Dixie National Forest officials looking for input on plans to treat forest against insect outbreaks

The Dixie National Forest, southwest Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY —The National Forest Service is looking for public input on plans to treat a segment of woodland in Southern Utah in an effort to promote a healthier forest.

Area of proposed treatment on the Dixie National Forest in Southern Utah. | Image courtesy of the U.S. National Forest Service, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Dixie National Forest’s Cedar City Ranger District is proposing to implement a variety of vegetation treatments to improve forest health, reduce the threat of insect disease and reduce fire threats. Approximately 2,988 acres of vegetation treatment are proposed on National Forest System lands within the Asay Creek watershed.

According to a press release issued by the Forest Service, the project is needed to reforest areas impacted by insect- and disease-caused tree death, promote species diversity, reduce fuels near at-risk areas and lower the insect hazard rating in order to protect future outbreaks.

“There are some great projects being proposed in the Asay Creek Watershed, such as wildland urban interface defense, aspen enhancement, forest health improvements,” Veronica Magnuson of the Cedar City District Ranger said in the press release. “I invite the public to collaborate with the Forest on this project and I look forward to your thoughts, ideas and comments.”

The proposed treatments include aspen improvement and regeneration, commercial salvage harvest, thinning, planting and fuel reduction practices, such as prescribed fires to reduce the risk of large-scale wildfires.

The district is asking for public collaboration and comment on these proposed treatments. Comments can be submitted via the project website under the “Get Connected” link.

An open house for the public is also scheduled for July 11 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at the Dixie National Forest Cedar City Ranger District office, located at 1789 North Wedgewood Lane in Cedar City.

For additional information on the Asay Creek Farm Bill project, visit the project website or call the project contact, Jason Villwock, at 435-865-3221.

Email: news@stgnews.com

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