Forest thinning resumes near South Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest thinning resumes near South Lake Tahoe

Efforts to mitigate wildfire hazard are continuing on Lake Tahoe's South Shore.

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit announced earlier this week that it is moving forward with its "South Shore Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration" project. Mechanical whole tree removal will take place near Fallen Leaf campground along Fallen Leaf Road off California Route 89.

The Forest Service is asking the public to avoid this area during the operations. According to a press release, the South Shore Fuels Reduction project authorizes thinning of trees and brush on National Forest lands on the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and create healthier forests.

Mechanical whole tree removal involves cutting the entire tree and moving it to the landing area to remove the limbs and cut it into sections. Hazards may be present even when operations have ceased for the day.

Work in this area will stop around July 1, with any unfinished work continuing after Labor Day.

In addition to temporary closures of recreational areas, other short-term impacts from fuels reduction projects include changes to the appearance of basin forests. Treated areas look disturbed at first, but recover visually within a few years. Overall benefits to forests in treated areas include reducing fuel for wildfires and providing the remaining trees with less competition for resources such as water, sunlight and nutrients, which allow the trees to grow larger and become more resistant to drought, insects and disease.

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To learn more about the project, visit http://bit.ly/2rOG1um.

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