Forest Service seeking comments for Emerald Fire restoration | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest Service seeking comments for Emerald Fire restoration

US Forest Service LTBMU
Special to the Tribune

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is seeking comments on a proposal to remove hazard trees and plant seedlings in the Emerald Fire area.

Comments are most helpful if received by April 28.

"Restoration of the Emerald Fire area will help restore habitat for various wildlife species and provide benefits to the Lake Tahoe watershed," said LTBMU Forest Supervisor, Jeff Marsolais. "The restoration effort will also provide visual benefits to residents and visitors and allow for a more fire resilient landscape."

The Emerald Fire took place on October 14, 2016, and burned approximately 175 acres (96 acres of National Forest and 79 acres of private and other ownership).

The fire burned in an area that was populated by Jeffrey pine, White fir and widespread brush fields. Few trees remain and given the large number of shrubs that existed prior to the fire, it is expected that the shrubs would grow quickly, posing a challenge for natural seedlings to survive the competition. Planting seedlings early would increase the chance that they will become established before the brush grows back, which would significantly increase the chance that trees will reestablish in this area.

The LTBMU proposes planting native seedlings on approximately 60 acres total, 10 acres this spring and 50 acres in 2018. Planting this spring, would take place in areas along California Route 89 where burned trees were removed by the California Department of Transportation shortly after the fire. Planting in 2018, would take place throughout the fire area, except for power and data transmission line corridors.

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Prior to the planting, removal of hazard trees would occur in all planting locations for the safety of crews planting seedlings as well as to minimize the impacts to power and data transmission lines over time.

Project work could begin as early as May 2017.

The proposed action is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/EmeraldRestoration. For more information on the project and how to comment, contact Matt Dickinson at 530-543-2840 or email mattdickinson@fs.fed.us.

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