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Idaho State News

Green Horse Project Authorized to Treat Hazardous Fuels

Kamiah, Idaho- Moose Creek District Ranger Ron Tipton has signed the decision for the Green Horse project that will treat hazardous fuels within forested stands affected by insects and root diseases. Covering approximately 10,000 acres of National Forest System lands primarily in the Selway River basin north of Elk City, the project area lies completely within the ceded territory of the Nez Perce Tribe. Like the Clear Creek Integrated Restoration project, Green Horse is a project on the Moose Creek Ranger District that was part of the larger Selway-Middle Fork Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Proposal (P.L. 111-11 under Title IV of the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act) that was developed with the Clearwater Basin Collaborative.


“This project was developed to address insect and disease and hazardous fuels through collaboration with the public and partners like the Nez Perce Tribe to improve forest resiliency, moderate future wildfire effects, improve watershed health and promote public and firefighter safety.” said District Ranger Tipton.

Most of the Green Horse project falls within the Nez Perce-Clearwater-Lower Salmon Priority Landscape designated by Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on January 19, 2023, with approximately 77% of treatment units lying within the boundary. Wildfire Crisis Strategy Landscapes were selected across the western United States based on the potential for wildfire to negatively impact nearby communities, critical infrastructure, public water sources and Tribal lands.

Like other landscapes across the Forest, this area has experienced change factors resulting in forest conditions that are not resilient to wildfire or climate change. Late seral species dominate the stands in the Green Horse project area. These shorter-lived species are more susceptible to change agents like insects and diseases, resulting in more fuels that contribute larger, more intense wildfires – as seen in 2015 when the nearby Slide and Wash Fires burned north of the Green Horse project area along the Selway River. Objectives of the activities authorized in this decision are to improve forest health and reduce the extent of insect and disease using commercial harvest and prescribed fire. Dead and dying trees will be removed and
replanted with early seral species that are more fire-resistant and drought tolerant. Ladder fuels as well as natural and activity generated fuels will be removed. Fuels reduction is an important objective of the Wildfire Crisis Strategy and lessens potential impacts of wildfire to local communities and critical natural resources.

Based on review of all alternatives, the environmental analysis, public input, and considering tribal trust responsibilities, District Ranger Ron Tipton has decided to implement the proposed action, with some modifications. The decision will reduce fuels, improve forest health, and remove hazard trees along roads by treating approximately 2,100 acres using prescribed fire, commercial timber harvest, hazard tree removal, and reforestation of more fire-adapted tree species. Existing system roads will be improved to USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. facilitate commercial timber harvest; and through partnership with the Nez Perce Tribe, additional roads will be maintained to benefit watershed conditions.

The work will begin this summer with the advertisement of a commercial timber sale. The fuels reduction will generate approximately 23 million board feet (MMBF) of timber over several years, sustaining over 510 jobs and generating approximately $15,474,000 of labor income. Additional jobs and community revenue will be created through the prescribed burning, reforestation, and road improvement activities.
There will also be long-term social and economic benefits from more healthy, resilient landscapes that will provide better hunting, fishing, gathering as well as improving access for recreational opportunities and emergency actions.

The revised Environmental Assessment, final Decision Notice, and other supporting documentation in the project record are available on the project website:


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