Kelly Ruane
Sierra Sun

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August 1, 2007
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'Got Space' sticker aims at fire safety

Move over Keep Tahoe Blue.

Another bumper sticker will soon tempt locals to slap the decal onto their all-terrain vehicles: Got Space?

The Sierra Watershed Education Partnership is producing the stickers to raise awareness about the need for homeowners to create defensible space to reduce the threat of wildfire.

The nonprofit group received a grant from the California Community Forests Foundation and funds from the Nevada County Forest Reserve to publish and distribute the stickers.

The decal's design was devised by T.J. Pelletier of Truckee, a 15-year-old sophomore at Forest Charter School. Pelletier presented the design to the public at the Second Annual Youth Service Symposium on May 18 in Truckee.

Pelletier said the idea for the design came out of a collaborative effort with a teacher.

"My science teacher wanted me to design a sticker about defensible space, and we brainstormed and I came up with that design," the teenager said in a phone interview.

Since the Angora Fire, Pelletier has presented the sticker to five local fire departments to help increase awareness about defensible space.

"Such an issue as the Angora Fire should be explained to the public in a simple way that won't scare everyone, but will give them the message that this is a really big deal," Pelletier said.

The Sierra Watershed Education Partnership focuses on connecting students from kindergarten through high school to their community and local environment through comprehensive watershed education. The Partnership has a Forest Health program that has featured defensible-space education for the past three years.

The nonprofit has built collaborative partnerships with the defensible-space team of North Tahoe Fire, California State Parks fire personnel, U.S. Forest Service fuels managers and Truckee Fire.

The programs the group conducts are not restricted to classroom education. Some offer hands-on experiences to Truckee and North Tahoe youths, who are invited to participate in monitoring, restoration and public-outreach projects.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 1, 2007 09:39PM Published Aug 1, 2007 06:38PM Copyright 2007 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.