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Sports >  Outdoors

Forest Service decides on Emerald project in Idaho

UPDATED: Tue., June 1, 2021

The St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests has issued a final decision for the Emerald project, located west of the town of Clarkia and approximately 33 miles southeast of St. Maries, Idaho.

The project is the culmination of more than four years of planning and public engagement around a proposal to improve forest health in the area through vegetation management, fuels reductions in the Wildland Urban Interface, and transportation improvements, according to an agency news release.

This decision allows the district to move forward with restoration work within the 21,600-acre project area, located primarily within the Emerald Creek drainage. Additional watersheds within the analyzed area also contain portions of smaller watersheds that flow into the St. Maries River, including the Cedar, Estes, Betchel, Maize, Swede John, Wood, and Hidden Creek drainages.

“I want to express my gratitude for the time and effort that many of our community members and partners have spent helping us get to this point,” said District Ranger Matthew Davis in the release. “The public input has been informative and valuable to this decision.”

The Emerald project includes around 2,500 acres of timber harvest in areas affected by root rot and insect infestations, followed by replanting of less susceptible tree species. Fuel reduction treatments on about 188 acres will reduce the potential for high intensity wildfire and create safer conditions for wildland firefighters, local residents and forest visitors. Plans also include road and drainage improvements.

The decision notice, related documents, and maps are available at: fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54817 or at the St. Maries office of the St. Joe Ranger District.

For more information or to obtain copies of documents, please contact Chandra Neils (chandra.neils@usda.gov) or visit the St. Joe Ranger District at 222 S. 7th Street, Suite 1, St. Maries, ID 83861

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