Cle Elum, WA — Ten miles south of Cle Elum, WA, just beyond the prominent outcrop of Peoh Point, Cle Elum District Ranger Michelle Capp is joined by collaborative partners and interested citizens near Taneum Junction Campground on South Fork Taneum Creek to look at forest health conditions, learn about growing impacts from recreation on watershed health, and to share their ideas for improving the area. “Our communities, recreationists, and collaborative partners are all deeply invested in restoring this cherished landscape,” Capp said. “Thousands of acres across the Taneum area are highly in need of proactive management to be wildfire resilient as well as restored and maintained in a healthy, functioning condition.” Proposed action highlights: Over the next 15 years, fire will be returned to the landscape, reducing hazardous fuels on nearly 6,000 acres.Commercial thinning would help restore dense, overcrowded forests on 2,094 acres while non-commercial thinning is planned on just over 1,028The project is projected to generate more than $5 million dollars in timber value at the mill and support up to 100 jobs for work related to implementation of restoration.Long-term water quality and aquatic habitat would be improved with the replacement of 66 undersized culverts, removal of 7 stream crossings and fish passage barriers.Approximately 105 miles of roads would remain open to provide for sustainable and safe forest recreation access; 11 miles of user created routes would be rehabilitated.Enhancements to the trail network include road to trail conversion, adoption of some user built routes to replace poorly located sections of trail, removal of two fords and the addition of two motorcycle trail bridges in key locations. “We’re also offering open houses and field trips for folks to get involved early on with this effort. We’ll also soon be posting an interactive map that will help transparently show what actions are proposed on public lands,” added Capp. Several upcoming opportunities are being offered to learn more about the project. Two open-house meetings are scheduled: Thursday, April 25 at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum, and Friday, April 26 at the Hal Holmes Community Center in Ellensburg. Both open houses will run from 4 to 7 p.m. People are welcome to attend anytime during those three hours to visit with resource specialists to learn more about the proposed restoration treatments. Additionally, three field trips are scheduled May 2, 4, and 7. In accordance with federal regulations, the Forest Service will offer a 30-day formal comment period on the draft Environmental Analysis, which will begin with a legal notice scheduled to be published on May 1, 2019. A final Analysis and draft decision is expected in winter 2020.Press release provided by U.S. Forest Service.