CRESCENT, Ore. - The Deschutes National Forest plans to release a decision Tuesday outlining its plans on a vegetation management project for a 40,000-acre area of the Crescent Ranger District.
Two goals for the project are to provide for a representative diversity of wildlife habitats and forest stand structures on the landscape and to provide timber and other wood products to support local and regional economies.
A primary focus is to reduce tree density and provide more habitat for species like the white-headed woodpecker, which prefer open stand conditions. Reducing tree density across the landscape also will improve the forest's ability to resist disease and lessen the risk of intense wildfires now and into the future.
The decision allows commercial timber harvest on approximately 11,000 acres and prescribed fire activities on 13,500 acres within the 40,000 acre landscape.
"This decision provides the best balance of providing a variety of habitat across this landscape in the short and long-term while contributing wood products to the local economy," said Holly Jewkes, Crescent District ranger.
The project decision also addresses severely infected dwarf mistletoe stands, by applying a specific mistletoe treatment to 1,900 acres of forest stands.
Officials said the treatment will provide variable-size openings to create disease-free pockets, reducing the spread of mistletoe to other trees.
However, some mistletoe will be retained in the landscapes, as it provides habitat for some wildlife species such as goshawk, great grey owl and the American (pine) marten.
The decision on the Rim-Paunina Project follows a robust collaborative community discussion between a diverse group of stakeholders, which was convened and facilitated by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) as a third party facilitator for the project.
To review the decision, go to the Land and Resource Management and then Projects section of the Forest Service's Central Oregon website: www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon .