National forest officials are seeking public comment on efforts to manage fuel and vegetation loads and restore a white oak stand in the upper Middle Fork and Siskiyou Fork areas of the Smith River.

The proposed Knopke South Project, a collaborative effort between the Six Rivers National Forest and the Smith River Collaborative Group, will create between 400 and 556 acres of strategic fuel breaks along roads and ridgetops, commercially thin about 400 acres and restore a 10-acre white oak stand being encroached on by conifers, according to a national forest press release.

The project will also re-burn about 100 acres within the Bear Fire footprint to rejuvenate bear grass according to the release. The public comment period will be held through May 24.

The Smith River Collaborative Group is a partnership between Del Norte County elected officials, the Forest Service, Elk Valley Rancheria, the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, the Del Norte Fire Safe Council, the American Forest Resource Council and regional environmental groups including Friends of Del Norte and the Smith River Alliance.

For more information, call District Ranger Jeff Marszal at (707) 457-3860, project leader Brenda Devlin at (707) 457-3862 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55928.

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