Print Project gathers smoke views
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Monday, 10 December 2012 00:00

A group of students and a professor from Northern Arizona University came to Camp Verde last week to get some input from local residents about plans by the U.S. Forest Service to thin out the forests.

The forest service has initiated the “Four Forest Restoration Initiative,” or 4FRI, a plan to help bring back a more natural forest ecosystem in the Coconino, Kaibab, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests.

The plan involves opening up some forest land to logging and wood removal while changing the way the forest service grows trees in the forests.

The move could increase the amount of smoke in the air over the coming decade, but in the long run planners hope to return forests closer to how they used to be historically, with trees more spread out and stands not packed so tightly.

The students, while not working for the forest service, said they would give any information they discovered to the forest service.

They also said they chose Camp Verde because it was identified as a community that while not lying where the fires are, is affected by smoke.

“When the barometric pressure drops, the whole place fills up,” long time Camp Verde resident Howard Parrish said.

With the need for more efficient forest management highlighted by recent fires, including the Wallow Fire, the largest in recorded Arizona history, the Forest Service is hoping to thin out some of the land, providing wood, in some cases, to be burned for use in creating electricity.

The program also will look at restoring springs and drainage patterns to a natural state.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Nov. 28, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.