The Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Teton Basin Ranger District is currently in the planning process for a potential future hazardous fuels reduction project to take place in the next 2-5 years. The project aims to reduce wildland fire risk and severity by preventative measures such as prescribed fire and mechanical treatments. Falling within the NEPA process, the USFS is in the preliminary stages of planning prior to the scoping process and direct public involvement. MBT Executive Director Tony Ferlisi attended a public meeting this past July 16th regarding the project. We’d love to pass along this important info to you.
This fuels reduction project would, through prescribed burns and mechanical thinning, aim to remove ladder fuels, which would potentially carry a ground fire into the tree canopy. These processes protect homes and private property as well as provide preventative measures in order to keep USFS wildland firefighting efforts at manageable levels should the southern end of Teton Valley experience a wildland fire .
Mechanical treatments might involve piling brush, pruning lower branches of trees, or creating fuel breaks to encourage the right kind of fire. Tools that are used to carry out the mechanical treatment of hazardous fuels range from hand tools such as chainsaws and rakes, to large machines like bulldozers and wood chippers. Ultimately, these mechanical treatments would result in a commercial timber harvest.
Why does this matter to MBT and mountain bikers?
This project will take place along zones with high concentrations of recreational, multi-use trails such as Nemo, Grumpy, Ladyslipper, Pole Canyon, Spooky, Drake Creek, Grove Creek and others.
MBT cares greatly about these trails and the amazing landscapes that they traverse. Our staff, board members and hundreds of volunteers and supporters have a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of this trail system. We also believe that a healthy forest is key to healthy public lands recreation opportunities.
So, how can we ensure that resulting impacts from this potential project to this invaluable recreation resource and the experiences that it provides mountain bikers, fat bikers, hikers, skiers, trail runners, equestrians, dirt bikers, hunters and others are minimized? Let us know!
Take a few minutes, fill out this brief survey HERE and get some cool MBT swag! Your answers will help guide us in our communication and recommendations to the Forest Service. Thank you!