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Smokey Bear Flat OHV Restoration Project to be Implemented

Bishop, CA (April 26, 2007) - The Inyo National Forest has announced that they plan to implement the Smokey Bear Flat OHV restoration project beginning in late May of this year. The analysis and decision for this project was completed in 2004 and 2005. Grant funding was subsequently obtained to implement the project. The objective of this proposal is to reduce road density and protect rare plant species by restoring to natural condition approximately two miles of duplicate routes. Smokey Bear Flat is within the Smoke timber Compartment. The goal for the Smoke Compartment as stated in the SCALP Environmental Assessment (EA), the management document for the area, is a maximum of four miles of road per square mile of area. Currently, the Smoke Compartment averages 5.4 miles of road per square mile. A review of the SCALP EA was completed on April 30, 2004. In addition, a Decision Memo was signed on June 6, 2005 authorizing this activity.

Expected activities and results are restoration of approximately two miles of duplicate routes. On-the-ground work will include restoration (decommissioning) of existing roads and removal of roadside berms, using heavy equipment and/or disguising by hand. Disguise work includes raking, planting of native species such as Mono milkvetch, Mono Lake lupine, and/or western needlegrass (Achnatherum occidentalis), soil stabilization techniques, and barrier installation. Signing to inform the public of restoration efforts would also be installed. Once restoration work is completed, the area will be monitored for trespass.

If you have any questions or would like further information on implementation of the project, please contact Todd Ellsworth at 873-2457 or Kathleen Nelson at 873-2498.

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