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Walla Walla Ranger District Seeks Public Input on the Tiger-Mill Project

NewsOfOregonPost_USFS

Forest Service to host open house during comment period

PENDLETON, Ore.  — The Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest is seeking public input on the Tiger-Mill Project. The combined scoping letter and Notice of Proposed Action (NOPA) will be available for public comment for 30 days following the date of the legal notice in the East Oregonian, which is anticipated to begin on Jan. 26.

The Walla Walla Ranger District will also host an open house during the comment period on February 15 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Ranger District (1415 W Rose St., Walla Walla, WA). The purpose of the open house is to provide information about the proposed treatments, answer questions that interested public may have about the Tiger-Mill Project, and gather information from the public about values they would like the Forest Service to consider in project development. Additional information about the open house is available at the end of this news release.

The Tiger-Mill Project is located approximately 13 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, and is within and adjacent to the Mill Creek Municipal Watershed. The project aims to increase opportunities to safely manage the spread of natural and prescribed fire, manage forested stands to be resilient against future disturbances across the landscape, and reduce the risk of wildfire degrading the municipal water supply. The total project area is 38,471 acres. Proposed actions include commercial timber harvest (9,343 acres), thinning young trees (4,619 acres), and landscape-scale prescribed burning (21,737 acres) within the project area.

The Mill Creek Municipal Watershed plays a vital role to the residents of Walla Walla and surrounding communities, providing nearly 90% of the City’s water needs. The watershed also provides important habitat for wildlife and fish. The Umatilla National Forest and City of Walla Walla have co-managed the Mill Creek Watershed since 1918 under a unique agreement signed by the Secretary of Agriculture and the City. Protecting the health and resiliency of forested landscapes within the watershed is crucial for reducing runoff of snow, rain, and soil, and for maintaining the high quality of the water, which is important to the communities, wildlife, fish, and economies that depend on it. 

Additional information on the Tiger-Mill Project (including how to comment) is available on the website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=62658. The Umatilla National Forest has also developed an interactive story map for the Tiger-Mill project, which can be viewed here: https://arcg.is/14j9Cn0

For additional information about the upcoming public open house, please contact Darcy Weseman, Public Affairs Officer, at darcy.weseman@usda.gov. or Joseph Sciarrino, Tiger-Mill Project Lead, at joseph.sciarrino@usda.gov. To help ensure adequate space, please contact the Ranger District at (509) 522-6290 by Feb. 7 if you plan to attend. The Forest Service may host a subsequent open house based on this response.

Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.

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