The first phase of steep slope treatment on Bill Williams Mountain is being completed, with the successful thinning of 300 acres of dense standing trees and removal of dead and down trees on the mountain located just outside of the City of Williams. Workers used ground-based, helicopter and hand thinning operations.
The Bill Williams Mountain Restoration Project is a collaboration between Coconino County, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), Kaibab National Forest, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management and private partners. The goal is to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and post-wildfire flooding in this critical area. Studies show that forest restoration treatments could reduce the potential for active crown fire on the mountain from 61% to 18%.
Approximately 120 cords of wood from the project area were transported to Navajo and Hopi communities as part of the Wood for Life tribal fuelwood initiative, which connects timber from forest restoration treatments with tribal communities in need firewood for heating, cooking and other uses.
Ground and mulched materials remain at the landing and will continue to be removed off the project site. Williams residents can expect to continue to see chip vans in transit in the coming weeks. Forest Road 106 and 100 feet on either side of the road will remain closed for public safety during this time.
“Coconino County is pleased with the results of treating Steep Slope 1 and we are looking forward to solidifying plans for Steep Slope 2, which we hope will begin next year. … It’s projects like this one that show partnerships work,” said Jay Smith, Coconino County’s Forest Restoration Director, in a news release. “Coconino County’s Flood Control District remains committed to this project to protect the City of Williams, their water resources and economy from catastrophic wildfires and post-wildfire flooding.”