Sunday, August 28, 2011

Post-Schultz fire flood plan depends on Forest Service

Plans to channel potential floodwaters around Flagstaff's Timberline neighborhood all rely on the U.S. Forest Service and our sense is that they may be constrained in taking action. Cyndy Cole's article in the Arizona (Flagstaff) Daily Sun says that of the 6 plans proposed:
  • "None of the funding is guaranteed, and no major congressional earmark or other funding source is expected.
  • Only one flood area out of about six drainage areas has explicit, well-defined flood-control plans -- the rest are yet to be decided.
  • And all of the solutions rely on the U.S. Forest Service taking action to channel water from the Coconino National Forest (a step it has not promised)."

One challenge would seem to be whether the Forest Service can spend money on non-forest lands. A second one will be whether if Forest Service funds are used, that will trigger National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements to study the potential impacts of the channels and other flood control measures. NEPA issues could be substantial and take an extensive period to resolve. [right, emergency channel construction in Aug. 2010. The light colored area on the mountain in the background is the Schultze fire burned area. My photo]

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1 comment:

  1. Please keep us posted on this issue! We used to live in Flag and still own 5 acres in Timberline (on the market, but nothing's selling right now, with a glut of For Sale signs out there). Without reliable flood control, no one would ever buy it!