California Tahoe Conservancy Board authorizes $1.03 million for forest health and wildfire risk reduction projects

Sierra Sun staff

At its Dec. 12 meeting, the California Tahoe Conservancy Board authorized spending $1,036,750 to implement three high-priority projects to reduce fire risk and improve forest health in South Lake Tahoe and on the west shore.

“These forest health projects will help protect our communities while making our forests more resilient to future climate change impacts,” said Brooke Laine, South Lake Tahoe council member and conservancy board member.

The conservancy board approved funding for projects that include:

• A grant to California Department of Parks and Recreation for up to $487,500 for hand thinning and understory burning at Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park on the west shore.

• Spending up to $211,250 on forest thinning on conservancy land in the South Lake Tahoe Ski Run and Bijou neighborhoods,

• A grant to the South Tahoe Public Utility District for up to $338,000 for forest thinning on the grounds of its treatment plant.

Funding for the projects comes from a 2016 Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act Round 16 Hazardous Fuels and Wildfire Prevention grant by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

At the same meeting, the board authorized a $450,000 grant to the Tahoe Resource Conservation District for an aquatic invasive species control project in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The conservancy also announced a new $895,000 grant it received from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to support the Upper Truckee Marsh restoration, and to monitor the ability of mountain meadows and floodplains to capture and store carbon.

The board also elected new officers at its meeting, choosing El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel as board chair, to succeed South Lake Tahoe Councilwoman Brooke Laine. Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson takes over as vice chair, succeeding Senate Public Member Lynn Suter.

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