Comments Accepted On Dunes Restoration Plan

Officials with the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Central Coast Ranger District are seeking public input on a proposal to restore portions of the Oregon dunes. Based on a strategy developed by the Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative, the proposal includes various treatments to remove and prevent the spread of nonnative invasive plants that have dramatically altered the dunes’ ecology and greatly reduced the areas of open sand.

“The collaborative group is a mix of stakeholders with a wide range of interests, from geology to wildlife to motorized and nonmotorized recreation,” said Michele Jones, district ranger. “They put years of work into developing an excellent strategy for restoring the dunes, and we’re excited with this project to be moving towards on-the-ground implementation. Feedback from the public on what we’re proposing is another critical part of the process as it will help us create a truly viable project.”

The treatments being proposed include mechanically removing sections of foredune (high ridge of sand that formed due to colonization by European beachgrass and which now prevents the natural movement of sand); removing invasive plants using targeted herbicide application, mechanical treatments, and prescribed fire; improving and increasing habitat for western snowy plover, a threatened shorebird; and increasing open sand riding areas for off-highway vehicle use. The project area includes a number of parcels totaling 13,600 acres and stretching between Baker Beach and Coos Bay.

Those who are interested in the Oregon Dunes Restoration Project are encouraged to become involved in the planning process. Written comments should be submitted to: Michele Jones, District Ranger, c/o Donni Vogel, Central Coast Ranger District, P.O. Box 400, 1130 Forestry Lane, Waldport, OR 97394-0400; Fax (541) 563-8449. Comments may be e-mailed to: comments-pacificnorthwest-siuslaw@fs.fed.us. Project information is posted at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52946 and will continue to be updated throughout the course of the project. Comments are requested by January 25, 2018.

This public input period, known as scoping, is the first of multiple opportunities for the public to formally comment on the proposed action. Later in the process, when a draft decision on the proposal is released, those individuals or organizations that have provided comments during any of the open public input periods will be able to have any unresolved concerns reviewed through an objection process.

Information provided by Siuslaw National Forest

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