Forest Service to begin thinning trees near Watson Lake

Submitted to the Sun
The Forest Service is scheduled to begin forest thinning operations this week on approximately 274 acres near Watson Lake

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is scheduled to begin mechanical fuels reduction (forest thinning) operations this week on approximately 274 acres near Watson Lake on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. This fuels reduction work is part of the Carnelian Hazardous Fuels Reduction & Healthy Forest Restoration Project that aims to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and create healthier forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The thinning method used during this project will be mechanical cut-to-length tree removal. CTL thinning involves cutting the tree down, removing the limbs and cutting it into sections in the cutting area, and then removing the tree and as much material as possible.

CTL tree removal may require closure of the area during operations due to the hazards posed by heavy equipment and falling trees. No closures are planned at this time, but recreationists are advised to use caution when accessing the Tahoe Rim Trail near Watson Lake.

The public can expect to see heavy equipment associated with the CTL tree removal in the area south of Mt. Pluto and trucks hauling materials out on the 16N73 road to Brockway Summit. Work may continue throughout the summer and fall as conditions and staffing schedules allow.

The Decision Memo for this project can be found on the Carnelian Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration Project webpage.

In addition to short-term impacts to recreational access, other impacts from fuels reduction projects include changes to the appearance of Tahoe Basin forests. Treated areas look disturbed at first but recover visually within a few years.

For more information on current activities, contact Azad Henareh at

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