4FRI Thinning Project on Coconino NF Began Today

4FRI thinning project on Coconino National Forest began today.

Flagstaff, AZ., Aug 3, 2015, For Immediate Release — A 1,017-acre forest thinning project associated with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) began today on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest.

The Weatherford Task Order is north of Flagstaff, east of Highway 89 and part of the 4FRI Phase One Stewardship Contract held by Good Earth Power AZ LLC.

Weatherford-TO-Map“This is the first Four Forest Restoration Initiative task order to be implemented on the Coconino National Forest,” said Mike Elson, district ranger for the Flagstaff Ranger District. “It is appropriate that it is located within an area adjacent to the Schultz fire, which is a stark reminder of why this work is so important.”

Work will be ongoing throughout the season as weather and conditions allow, and logs will be hauled out of the area via Forest Roads 420 ( Schultz Pass Road), 865, and 556 (Little Elden Springs Road).

The Elden Springs Horse Camp, Deer Hill Trail, and Little Elden Trail are within the area and may be closed at times for public safety. Visitors are urged to abide by on-the-ground closures.

No road closures will be in place due to this activity, but delays are possible. When driving on roads used as haul routes, stay to the right and give logging trucks the right of way. When following a logging truck, be aware that bark, mud, and gravel may fall from the truck.

The goal of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative is to accelerate the pace and scale of restoration within 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona to increase the resilience and proper functioning.  Restoring this fire-adapted ecosystem is accomplished with a suite of restoration activities – from watershed maintenance and habitat improvements to prescribed burning and thinning.

The progress of thinning, fire, and project planning efforts are recorded in Monthly Restoration Updates available on the 4FRI website at www.fs.usda.gov/4FRI.

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