John Wood Forest Management Project

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Y2U is actively engaged in efforts to stay educated on current land management science. We work diligently to attend conferences, review relevant publications and meet with agency personnel to accomplish this goal. For example, Y2U staff attended the 2017 Restoring the West conference at Utah State University to learn about current science on wildlands fire management and related topics. Since then, Y2U has organized several follow-up meetings with Forest Service siliviculturists to gain a deeper understanding of forest restoration needs that have resulted from 50 years of fire suppression. Our goal is to ensure that the feedback we provide to agencies is constructive and well-informed by science. 


February 2019

Y2U has submitted comments to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the John Wood Forest Management Project. We are recommending a reduction in overall route density to create security areas for big game species including deer, elk and moose; effective closure of decommissioned roads; speed limit signs and enforcement toreduce noise and dust pollution; livestock exclusion in the project area to promote aspen regeneration; and minimal harvest of old growth trees. A comprehensive plan to close and reclaim the excavated areas and prohibit unauthorized OHV/ATV use should also be included in the EIS.

This is the first project before the Caribou Forest Initiative, a collaborative group that Y2U is a member of. This is our first attempt at working with all of the stakeholders affected by the project and trying to come up with comments that align with comments submitted by the group as a whole while still maintaining a strong stance on behalf of wildlife and habitat. The original intent of the collaboration was to generate direct benefit for fish and wildlife out of every project that the CFI approves of.

April 2017

Yellowstone to Uintas Connection has submitted scoping comments in response to the Forest Service's John Wood Forest Management Project in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The project would negatively impact wildlife in the region with the construction of logging roads, resulting in habitat fragmentation and degradation for many species such as elk, deer, moose and other birds and mammals. The project cites purposes that require further scientific analysis, such as preventing the spread of pine beetles and wildfire. The location of the logging project exists in a regionally significant wildlife corridor that is home to threatened species like Canada lynx and wolverine. These species are facing further threats to their habitat due to climate change, and it is becoming ever more important that they have access to higher elevations and migration routes.

From the scoping comments:
"Our mountains are already overwhelmed with noise from atvs, dirt bikes, jacked up pickups with gutted mufflers and human intrusion, while enforcement is nowhere to be seen. In winter, use by over snow machines that chase and harass wildlife and displace those who would enjoy the Forest in a quiet setting are further degrading wildlife security and this during the season when winter range and forage is limiting. Roads need to be closed, road densities reduced and quiet returned to the Forest."

See attachment below for full scoping comments.