Tag Archives: ed armenta

U.S. FOREST SERVICE NEEDS LOCAL HELP

Local vendors and residents sought for call-when-needed for fire jobs.

According to Deb Schweizer at Inyo National Forest, the Inyo National Forest is conducting outreach to Eastern Sierra vendors, residents, and businesses who are interested in being available for incident response.  Those who are interested will sign up and compete for emergency incident agreements that are open for solicitation in 2017.

Currently, when wildfires or other incidents occur in the Eastern Sierra, vendors who provide support resources are often located up to 5 hours away.  “having local vendors would not only benefit the Inyo National Forest and the timely support of its fire personnel on the line,” said Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta, “but it also has great potential to provide local residents with more business opportunities.”

During fire response, support personnel and equipment play an integral role in a successful outcome.  A locally signed call-when-needed, 4WD pickup with driver to deliver supplies to incident crews can make a big difference in how efficiently an incident can be managed.

“We have engines, crews and aircraft,” said Interagency Fire Management Officer Taro Pusina.  “What we need are the support resources open for solicitation now that can be provided by local vendors on a call-when-needed basis.  This includes vehicles with drivers (passenger vehicles and trucks), fuel tenders, heavy equipment (dozers, excavators, tractor plows and transports), mechanics with service trucks, fallers, and vendors that can supply and set up large tents and canopies.”

Solicitations for these services are only open to vendors for competition every 3 years.  Forest’s ability to use vendors who have not signed up for an agreement is limited.  Duration of assignment varies. Vendors have the option of accepting or declining assignments based on their availability.  Anyone interested in learning more about the opportunities available, is encouraged to contact Andrew Kong at 760 873 2565.

Wilderness Evaluation open house

Inyo National Forest open house Tuesday

The Inyo National Forest announces an open house to share the results of the wilderness evaluation process as part of the completion of forest plan revision.

The informal open house will be Tuesday, June 9, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. at the US Forest Service Supervisors Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Interested parties can stop by and talk to staff and view maps.

There will be a brief presentation to help explain the process the US Forest Service used. This meeting is informational and there is no comment period associated with it.

“I made a commitment to my communities that I would share the results of the wilderness evaluation with them prior to the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)” said Ed Armenta Forest Supervisor. “I am proud of the work of my staff to meet the intent of the evaluation. We neither advocated for or against wilderness, rather we simply evaluated which lands meet the criteria for proposed wilderness.”

The 2012 Planning Rule requires forests to identify and evaluate lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and rivers suitable for inclusion under Wild and Scenic River Act (WSRA). The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo national forests were selected as early adopters; they will be the first forests to revise their land management plans using the 2012 National Forest System Planning Rule. The planning rule provides the framework for Forest Service land management plans across the nation.

Staff will share the status of the Wild and Scenic River evaluation that is currently being reviewed by the planning team. If the review is complete, those results will be shared at the open house as well.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) decision document of the revised forest plans will describe any recommendations for wilderness.

Congress holds the authority to designate wilderness.  If areas are recommended for wilderness, the responsible official will include forest plan direction to protect ecological and social characteristics so that the wilderness character of the recommended area(s) is not reduced before congressional action on the recommendation can take place.

There will be an opportunity for formal comment when the DEIS is released. The Forest Service expects to publish a “Notice of Availability of DEIS” in the fall 2015, which begins a 90-day public comment period.

inyo national forest, ed armenta, eastern sierra news, wilderness