it more fire-resilient to protect our communities.”
The Scattered Lands Project is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bonner County and private citizens, including the Panhandle Forest Collaborative Group. IPNF officials shared in a media release that, “the project takes an ‘all lands, all hands’ approach to reducing fire danger, following a vision laid out in the 2018 Shared Stewardship agreement that Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
According to IPNF, the project will focus on hazardous fuels mitigation, including individual treatments like slash piling, mastication and prescribed burning, in addition to commercial tree removal and the replanting of native tree species that are more suited to the site and are less prone to damage from insects, disease and root rot.
“Cumulatively, these efforts will lead to a more fire-resilient landscape with wildfire-prepared communities,” IPNF stated.
For more information about the Scattered Lands project, find the project documents online at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58631 or contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at 208-263-5111.
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