Forest Service seeks public comment for Cranston Fire reforestation project

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Diane Sieker photo

SAN BERNARDINO – Officials with San Bernardino National Forest are seeking public comment by Thursday, July 23, for reforesting areas within the 2018 Cranston Fire footprint.

Forest staff are proposing to plant hundreds of thousands of Coulter pine, Jeffrey pine and bigcone Douglas-fir tree seedlings to maintain a resilient genetic pool of alpine forest on approximately 741 acres of land where the fire burned at the highest intensities. By planting these trees, it will not only address forest fire recovery but reestablish cover for deer and other wildlife. Caused by arson, the Cranston Fire reached 13,139 acres and burned for approximately two weeks around Mountain Center, Idyllwild and Lake Hemet within the San Jacinto Ranger District.

Planting is expected to begin winter 2020 through the spring of 2021 by a contractor. No heavy equipment will be used. All planting will be conducted by hand or hand-carried mechanized equipment.

Public comments are being requested to help identify key issues, mitigation measures and analyze effects of this proposed action. Forest managers are asking the public to be as specific as possible.

Project documents are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57870. Paper copies are available upon request by contacting Lance Woolley, project lead, at lance.woolley@usda.gov or 909-382-2858.

Written, fax, hand-delivered and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted; however, the preference is by email with “Scoping – Cranston Reforestation Project” in the subject line. If residents are unable to send comments electronically, they may send them by mail to U.S. Forest Service, Attn: Lance Woolley, P.O. Box 518, Idyllwild, CA 92549 or by fax at 951-659-2107.

Submitted by U.S. Forest Service.