Aspen restoration begins at Kiva Point | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Aspen restoration begins at Kiva Point

Provided to the Tribune

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has begun aspen restoration at Kiva Point in South Lake Tahoe and expects the work to continue throughout the remainder of the summer and fall.

The project is near the lakefront behind the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Tallac Historic Site. The Forest Service asks the public to stay on the trails or beach while this project is underway. Forest Service personnel may temporarily restrict trail access for public safety, since the project involves felling trees.

Forest Service crews will remove conifers that are encroaching on aspen stands and limiting their growth. Downed conifers will be chipped and removed or piled and burned after the piles dry in one or two years. Very large, old conifers will not be cut, and conifers may also be retained if they are helping to stabilize the shoreline.

Aspens are ecologically important to many species of plants and wildlife, but they are relatively scarce in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The health and survival of many local aspen stands are threatened by encroaching shade- tolerant conifers. Aspens need abundant sunshine to thrive. Removing conifers from aspen stands will improve their health and provide important habitat for plants and wildlife. The treated forest may appear disturbed and thinned until understory vegetation and aspen trees respond, reproduce and grow, but eventually the aspens and associated plants and wildlife will grow and prosper.

The work at Kiva Point is part of the Aspen Community Restoration Project, approved in July. For a complete description of the project, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects/local/aspen-rest.shtml.