Gem State Roundup

Boise National Forest’s Emmett Ranger District to hold open house on revised Sage Hen project

By: - April 20, 2023 4:10 am
Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest covers more than 2.5 million acres and includes more than 500 trails. More than 60% of Idaho is federal public land. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)

The Boise National Forest’s Emmett Ranger District will host an open house to begin its 30-day comment period and inform the public about the Revised Sage Hen Integrated Project, according to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service.

The original proposal for the project, which was going to be implemented in Gem and Valley counties over the next 20 years in phases, was withdrawn by the Forest Service in December, after several complaints were filed by environmental groups, including the Idaho Conservation League, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and the Native Ecosystems Council, among others.


“These phases included: conducting up to 19,900 acres of commercial timber harvest, constructing up to 83.1 miles of temporary road, treating 35,000 to 45,000 acres with prescribed fire, reconstruction of approximately 10.2 miles of road through realignments and surfacing, adding 0.3 miles of unauthorized routes to the transportation system, decommissioning 14.2 miles of system roads and one mile of motorized trails, replacing four culverts with structures that allow for fish passage, reconstructing two campgrounds, reconstructing a trailhead and installation of a vault toilet,” according to a letter announcing the withdrawal from Forest Supervisor Tawnya Brummett.

The open house will be held from 6-8 p.m. April 27 at the Emmett Ranger District office, 1857 Highway 16 Suite A, in Emmett. Attendees will be able to talk with specialists about the revised project, which aims to “improve vegetation conditions and resiliency to uncharacteristic disturbances by thinning overcrowded trees as well as restore watershed function to improve aquatic resources, such as bull trout critical habitat,” according to the press release.

The affected area continues to experience damaging insect outbreaks that have killed many trees in the area, according to the press release.

Hazard tree removal was completed along roadways and around the campgrounds in 2021. The revised project will focus on restoration to reduce fuel loads and begin restoration activities to improve the resiliency of the landscape, according to the press release.

To learn more, go to the Revised Sage Hen Integrated Restoration Project website or call Emmett District Range John Wallace at 208-365-7000.

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Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.