Thinning of trees for fuels reduction and forest health started this week on U.S. Forest Service land near South Tahoe High School and the Sand Pit off-highway vehicle area.
The Forest Service has closed the areas in units 19 and 117 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through October 14 for public safety due to heavy equipment operations and falling trees.
Project work will not occur on Memorial Day weekend. Thinning at the Sand Pit is expected to be completed by the end of May or early June, when the Sand Pit will be reopened. The closure will remain in effect in other areas.
Hazards may be present even when operations have finished for the day and the closure is not in effect, the Forest Service cautions. People disregarding the closure may be cited.
The forest thinning is part of a South Shore Fuels Reductions and Healthy Forest Restoration Project that will treat approximately 10,000 acres between Cascade Lake and Stateline, Nev.
The Forest Service will start selling fuel wood permits at the South Shore office starting Monday and at the North Shore office starting Wednesday.
Permits cost $20 per cord, with a two-cord minimum purchase and a limit of 10 cords per household.
Permits come with specific conditions. Maps to designated cutting areas are provided and must be in the permit holder’s possession along with the permit.
Permits are for collection of “down-dead” wood up to a 30-inch maximum diameter in designated areas in the Lake Tahoe Basin. “Down-dead” means the tree is down on the ground and dead, not dead and standing. Cutting any standing tree whether dead or green is not allowed.
The last day to purchase a permit is Friday, Nov. 14 and the last day to cut wood is Sunday, Nov. 16.
The South Shore office is at 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The North Shore office is at 855 Alder Avenue in Incline Village and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.