PRICE, Utah July 18, 2019 – The Manti-La Sal National Forest is beginning implementation of the Canyons forest restoration project, a series of salvage timber sales that will remove over 30,000 acres of dead spruce in the next 15 years. Deputy Regional Forester Mary Farnsworth signed the Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact July 15. The signing comes after the public was given 30 days to object to the project, and no objections were filed.
Spruce beetles killed 90 percent of the Engelmann spruce on the forest about 20 years ago. Through salvage timber sales and some prescribed burning, 50-60 percent of the dead spruce will be removed. Once the dead spruce are eliminated, the forest will thin sub-alpine fir and plant spruce seedlings. Aspen is also expected to regenerate.
The project is intended to reduce the threat of uncharacteristic wildfire and the risks to human life and property. Over time, the restoration efforts will return the forest to a healthier state with live Engelmann spruce as the dominant tree species in the forest. The project will improve community watersheds and help protect the wildland urban interface.
The National Forest is now preparing for the first salvage timber sales to take place in Reeder and Black Canyons above Joe’s Valley, west of Orangeville, Utah. They expect to offer the Black Canyon sale in late August. Crews are completing ground work to develop the sale package, which will inform the purchaser of the volume of wood being offered in the sale and how operations are to occur in the sale area.