Supervisors with the Coconino and Kaibab national forests have given final approval of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials say the program will restore forest health and decrease wildfire danger.
Nearly 600,000 acres will be treated on the Coconino and Kaibab national forests as part of the first phase of 4FRI. Mechanical thinning and prescribed burns will take place across a majority of that area along with watershed restoration and animal habitat improvement.
Brienne Pettit is the public affairs officer for 4FRI.
“Signing this record of decision signifies progress. The whole goal of 4FRI is to increase the scale and pace of restoration efforts in the ponderosa pine of northern Arizona. There’s so much work to do that there’s no such thing as an end date,” Pettit says.
The first stage of 4FRI is expected to last through 2020. Eventually, nearly two-and-half-million acres will be treated across the Coconino, Kaibab, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests.
To date, crews have treated about 300,000 acres.