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This Draft Environmental Impact Statement documents the analysis of the No Action, Proposed Action, and three action alternatives developed for the Pretty Tree Bench 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 Proposed Action prescribes disturbances within a number of different vegetation types throughout the project area. One disturbance practice uses prescribed fire. The acres of treatment by vegetation type through the use of prescribed fire are: Sagebrush (200-250 acres), Gambel Oak (450-500 acres), Pinyon/Juniper (3000-3500 acres), Ponderosa Pine underburn (7000 acres), Mixed conifer underburn (300-350 acres), and Aspen regeneration burn (700 acres).

A second disturbance practice that is proposed will be the commercial and non-commercial cutting of trees. Where aspen is being invaded by conifer trees, the conifer trees will be cut and removed (1000 acres). Where aspen can be commercially harvested, the aspen will be sold by bid (302 acres).

The Proposed Action will also seed burn areas within the sagebrush and pinyon/juniper vegetation types, if ground cover does not establish. Native plant seed will be emphasized, but non-native plant seed can be used. Seeding will be done by hand or by aerial application.

Travel management is also a part of the Proposed Action. No road construction or reconstruction would occur. The overall travel management strategy provides for a variety of vehicle uses, and describes year long and seasonal use opportunities. An OHV trail starting from the Dry Lake Trailhead and looping around Haws Pasture would be provided. The overall management would follow a closed unless designated open philosophy. Alternative I uses prescribed fire rather than commercial cutting of aspen. Alternative 2 has reduced commercial and non commercial aspen cutting by only using chainsaw disturbance outside of previously inventoried roadless areas. Alternative 3 reduces commercial aspen harvest to those areas west of the allotment fence. All action alternatives include different travel management practices. Alternatives 1 and 3 reconstruct a short portion of Road Draw Road. Alternatives 2 uses native seed for ground cover establishment in those areas that need seeding.

The agency has not identified a preferred alternative at this time.


United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region