Monday, July 22, 2024

Community open house to provide update on Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project

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LEAVENWORTH—The U.S. Forest Service and Chelan County Natural Resources are collaborating with the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative (NCWFHC) to host a community open house on Thursday, April 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club. The open house will update the public on the implementation plans for the Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project, a 75,000-acre landscape restoration initiative.

“Working closely with the Forest Service, many partners and forest stakeholders have contributed much time and energy over the course of several years to raise needed funds, organize field trips, and review and add recommendations that will ultimately lead to the successful accomplishments of the Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project,” said Lloyd McGee, Eastern Washington Program manager for the Nature Conservancy and former NCWFHC co-chairman. 

The Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project aims to improve forest health and restore fire to the landscape to reduce the risks and effects of catastrophic wildfires. Restoration treatments, including commercial and non-commercial tree thinning, prescribed fire, road construction, and road decommissioning, will begin this spring in the vicinity of Plain and Lake Wenatchee and continue in phases through 2030.

“This open house is the perfect time and place to learn about the implementation work that will be starting this spring and coming in the foreseeable future. If you are interested in this 75,000-acre landscape, you will want to attend this meeting to know what types of treatments will be accomplished to create forest resiliency, reduce wildfire impacts, protect our communities and wildlife, and produce local jobs that will stimulate our economy,” McGee said. “Please bring your friends and neighbors and join us at the open house.”

Community members interested in learning about planned treatments are encouraged to visit the open house's information tables, which will be available before the planned presentation at 6 p.m. Resource specialists from partner agencies and organizations, including Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Lake Wenatchee Fire Adapted Communities, Cascadia Conservation District's Forest & Community Resilience Program, and Blue Forest Conservation, will be on hand to share information about resources available to private property owners.

For more background information on the Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project, interested individuals can watch a 20-minute video posted on the NCWFHC Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project webpage (https://www.ncwfhc.org/project/upper-wenatchee-pilot-project/).

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