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Oregon Dunes Restoration Project – Restoring the dunes for plants, animals and people…

Near Reedsport
Oregon Coast

Forest officials release Draft Decision Notice
Final Environmental Assessment for dunes restoration

Waldport, OR: Officials on the Central Coast Ranger District of the Siuslaw National Forest have released the Final Environmental Assessment and Draft Decision Notice for the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project. The intent of this project is to improve and enhance the dunes ecosystem for native plants and animals, while maintaining and restoring recreation opportunities that are the basis of the area’s Congressional designation as a national recreation area. The release of these documents marks the start of a 45-day objection period for members of the public who have previously submitted comments on this project.

“The Oregon dunes is a special place,” said Michele Jones, district ranger for the Central Coast Ranger District and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. “We’re committed to ensuring the generations that come after us will be able to enjoy this place as we have. The support and input we’ve gotten from the public and our partners was a crucial part of this process and I look forward to continuing this work together.”

The Final Environmental Assessment (EA) describes the purpose of and need for the project and the different alternatives that were analyzed, and documents the environmental, cultural, and social consequences that could be expected from each alternative. The Draft Decision Notice (DN) summarizes the EA, identifies which alternative has been selected for implementation by the responsible official, describes key issues that were raised by the public and in the course of the analysis and how they were addressed, and explains the rationale for the decision. The draft DN also includes documentation that the analysis did not reveal any significant impacts that would require more extensive review in an environmental impact statement.

The selected alternative (Alternative 3) includes most of what was proposed in the Draft Environmental Assessment (released for public comment May 2019), with some adjustments made in the location of restoration treatments to avoid impacts on Pacific marten, a small mammal found in shrubby areas of the dunes, which is currently proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The selected alternative covers over 13,000 acres of restoration treatments throughout the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and near Baker Beach, north of Florence, OR. The treatments include removing invasive plants by a variety of means, including mechanical, manual, targeted herbicide application, and prescribed burning.

A 45-day public objection period began with the posting of a legal notice on January 24, 2020, in the Eugene Register-Guard. Members of the public who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during the scoping or comment period may file written objections to: Forest Supervisor, Siuslaw National Forest, Attn. Objections, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331; objections-pnw-siuslaw@usda.gov; or fax to 541-750-7329.Complete instructions on how to submit an objection are found in the Draft Decision Notice document. A final decision notice will be issued at the close of the 45-day objection period if no objections are received and pending concurrence from US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The complete project documents, including the Final EA and Draft DN, are available for review online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52946; the Central Coast Ranger District Office at 1130 Forestry Lane, Waldport, OR; the Oregon Dunes NRA office at 855 Hwy 101, Reedsport, OR; or the Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR. When accessing the documents online, click on the “Analysis” and “Decision” tabs under “Project Documents”.

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