Input sought on Project Sunflower

By on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA NATIONAL FOREST – The Pomeroy Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest is seeking public comment on the proposed Sunflower Insect and Disease Project, better known as the Sunflower Project, located about 15 miles southeast of Dayton. The U.S. Forest Service will be accepting written comments until July 22.

The project proposed to treat up to 2,902 acres which may include the harvest of dead trees. The primary objective is to remove trees of low health and strength in the face of increased insect and disease infestation, continued drought conditions, warmer and drier future climates. It also strives to improve forest resilience to wildfire by promoting the growth and strength of the remaining trees of desired species that are better able to withstand these disturbances.

Density reduction through tree removal is intended to improve the health of the remaining live trees. The U.S. Forest Service said this is not a salvage project. The removal of trees will be done through mechanical treatments including commercial thinning, small diameter thinning, piling of activity fuels and burning of piled material.

The comment period is an opportunity for the public to be involved in the process and offer thoughts on alternative ways for the U.S. Forest Service can accomplish the project purpose and need.

A collaborative field trip to the project area will be hosted by the Pomeroy Ranger District on July 7. Those interested in attending the field trip must contact Alison Arnold by July 5 at 509-843-1891.

The purpose of the field trip is to introduce the project, discuss project objectives and proposed treatments, and to gather information from the public about values that they would like the U.S. Forest Service to consider in project development.

To learn more about the project, visit