Big Piney District project starts new phase

BIG PINEY – Phase two of the Monument Ridge Vegetation and Recreation Management project is currently under way in the Big Piney Ranger District of Bridger-Teton National Forest near Bondurant.

The habitat and fuel treatment area is within the Wildland Urban Interface where Monument Ridge borders the western edge of the treatment area and the residential area along the Hoback River borders the eastern edge.

Proposed by the Sublette County Collaborative, the project is multifaceted. It addresses vegetation management within the wildland urban interface, wildlife habitat enhancement activities, along with safety and access improvements for recreation. These activities aim to improve forest health and promote wildlife populations for elk, mule deer and sage grouse. The project also aims to provide positive wildlife benefits and recreation opportunities into the future.

Crews are falling trees south of Hoback Guard Station and Monument Ridge Look Out on 1,000 acres along Monument Ridge for a planned prescribed burn in 2023. This is scheduled for completion by Oct. 7. Other parts were treated last year and together, this project should reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire.

Slash produced from the tree felling along Monument Ridge will remain for a two-year period after felling, allowing the slash to cure and become an available fuel bed for prescribed fire. That allows crews to implement the prescribed burn in the spring season.

U.S. Forest Service designated trails will remain open and clear of vegetation debris throughout this phase of the project.

Those seeking more information can contact acting Big Piney District Ranger Gregory Brooks at 307-276-5810.