Scoping Information - Hazard Tree Management Plan Update
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) proposes to update its Hazard Tree Management Plan to include responses to current and imminent tree disease epidemics.
The National Lakeshore has begun to see the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer and Beech Bark Disease epidemics, two tree diseases with very high mortality rates. A third tree disease, Oak Wilt, has been reported nearby and is likely to appear in the National Lakeshore's forests soon.
Ash and Beech are both abundant as large-sized canopy trees in the National Lakeshore's forests, including near developed areas, roads, trails, and adjacent landowner property lines. As these trees die, this will mean an increased hazard tree workload, and will present the National Lakeshore with decisions about how to respond. Responses may include procedures such as preemptively removing trees that do not yet present the usual hazard tree characteristics (in cases where they do show clear disease symptoms) to avoid dangerous tree removal situations, stump grinding, and using a vibratory blade implement to isolate the root systems of infected oak stands, in the event of Oak Wilt infections. This plan update will not include details on responding to the tree pests and diseases, as these actions are already being implemented. Rather, it will focus only on hazard tree management and possible restoration activities.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) of this project will be prepared and, as part of this planning process, we welcome your ideas and input regarding any issues or concerns relevant to you. We are especially interested in things you would like us to consider as we plan the project.
Update 1/27/14: A copy of the 2002 Hazard Tree Management Plan and associated appendices have been posted as additional information.
01/02/2014 - 02/15/2014