Sarah Green: Town should reassess removal of trees
There is a Town of Truckee project underway, the 2021 Roadway Vegetation Management Project. It is taking a blanket approach to vegetation treatment along 42 miles of roadway and removes all trees in the 10 foot town right of way. Fortunately, the town recently agreed to not remove trees over 24 inches in diameter. This project will constitute the removal of hundreds of trees on approximately 100 acres in our neighborhoods this summer. This is not a small maintenance project and should never have been considered a Categorical Exemption for CEQA.
We, the residents of Truckee, understand the need for fuel reduction measures in our fire prone environment. However, the Town’s approach is heavy-handed and based strictly on anecdotal evidence.
The project lacks the necessary scientific input from a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire specialist. This input is critically needed to better inform the plan and guide sound decision making in order to avoid doing irreparable damage. As it stands, the project provides questionable fire-safety benefits and has the potential for doing long-term harm such as impacts to urban heat island mitigation, erosion prevention, wildlife habitat and traffic safety buffers.
It’s not too late to make this a project that truly benefits our town and neighborhoods. We demand that the town pause the project and reassess the removal of trees which do not constitute ladder fuels.
We ask the Town Council to put this on the next agenda for further discussion. We will have a petition available soon. Please email us if you’d like to stay informed or get involved – firstname.lastname@example.org. We represent a large number of people in this community who are dismayed by the approach being taken.
Sarah Green, Mike Wolf, Stacie Smith, Caroline Ford, Annaliese Miller, Barbara Green
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Justin Scacco’s Sept. 3 Sierra Sun article quoted Fire Chief Bill Seline: “Either, there’s a massive fuels reduction program over many years that makes a difference, or we’re going to continue to see significant fires…