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Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Opens Scoping Period for Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project


Joseph, Ore. – The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is pleased to announce an open comment period for the Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project, within the Wallowa Valley Ranger District Area and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

“The purpose of the Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project is to restore forest conditions and increase resilience to the threat of wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks on the National Forest,” said Brian Anderson, District Ranger. “We invite the public to review the project proposal and provide specific feedback or ideas about how best to meet the project purpose.”
The scoping document and maps are available on the Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project webpage at Public comments must be received by March 31, 2023.

The Forest Service will host an Open House on March 15, 2023, at the Cloverleaf Hall at 600 NW 1st St. in Enterprise, Oregon from 4:30-6:30 pm for an opportunity to learn about the proposed action of the Morgan Nesbitt project and help answer any questions.

About the Project
The project area is approximately 20 miles southeast of Joseph, Oregon, in Wallowa County, Oregon. The goal is to promote forest conditions that support sustainable ecological functions and processes while maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat diversity and quality. This includes promoting a diversity of vegetation structure, density, and composition that provides for wildlife connectivity within and across the project area. The treatments proposed would move forest, riparian, and grassland conditions toward a more ecologically resilient landscape. Project goals include:

  • Reduce tree density to improve vigor of residual trees and increase forest resilience to insects, disease, drought, and wildfire. Maintain and promote desirable fire and drought tolerant tree species such as western larch and ponderosa pine.
  • Protect and promote the development of late old structure forest stands by reducing competition from smaller trees.
  • Reduce fuel loads and reintroduce fire on the landscape.
  • Protect adjacent private lands and infrastructure, (e.g., electrical utilities and range improvements) by providing firefighters safer options for fire suppression.
  • Restore ecological function of riparian areas, wet meadows, and aspen stands. 
  • Provide wood fiber and forest products to support local economies and community well-being.

Public Comments
Members of the public are encouraged to assist in the planning process by providing public comments on the Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project. Specific comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider. These comments will be used to resolve issues and develop additional alternatives. Please note that comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this proposal and will be available for public inspection (Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 1508.22; Forest Service Handbook 1909.15, Section 21). To be eligible to participate in the Objection process (36 CFR 218), written comments must be received by March 31, 2023.

Written comments must be submitted to Brian Anderson, Wallowa Valley District Ranger, 201 East Second St. Joseph, OR 97846. Please be sure to include Morgan Nesbit Forest Resiliency Project as the subject for your written comments.

Oral and hand delivered comments may be provided during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) via telephone at 541-426-5546, or in person at the street address above.

Electronic comments may be submitted to the project’s webpage at Select the “Comment/Object on Project” link in the “Get Connected” group at the right-hand side of the project webpage.

If you have any questions, additional information can be provided by contacting Alison Arnold, Environmental Coordinator at .



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