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Boreal Community Media

Forest Service invites the public to comment on Tofte Landscape Project draft Environmental Assessment

Jun 01, 2021 12:51PM ● By Editor
From the U.S. Forest Service - June 1, 2021


The Forest Service invites the public to review and comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Tofte Landscape Project. During the comment period, the Superior National Forest will host a virtual open house on June 30, 2021, from 5:00 -7:00 PM CT where participants can learn more about the project and ask questions. 

“With the Tofte Landscape Project, we’re taking a holistic approach to managing the ecosystem. We look forward to hearing from interested stakeholders on this project at the open house and through the comment period to make this plan the best it can be for our forest and communities. said Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak, Tofte District Ranger for the Superior National Forest. 

The Tofte Landscape Project was designed to achieve objectives of the Superior National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. The Tofte Landscape Project draft EA, containing the project's purpose and need, proposed actions, alternatives, environmental effects, maps and appendices, along with other project documents, can be found and reviewed on the Forest’s project website: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/projects. Scroll down the page and select the Tofte Landscape Project. Additional information about the project is also available in a Tofte Landscape Project StoryMap: https://arcg.is/10aj4X. 

Background 

The Tofte Landscape Project is a vegetation management project that aims to improve the health and resiliency of the forest on the Tofte Ranger District by putting the right treatment on the right acre at the right time. The project would create young forest, increase within stand diversity, improve tree density, create multi-aged stands, reduce hazardous fuels, provide forest products and create a diversity of wildlife habitat. 

In October 2019, we accepted comments on this project during an initial scoping period. In response to comments received, we modified the project and created an “estimated implementation plan” which displays the location of vegetation treatments and temporary road use, based on current information. The project also includes a condition-based management approach which allows for adjustments to the estimated implementation plan based on current forest conditions. The ability to adjust treatments based on current forest conditions would improve management for multiple resources and values. 

“Forest conditions are always changing, and this approach will give us the ability to respond more effectively to real-time forest conditions on the ground and adapt our management approach as needed,” Bogardus-Syzmaniak said about the project. 

How to join the Tofte Landscape Project open house 

The virtual open house will be hosted on Microsoft Teams software at https://tinyurl.com/78up66ft. For more information on the open house and how to join, please review the open house logistics flyer posted to the Tofte Landscape Project webpage. The open house will be recorded and posted on the project webpage so those that cannot attend may view it. While the open house is intended as an opportunity to learn about the project and ask questions, it not a forum to submit comments. Below is information on how to submit comments. 

How to submit comments on the draft Environmental Assessment 

Comments must be submitted in writing, electronically or by U.S. mail, within 30 days from the date the legal notice is published in the Duluth News Tribune. We anticipate that a legal notice will be published on June 15, 2021.  

Regardless of how you submit comments, please include your name, address, and the Tofte Landscape Project title. All comments received (including names and addresses) will become part of the project record and are public information.  

Written Comments: 

    • Please direct to: Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak, District Ranger: Tofte Landscape Project, Tofte Ranger District, 7355 West Highway 61, PO BOX 2159, Tofte, MN 55615. 

Electronic Comments: 

    • Email comments to [email protected] or use the webform at the Tofte Landscape Project webpage. Include the subject line: Tofte Landscape Project Draft EA. 
    • Electronic comments may also be submitted with the StoryMap “Leave a Comment” interface. The StoryMap is at: https://arcg.is/10aj4X. 

Please note that all people or organizations who submit comments or contact us during this comment period will be notified when the Tofte Landscape Project Draft Decision Notice is available on the web and the objection period has started. 

A copy of this press release will also be available on our website later today.

For further information about this project, please contact Peter Taylor, project coordinator, at [email protected] 


Contact:
Joanna Gilkeson
Public Affairs Specialist
Forest Service
Superior National Forest
p: 218-349-5134
[email protected]
8901 Grand Avenue Place
Duluth, MN 55808
www.fs.fed.us