Project that would thin ‘overstocked’ forest is put on hold |

Project that would thin ‘overstocked’ forest is put on hold

A project to log 161 acres on the Tahoe National Forest 15 miles from Truckee is on hold after foresters decided they need to take a closer look at the effects to plants and wildlife.

An environmental assessment will take 12 to 14 months to study the cumulative effects of logging on federal land when combined with another timber harvest planned on adjacent private lands, said Quentin Youngblood, district ranger of the Sierraville Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest.

“We have to be very proactive analyzing the environmental effects,” Youngblood said.

The decision was considered a victory by environmental groups who had appealed the Montez Project in May and asked the Forest Service to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed logging.

The Sierra Nevada property is located at 7,000 feet elevation, two miles southeast from Webber Lake, Youngblood said.

“We would be removing competing conifer and thinning conifer to reduce existing fuel hazards. We know we have overstocked stand up there,” Youngblood said.

Fifty years of fire suppression has led to the overcrowded forest, Youngblood said.

Foresters will look at how the two projects would affect vegetation, water quality, fisheries and wildlife such as the spotted owl, Northern Goshawk and Pine Martin.

The forests consist of red fir, aspen, white fir and Ponderosa pine, Youngblood said.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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