U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Policy Act Planning for Trout Lake Insect and Disease Restoration Project, Washington Resource Conservation and Development Council (WRC&D)
EAS worked closely with Forest Service planners to evaluate restoration needs and approaches to correct the long-term impacts of fire suppression within ecosystems that require frequent low- to moderate-intensity fires. The Trout Lake Restoration Project would include up to 3,000 acres of commercial and non-commercial treatments in the upper Columbia River basin near Kettle Falls, Washington. Treatment would occur primarily through thinning, regeneration harvest, and fuels reduction (e.g. underburning, pile burning) to reduce the vulnerability of the planning area to insect and disease and to reduce the wildfire risk to local communities and surrounding federal lands.
The EAS team worked as an extension of the Forest Service interdisciplinary team and facilitated most aspects of the NEPA review for the project, including collaboration, public meetings, project scoping, resource surveys, developing a range of alternatives, preparing treatment prescriptions, evaluating potential impacts, preparing technical reports and biological evaluations, and maintaining a project record. The EAS team also completed a suite of permitting reviews and associated project modifications to ensure compliance with NEPA, the National Forest Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and National Historic and Preservation Act.