West Rim Project Environmental Impact Statement
JW Associates was the lead consultant for a project to reduce wildfire risk in the Black Hills of South Dakota for the US Forest Service. The purpose of the project is to reduce the wildfire risk and potential of Mountain pine beetle infestation primarily in the Ponderosa pine forests of the Northern Hills Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest. The project area was 53,157 acres in size and included Spearfish Canyon, an important recreation and cultural area. The main issues were fuel reduction in Spearfish Canyon and Mountain pine beetle infestation. Treatments in the proposed action included thinning, prescribed fire and wildland urban interface treatments over 17, 363 acres.
Brad Piehl was the project manager, NEPA and water resources lead. Jessica Wald was the public involvement lead and writer/editor. Laura Scotford was the silviculturist. Bob Solari was the fire/fuels and air quality specialist. JW Associates hired several subcontractors that were assembled into a unique technical team specifically for this project. JW Associates provided project and technical management, GIS analysis, scoping and public outreach, preparation of 7 specialist reports, and preparation of the draft and final EIS documents. The JW Associates team finished the Final EIS and the Record of Decision has been issued. The project is being implemented.