MENDOCINO Co., 1/13/20 — The United States Forest Service is planning a vegetation management project within the burn scar of the Ranch Fire in the Mendocino National Forest, including some herbicide applications along with mechanical removal of invasive species, and the agency is currently seeking public comments on the project until January 21.
The project does not include portions of the forest within Mendocino County, but will cover 54 acres at 15 different sites within Glenn, Colusa, and Lake counties. The target species include Scotch Broom, Spanish Broom, and French Broom, which are non-native invasive species that can increase fire hazard, and the Forest Service Is planning to remove them with both herbicide applications and mechanical removal. The public comment period will be open until January 21, and regulators are required to consider public comments in drafting their final plan.
The entirety of the plan can be found on this Forest Service project webpage, and public comment can be submitted to: Japhia Huhndorf, Mendocino National Forest All Units, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, CA, 95988 or emailed to [email protected]. Here’s the full announcement from the Forest Service:
WILLOWS, Calif. – Jan. 2, 2020 – The Mendocino National Forest is seeking public input on the proposed Ranch Fire Broom treatment project. Forest resource specialists are planning the project to remove and control non-native invasive broom species within the area of the 2018 Ranch Fire. Infestations are known from 15 sites covering 54 acres in various areas of Glenn, Colusa and Lake counties.
Most of this treatment work will involve herbicide application on young plants, though mechanical removal of larger adult plants will also occur. Foliar applications of herbicide to brooms are most effective during late spring and early summer when the plants are actively growing and there is sufficient soil moisture; treatments would generally occur April to July, depending on weather conditions. No herbicide will be applied within Snow Mountain Wilderness and no aerial application of herbicide is proposed.
There are three species of brooms that will be targeted: Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), and French broom (Genista monspessulana). Brooms were commonly planted both as ornamentals and for erosion control as early as the late 1800s, but Scotch broom was recognized as a problem in California in the 1930s. Broom species can form impenetrable thickets that contribute to fire hazard, are not palatable to wildlife, and have long-lived seed banks.
The Forest recognizes public participation as a valuable part of the planning process to help refine and further develop the proposed action. To best assist the Forest in this project, please provide comments by January 21, 2020. For more information about the proposal, see the project webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57273 or contact District Botanist, Japhia Huhndorf, at [email protected] or 707-275-1426.USFS press release