When current and historical conditions in the Mission Project area were compared, it was found that ecosystem health and resiliency have declined. The areas identified to build a more resilient ecosystem are hydrologic function and aquatic habitat, soil productivity, vegetation composition and structure, wildlife habitat, sensitive plants and unique habitats, as well as wildfire hazards and transportation problems.
The project uses results of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) tools to identify vegetation, wildlife, and aquatic restoration; and wildfire hazard reduction needs at the stand and landscape level in the 50,200 acre project area.
Why this location?
In order to allow the Methow Ranger District staff the time to respond to the workload resulting from the Carlton Complex fire, the member organizations of the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative (NCWFHC) have invested in the Mission area to develop high quality information and restoration proposals that the Forest Service can analyze and consider to guide decisions about future management activities.
The Mission Project work area is the Buttermilk Creek and Libby Creek watersheds in Okanogan County approximately between Carlton and Twisp. This area has four important features that drive synergistic opportunities for management activities and would benefit from restoration work: habitat for endangered fish; unsustainable vegetation composition; vulnerable wildlife habitat; and opportunities for social and economic benefit.
The Mission project area possesses exceptional fish and wildlife habitat values that contribute to the Methow Valley’s unique environmental quality and economic well-being. We want to help the Forest Service determine what are the most appropriate actions needed to restore healthier forest and watershed conditions and reduce the threat of disastrous fires and floods.
– Mike Anderson Senior Resource Analyst, The Wilderness Society
The Carlton Complex Fire burned over 70% of the South Summit Restoration Project that was only weeks away from being signed. What a set-back, so we asked how we can help. That is why we appreciate being invited by the Methow Valley Ranger District (MVRD) to explore potential restoration treatments in the Libby and Buttermilk Ck. watersheds while the MVRD prepared a post-fire South Summit II Restoration Project. I am so proud of our NCWFHC Project Workgroup for enthusiastically volunteering their time, knowledge and skills to provide ideas for ecologically and economically-sound restoration treatments for the MVRD to consider.
– Lloyd McGee Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)