LCI joins forces with the North Kaibab Ranger District
In July 2014, the North Kaibab Ranger District (NKRD) launched a collaborative planning process to develop a proposed action for vegetation management in the Burnt Corral project area. The project, on the western Ponderosa Pine belt of the district, is within the area prioritized by the Kaibab Forest Health focus (KFHF), a collaborative, science-based group that worked from 2008-2009 to guide landscape-level forest restoration efforts across the Kaibab National Forest (KNF).
Putting plans into action
The priorities from the KFHF were subsequently integrated into the Kaibab Forest Plan, and the NKRD drew on the stakeholder-identified priority areas to select the Burnt Corral project boundaries. A collaborative group, consisting of about 32 stakeholders, some involved in the KFHF and some new participants, was convened to carry forward the spirit of the KFHF focus toward on-the-ground management actions. Specifically, the collaborative process, supported by science and spatial analysis, was an effort to develop a single proposed action, supported by stakeholders and interest groups holding diverse values, for the NRKD to bring forward into scoping under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
NAU’s involvement with the North Kaibab Ranger District and the Burnt Corral
The NKRD contracted with the Landscape Conservation Initiative (LCI) from Northern Arizona University’s (NAU’s) Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology to facilitate the meetings and support spatial analysis to aid consensus building, and committed to take the guidance of the collaborative forward into NEPA planning and implementation. The effort produced a draft proposed action based on a field visit and stakeholder deliberations over the course of several months.
Outcomes of this LCI project
Consensus was reached on many pieces of guidance, and the proposed action reflects the will of the group. Where consensus was not reached, LCI attempted to chart a path forward, or to document the range of opinions and options. This report presents the approach, outcomes, and future recommendations from the Burnt Corral collaborative, and is accompanied by the draft proposed action submitted to the NKRD as they move forward with project planning and NEPA analysis.