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Umatilla National Forest seeks public input for the Sunflower Insect and Disease Project

PENDLETON —The Pomeroy Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest is seeking public comment on the proposed Sunflower Insect and Disease Project (Sunflower Project), located approximately 15 miles southeast of Dayton, Washington.

The Forest Service will be accepting written comments on this categorically excluded action until July 22, 2022. The purpose of this project is to reduce hazardous fuels caused by overly dense stands and insect infestation in the area. Treating the project area will increase the vitality of the leave trees by decreasing competition for moisture, light, and nutrients.

This would also contribute to improving the resilience of the landscape to fire disturbance and supporting local economies. The Sunflower Project proposes to treat up to 2,902 acres within a 13,824-acre project boundary by removing trees through mechanical treatments including commercial thinning, small diameter thinning, piling of activity fuels, and burning of piled material. 

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments to help refine the proposed action and identify ways to improve the project design. The comment period is an opportunity for the public to be involved in the process and offer thoughts on alternative ways the Forest Service can accomplish the project purpose and need.

The Pomeroy Ranger District will also host a collaborative field trip to the project area on July 7. For those interested in attending the field trip, please contact Alison Arnold at (509) 843-1891 by July 5.  The purpose of the field trip is to introduce the Sunflower Project, discuss project objectives and proposed treatments, and gather information from the public about values that they would like the Forest Service to consider in project development.

For additional information about the project, please contact Alison Arnold or visit the project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=61995. More information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at 
https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.

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