The Deschutes National Forest said Thursday it has opened a public comment period for an analysis of how to improve fish passage and habitat conditions for wildlife and aquatic species along Indian Ford Creek and its tributaries.

A comment period for the Indian Ford Restoration Project opened this week and comments will be accepted until March 17, 2014.

The scoping document seeks input on a number of issues including restoring hydrologic function by plugging ditches and placing woody debris in Glaze Meadow, providing fish passage in a small irrigation ditch, reduce impacts of dispersed camping on riparian areas by moving sites farther away from water, and removing conifers that are crowding aspen stands.

Finally, the proposal includes the removal of the culvert and road fill on Forest Road 2058/Pine Street Crossing, which would close that portion of the road to provide fish passage.

Once comments have been reviewed, alternatives will be developed and an environmental assessment will be analyzed and comments will be solicited for those alternatives.

This comment period for the scoping process is intended to provide those interested in or affected by this activity an opportunity to make their concerns known.  The 30-day comment period began on February 17, 2014. 

Those interested in commenting can find the document and directions for commenting at http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/project_list.php?forest=110601&sortby=area 
and search for “Indian Ford Creek Restoration Project.” 

Comments will also be accepted by stopping by the Sisters Ranger District office at intersection of Pine Street and Highway 20 in Sisters.

For more information, please contact Nate Dachtler at (541) 549-7725.