Tahoe-Truckee news briefs: Meeting this week on 2,000-acre forest thinning project | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee news briefs: Meeting this week on 2,000-acre forest thinning project

Staff report

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest is proposing a fuels reduction and forest restoration project along and surrounding both sides of the Sawtooth Road (06 Road).

The area of the proposed “Big Jack East Fuels Reduction and Forest Restoration Project” is located east of Highway 89 South, west of Martis Valley, and south of the town of Truckee. The area, according to the Truckee Ranger District’s project page, is “surrounded by neighborhoods … including Sierra Meadows, Ponderosa Palisades and Martis Camp and Northstar Ski Resort.”

The 2,059-acre project “proposes to reduce fuels, reduce the risk of catastrophic fire and restore natural ecological functions of the forest,” Truckee Ranger District officials said in a news release, adding that work will include “mechanical tree thinning, prescribed burning and mastication.”

“I can say that, save for a few exceptions when it comes to hazard trees to homes, roads and infrastructure, the trees that will be proposed for removal will be generally small, and no trees greater than 30 inches diameter at breast height will be marked,” Scott Conway, a restoration ecologist and vegetation management officer with the USFS, said in an October 2016 Sierra Sun story about this project.

Per that report, officials said that while the goal is to minimize inconveniences to homeowners and those who use the area to recreate, there will likely be some.

“The idea is that those inconveniences would pale in comparison to the impacts of a larger disturbance like high-severity fire,” Conway said in October.

Forest Service personnel will host an open house to answer questions on Thursday, March 23, from 4-7 p.m. at the Truckee Ranger District office at 10811 Stockrest Springs Road in Truckee.

A 30-day scoping period was initiated March 15 for the proposed project. This period provides a designated opportunity for public comment. Detailed project information and directions for submitting comments are located at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49215.

Prescribed burns may be on tap near Lake Tahoe

If conditions are favorable, officials with California State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service planned to resume prescribed fire operations March 16 on Lake Tahoe’s east and west shores.

“Operations may take place near Tahoe City and Glenbrook and may continue as conditions allow,” officials said Friday. “Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions. Agencies coordinate with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitor weather conditions closely prior to prescribed fire ignition.”

To receive prescribed fire notifications, send an email to pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us.

To view a map with project locations and details, visit the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team website at http://www.tahoefft.org.

According to the TFFT, each prescribed fire operation follows “a prescribed fire burn plan,” which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.

“Smoke sensitive individuals are encouraged to reduce their exposure by staying indoors if they are in a smoke affected area,” according to a news release.

For more information about prescribed fire and smoke management tips, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/RxFireOps.

TFFT consists of, among others, representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, Calfire, Nevada Division of Forestry, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the U.S. Forest Service.