California Tahoe Conservancy awards $240K to combat climate change, reduce wildfire risk at Lake Tahoe

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The California Tahoe Conservancy board recently approved a grant of up to $240,286 to California State Parks for forest health management at Burton Creek State Park.

Funds for the project come from an earlier grant to the Conservancy from CalFire for high-priority forest health projects designed to combat climate change and reduce the risk of wildfire, according to a news release.

Burton Creek State Park is located on the North Shore between Dollar Point and Tahoe City.

California State Parks will use the grant to conduct manual thinning, pile burning, and prescribed understory burning on 132 acres in the wildland-urban interface, in an area of the park designated by CalFire as a very high fire severity zone. These actions will restore forest health to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon from large, intense wildfires, according to the news release.

“California experienced the most deadly and destructive wildfires in its history in the past few years,” California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said in the release. “We have made it our highest priority to help our communities prepare and respond to the threat of wildfires. This is a great example of how our departments are working together on solutions to better prepare California.”

“This project at Burton Creek State Park will use prescribed fire for benefits to the people and the environment,” California State Parks Forester II Rich Adams said in the release. “Continuing our efforts in prescribed fire management will reduce hazardous fuels, maintain prior investments, contribute to climate goals, restore forest health and enhance wildlife habitat.”

At the same meeting, the Conservancy board directed its staff to move ahead with due diligence for the Conservancy’s nine asset lands in Meyers.

Of the Conservancy’s nearly 4,700 properties in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Conservancy has designated 17 properties as asset lands that could support sustainable compact development consistent with local area plans and the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan.

The nine Meyers asset lands could potentially help implement various elements of the Meyers Area Plan, including affordable housing, mixed-use development, bike, pedestrian and transit circulation, recreational access and environmental conservation goals.

Based on board direction during the meeting, staff will proceed with due diligence activities, which may include appraisals, inspections, initial real estate discussions, and potential partnerships with other public agencies. These activities typically take up to a year or longer.

Following the due diligence process, the Conservancy board will make any final decisions on future actions for the Meyers asset lands.

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