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Monroe Mountain Ecosystem Restoration Project, Richfield Ranger District, Fishlake National Forest
Don Okerlund, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, Fishlake National Forest, Richfield, Utah
The Final Environmental Impact Statement describes the analysis completed on the Monroe Mountain Ecosystem Restoration Project area. The proposed action and action alternatives considered in detail are consistent with current management direction. Each alternative responds differently to the issues associated with the Proposed Action.
The purpose and need for action in the project area is to: 1) restore the abundance of aspen ecosystems where losses occurred because of changed disturbance regimes and increased ungulate pressure, 2) work towards improving watershed conditions that favor long-term improvement of riparian areas and water quality, 3) reduce the risk of large, intense episodes of wildland fire in the mixed conifer/aspen stands, 4) reduce the potential of epidemic level spruce beetle outbreaks in spruce/fir stands, 5) contribute to the restoration of the grass/forb ecosystems to improve habitat for wildlife and livestock, and 6) provide timber products to support local economy, while performing ecosystem restoration.Two significant issues were identified through the scooping process: the effects of the proposed activities on the character of the Roadless Area Review Evaluation II Inventoried Roadless Areas (RARE II IRA’s), and effects of timber harvest and associated activities, prescribed fire, road construction, and herbicide treatments on water quality and fisheries habitat. Five alternatives, including a “No Action” alternative, were developed to respond to the purpose and needs identified above. In response to the water resources and fisheries significant issue, several watershed improvement projects have been identified that would be common to all action alternatives.