California CLimate Investments
The USFS and RCD have identified multiple restoration opportunities on public and private lands to make increase forest resilience, accelerate reforestation of severely burned forests, and reduce the risk of future catastrophic fire impacts to both communities and natural resources. Forest thinning through the diameter class and other fuel treatments (e.g. mastication, prescribed fire) would be used to reduce forest biomass and surface fuels in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire. This reduction would help to protect tree-based carbon stocks, improve growth rates and carbon uptake of residual trees, and minimize greenhouse gas released in the instance of wildfire.
Reducing forest density and surface fuels are a key step towards building a resilient landscape. Thinning prescriptions were designed to restore forest structure and facilitate the widespread use of prescribed fire by removing biomass, reducing stand densities, and shifting species composition towards more drought- and fire-tolerant species. Thinning treatments would reduce inter-tree competition from limited water and nutrients, thereby reducing the risk of insect and disease-caused mortality and GHG emissions from dead and decaying trees.
Prescribed under burning would be used to maintain the benefits of widespread thinning and to begin restoring fire as a process in forests throughout the project area. Prescribed burning would reduce surface and maintain the reduction in ladder fuels by reducing understory shrubs, small trees, and raising the live crown heights of residual larger diameter trees. As a result, fuel ignitability, ignition of tree crowns, rate of fire spread, and fire duration and intensity would be reduced. Creating favorable stand conditions across the landscape at scale would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and associated adverse effects to air and water quality. If fires occur on the landscape, fire size and severity could be reduced, resulting in less GHG emissions when compared to fires that occur if forests are not treated.
The project will occur on two areas of the Modoc National Forest and adjacent private timber ground managed by Sierra Pacific
Industries and W.M. Beaty and Associates. The first area is the subdivision protection area (Manzanita Mountain). This area is identified in the Cal Fire Lassen Modoc Unit Fire Plan. It is identified as the Ash Watershed Restoration Project and the Upper Cal Pines Restoration Project (p32&34). Two large fires (Cove and Stone) in the area have highlighted the urgent need for action. There are a total of 10,805 acres (i.e. 5,949 Rx + 4,856) are planned for restoration in this area treatment under this project application. Proposed treatments will augment ongoing USFS projects designed to improve forest health and to create a strategic shaded fuel break to protect the Cal Pines subdivision and the Rush Creek Subdivision. The Modoc NF has thinned 5,997 through timber sales in this area and is currently planning an additional 3000 acre forest health project (Kresge) in the area. The value of the removed product saw log and biomass from these projects was not sufficient to pay for the other treatments in the area.
The second area of proposed treatment is the Power line protection area, near Round Mt. Treatments (i.e. 1,577 and 4,017 Rx acres) are adjacent to two 500 kV Transmission lines and a natural gas line. This area has been a focus area for the Modoc NF for the past decade. Modoc has a strong partnership with Transmission Agency of Northern California which provides $160,00 per year for fuels and road maintenance work. This funding supports one fire station, road maintenance work and fuels reduction work.
Funding for this project provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program and the CAL FIRE Forest Health Program.
CAL FIRE's Forest Health Grant Program awards Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds allocated by the legislature for California Climate Investments (CCI) to implement projects that seek to proactively restore forest health and conserve working forests, protect upper watersheds where the state's water supply originates, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon from large, intense wildfires.
Burney-Hat Creek Forest Health Project, is part of California Climate Investments,a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California.
For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.
For more information on the CAL FIRE Forest Health Program please visit https://www.fire.ca.gov/grants/forest-health-grants/
Stone fire salvage
The Stone Fire burned over 30,000 acres during the summer of 2018. The RCD and Forest Service have developed a Master Stewardship Agreement and a Supplemental Project Agreement to remove hazard trees. Project is expected to begin immediately and end in 2021.
Upper Pit River Forest Health
This project will increase the pace and scale of the RCD while working on federal and private lands with multiple project partners. Funds will be leveraged to implement projects that have timber value while pursuing State and other non-federal funds to augment those projects that have little to no timber value. The focus is to improve/restore forest health through biomass utilization, thinning, masticate, etc. Project completion date is 2022