Prescribed burn (copy)

Fire crews walk the perimeter of a prescribed burn along Forest Road 21 near La Pine on June 9, 2021.

The Deschutes National Forest has opened a 30-day public comment period for the draft environmental assessment of the Cabin Butte Vegetation Management Project.

The 25,804-acre project is located on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District, southeast of Bend.

A goal of the project is to make the forest more resilient to insects, disease and large-scale wildfire, according to a news release from the Deschutes National Forest. Prescribed fire and other treatments will be used to reduce hazardous fuels and move the area back to more historic conditions, prior to fire suppression.

In addition, the project addresses road management in the area to reduce impacts to soil, plants and wildlife habitat.

The western portion of the project area crosses U.S. Highway 97 south of Deschutes River Woods and borders lava flows.

China Hat Road, also known as Forest Road 18, goes through the project

area.

Around 11,600 acres of the project area sits within the wildland urban interface. About 1,000 private structures, primarily homes, are within a mile of the project boundary.

Members of the public can contact Alicia Bergshneider, environmental coordinator, at alicia.bergschneider@usda.gov to receive a copy of the environmental assessment, or to ask questions about the project.

Comments may also be emailed to: comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bend-ftrock@usda.gov. Put Cabin Butte in the subject line of the email.

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Reporter: 541-617-7818,

mkohn@bendbulletin.com

Michael Kohn has been public lands and environment reporter with The Bulletin since 2019. He enjoys hiking in the hills and forests near Bend with his family and exploring the state of Oregon.

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