This project presents both opportunities and concerns for intact habitats, and we will continue to monitor progress on it.
The scoping comments period has now concluded. The next step is to prepare a Draft Environmental Assessment for comments, which is expected to happen in November 2023.
The Coronado National Forest, Douglas Ranger District, has prepared a Scoping Notice for a Draft Environmental Assessment to authorize a landscape restoration project proposed for the Peloncillo Mountains in Cochise County, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico. This project proposes restoration actions to achieve multiple resource benefits and increase ecosystem resiliency within the Peloncillo Mountains. The purpose of this project is to:
- Reduce fuel accumulations and treat vegetation composition and structure in the Peloncillo Ecosystem Management Area (EMA) that contribute to the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire and the associated negative effects of habitat loss, soil erosion, and flooding.
- Maintain existing fuel loading and vegetation composition and structure where desired conditions occur.
- Create fire management opportunities within the project area to provide for public and firefighter safety and the ability to manage natural ignitions to achieve desired Forest Plan objectives.
- Create or maintain conditions that enable unplanned ignitions to play their natural role within the EMA.
- Provide protection to values at risk within the project area, including, but not limited to, cultural heritage resources; threatened, endangered, and sensitive species habitat; wetlands and other natural water sources; USFS infrastructure; and adjacent private ranch infrastructure.
- Recover, restore, and sustain ecological processes to retain and enhance the overall health and resiliency of watersheds and desired native plant and animal species and communities.
- Improve habitat quality, quantity, and connectivity of threatened, endangered, and sensitive wildlife species.
A notice of proposed action is available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58434. Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from Mindi Lehew, Environmental Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The proposed project is an activity implementing a land management plan and not authorized under the HFRA and is subject to 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B.