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The Oregon Dunes are dying due to decades of mismanagement. An attempt is being made to correct the mistake and save the dunes. There website is here https://www.saveoregondunes.org

The ONDRA has published a plan to work with. They need our letters of support for the project. Also worth while to make a statement about motorized use in the dunes. Let them know how far and often you travel to ride the dunes and your support for their plan. Can be as short or long as you like.

Plan in short: Destroy the foredunes. Kill beach grass. Burn the forest behind the foredunes to allow sand movement.

Link to plan: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52946

Click on the Analysis Tab then click on DunesDraftEA dated 5-07-2019. It is a PDF file that has lots of details and colored pictures explaining what is wrong and what is needed.

WE HAVE 30 DAYS TO COMMENT.

Here is the plan:

File Code:
1950
Date:
May 6, 2019
Route To:


Subject:
Oregon Dunes Restoration Project; 30-Day Comment Period


Dear Oregon Dunes NRA Neighbor, Partner or Patron,

I am pleased to announce that the Central Coast Ranger District/Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (CCRD/ODNRA) of the Siuslaw National Forest has prepared a Draft Environmental Analysis for the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project (Project) and is now available for 30-day public review and comment. The Draft Environmental Assessment is available for review online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52946. You may also request a copy of the document by contacting the CCRD/ODNRA Office at 541-563-8400.

Attached you will find the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project Draft Environmental Assessment for your review.

Project Location

The project area is located on the Siuslaw National Forest, ODNRA and a portion of Bureau of Land Management Land along the Pacific Coast from Baker Beach just south of Sea Lion Caves in Lane County to Coos Bay in Coos County, Oregon. (Figure 1).

Problems to Be Addressed

The Oregon Dunes Restoration Strategy (2018) described the current substantial departure from historic conditions for vegetation types, structure, and ecological processes in the dunes, and the need to deal with non-native invasive species, altered vegetative successional patterns, altered hydrologic conditions and associated reductions in quality and quantity of habitats and recreational opportunities. The overall purpose of this project is to restore or maintain important dune habitats and recreational areas and increase resiliency and sustainability of the dunes ecosystem by re-establishing the landscape processes and functions that maintain them. Therefore the need is to:

· Promote the development of a sustainable vegetative structure, composition, and pattern to allow for natural processes to function and provide resilience against invasive species and their contribution to uncharacteristic succession in the long term;
· Restore hydrologic function and stream and estuary habitat conditions;
· Provide for the maintenance and improvement of habitat for listed threatened or endangered species and other at-risk species;

· Maintain and restore recreation opportunities to meet the objectives established for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and public expectations for developed recreation facilities and dispersed recreation opportunities in the Oregon Dunes area.

image007.png

Figure 1. Vicinity map.

Proposed Action

The Project is intended to improve and restore ecological processes, native species, and their habitats and recreational conditions in the Project area, as directed by the Dunes Management Plan (1994) and the Oregon Dunes Restoration Strategy (2018). The goals and objectives expressed in the Strategy were to:

1. Preserve the Best: Identify, manage, and protect existing areas known to be in a healthy natural condition. These could constitute areas of functioning open sand, viable plant communities, resilient wildlife habitat, or areas of high human value.

2. Restore Site-Specific Conditions and Processes: Identify and manage areas to provide functioning natural local conditions. Restoring site conditions, such as a specific dune formation or beach habitat for snowy plover in a given area will restore small scale settings.

3. Restore Landscape Scale Natural Processes: Identify and manage landscapes to restore large scale natural processes and pattern. Natural processes, such as sand deposition and movement, and resulting patterns of open sand, dune formations, native dune and wetland plant communities, and tree islands will require large landscapes to be successful.

The type and amount of actions proposed are based on conditions known to exist in the Project area, as well as on knowledge gained from implementing past projects of a similar nature and best available science. As the planning team conducts their in-depth analysis, the quantity of actions proposed may change as new or more detailed information becomes available to them. The Proposed Action recommends approximately 13,700 acres of treatment across the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and the adjacent Baker Beach area (see Figure 1).

The original Proposed Action, initially set forward after completion of the Oregon Dunes Restoration Strategy (2018), then pared down in scale and scope for access, logistical and resource concerns, was further evaluated by members of the Interdisciplinary Team in late 2018 and recommended to not be a viable alternative due to the apparent conflict with Endangered Species Act (ESA) if implemented. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (Martes caurina) in the Federal Register as a threatened species under ESA on 10/9/2018. The reason the originally proposed action was considered to be non-viable, was that in the biologists’ opinion, the treatments to be taken would result in a “jeopardy” call by USFWS.

The new modified proposed action was developed in response to internal scoping of potential effects to connectivity and vegetative cover for species’ concerns particularly western snowy plover and coastal marten, in the Oregon Dunes with vegetation removal (both native and non-nonnative). Treatment of vegetation in the foredune areas would continue as in the originally proposed action as the vegetation here is primarily low-growing, non-woody species, generally European beachgrass. This alternative would prioritize the “Preserve the Best” and “Restore Site-Specific Conditions and Processes” goals and objectives across the landscape and provide little to no emphasis on “Restore Landscape Scale Natural Processes” (i.e. emphasizing open sand movement and connectivity). Treatments include:

· Mechanically removing the foredune by bulldozer or other large pieces of like-equipment along the beach to remove European beachgrass and other non-native invasive plants.

· Through vegetation manipulation and physical sheltering (sand displacement) provide improved and/or increased western snowy plover habitat.

· Maintain habitat in the form of herbaceous/woody vegetation cover (>40% cover) for coastal marten outside foredune areas in deflation plains, forest margins and forested areas; Maintain dispersal corridors (>5% woody vegetation cover in patches < 100 feet apart) in areas of more open interior sand including dune forms (transverse/oblique dunes), hummocks and forested margins. Nonnative vegetation may be treated down to the 40% cover level in these areas.

· Use mechanical and manual treatments, Forest approved herbicides and prescribed fire to remove invasives and maintain native plant populations in open sand areas where below <10% cover and in foredunes.

· Provide increased interpretive opportunities for recreationists (e.g. along Hwy 101 and Baker Beach area).

· Increase sand movement and open sand areas for open-ride OHV use and dispersed recreational use. This would be accomplished by removing current vegetation which inhibits winds from moving sand near foredune areas and that vegetation which occurs within open sand areas that are not long established tree islands (e.g. non-native species, early successional species in non-riparian deflation plains, etc.) that are not currently serving as potential dispersal corridors.

· Restore landscape processes by removal of nearly all vegetation on 56 acres in the Baker Beach area (treatment unit 1-1.5) in order to connect beach sand source to the inland open sand area. This would include prescribed burning, mechanical, herbicide, and manual treatments.

How to Comment on Draft Environmental Assessment

Those who are interested in the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project are encouraged to become involved in the planning process. Your comments will help us to make an informed decision about the project and will be used to help us identify and resolve issues with the proposal and develop alternative ways of achieving the goals of the project. Site-specific comments are the most helpful.

The comment period is scheduled to begin when the legal notice of the opportunity to comment is published in the Eugene Register-Guard. The legal notice is expected to be published on Thursday, May 9th, 2019. However, in the event the legal ad is published on a different date, that actual publishing date will constitute the legal start of the 30-day comment period. The Forest Service will accept comments on this proposal for 30 days following publication of the legal notice of the opportunity to comment which is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. When the comment period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal Holiday comments shall be accepted until the end of the next Federal working day (36 CFR 218.25 (2)). It is the commenter’s responsibility to ensure timely receipt of comments (36 CFR 218.25).

This project is subject to objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B. Only those who submit timely project-specific written comments during a public comment period are eligible to file an objection. Individuals and entities wishing to be eligible to object must provide the following during the comment period (36 CFR 218.25(a)(3)):

· Name and postal address.
· Title of the proposed project or activity.
· Specific written comments as defined in 36 CFR 218.2 regarding the proposed project or activity, along with supporting reasons.
· A signature or other verification of identity upon request and identification of the individual or entity who authored the comment(s). For comments listing multiple entities or multiple individuals, a signature or other means of verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent each entity and for each individual in the case of multiple names. A scanned signature or other means of verifying the identity of the individual or entity representative may be used for electronically submitted comments. Names of commenters will be part of the public record subject to the Freedom of Information Act. (Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who only submit anonymous comments will not have standing to object per 36 CFR Part 218.)
· Individual members of an entity must submit their own comments to establish personal eligibility; comments received on behalf of an entity are considered as those of the entity only.

Written comments should be submitted electronically in common formats (.docx, .doc, .pdf, .rtf, .txt) to [email protected]. Please include “Dunes Restoration Project” in the subject line. They can also be mailed to the Central Coast District Ranger — Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Michele Jones, District Ranger, P.O. Box 400, Waldport, OR 97394-0400; faxed to (541) 563-8449; or hand delivered during business hours (M-F 8:00 am to 4:00 pm) excluding legal holidays to the CCRD-ODNRA District Office located at 1130 Forestry Lane, Waldport, OR, or the Reedsport Office at 855 Hwy 101, Reedsport, OR. For additional information, contact Donni Vogel, Project Leader, by phone (541) 563-8416 or by email at the email address above.

For additional information, contact Mick Mueller, Project Leader, Siuslaw Forest NEPA Planner, at (541)750-7077 weekdays, between 9 AM and 4:00 PM.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, we will not be able to provide anonymous commenters with subsequent planning documents related to the project.

Objection Process

The draft decision for this project will be subject to the pre-decisional objection process for projects and activities implementing land management plans (36 CFR 218). Under this process, members of the public who have participated in the public comment process (during any public participation process throughout project planning), will have the opportunity to have unresolved concerns receive an independent review by the Forest Service prior to a final decision being made by the responsible official. This project is being implemented under a land management plan (Forest Plan) and is not authorized under Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) and is subject to subparts A and B (36 CFR 218.7).

Only individuals or entities (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) who have submitted timely, specific written comments (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) regarding this proposed project or activity during this or another public comment period established by the responsible official will be eligible to file an objection. Opportunity for public comment on an Environmental Assessment includes during scoping, the 30-day public review period, or any other instance where the responsible official seeks written comments. Written comments are those submitted to the responsible official or designee during a designated opportunity for public participation provided for a proposed project. Specific written 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.

The Forest Service believes that considering public concerns before a decision is made aligns with our collaborative approach to public land management and increases the likelihood of resolving those concerns, resulting in better, more informed decisions.

Thank you for your interest in the management of the Central Coast Ranger District/Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Sincerely,

/S/ MICHELE H. JONES

MICHELE H. JONES

District Ranger

Central Coast Ranger District/ODNRA





Forest Service Shield
Lawrence H "Chuck" Fisher
Hydrologist
Forest Service
Siuslaw National Forest, Central Coast Ranger District - Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
p: 541-563-8406
f: 541-563-8449
[email protected]
1130 Forestry Lane; PO Box 400
WALDPORT, OR 97394
www.fs.fed.us
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