Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit seeks input on Incline Village Management Plan | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit seeks input on Incline Village Management Plan

The public has 23 more days to comment on a management plan that the U.S. Forest Service says will help restore Incline Meadow on Lake Tahoe's North Shore.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) published its draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for proposed management of 1,083 acres of National Forest System lands off the Mount Rose Highway (Nevada Route 431) above Incline Village on April 27, effectively starting the clock on the 30-day comment period.

"With the Incline Management Plan Project, we aim to restore the Incline Meadow wetland and surrounding habitat, improving water quality, benefiting wildlife and vegetation, and improving dispersed recreation opportunities on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe," Jeff Marsolais, LTBMU Forest Supervisor, said in a press release. "In addition, this project will also complement the Incline fuels reductions and healthy forest restoration work that is currently underway."

The draft document analyzes two alternatives: the "no-action alternative" (alternative 1) and the "proposed action" (alternative 2).

Under alternative 2, project-specific activities would include a series of management actions related to roads and trails projects, hydrology and habitat restoration and vegetation management activities, according to LTBMU. The project also proposes a forest plan amendment to modify a portion of the project area from a general conservation management area to a backcountry management area.

Specifically the change to the forest plan would designate approximately 400 acres west of Third Creek as a backcountry management area, which would benefit water quality, habitat, scenery and provide dispersed recreational opportunities, according to LTBMU.

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The remainder of the site would remain designated as a general conservation area. The Forest Service is not proposing any changes to the management area description in the forest plan; it is simply changing the geographic distribution of the land designated as backcountry management area.

Project specific roads and trails proposals include adopting and rerouting of existing trails; replacing and/or upgrading road and trail stream crossings; installing best management practices (BMPs) and interpretive and wayfinding signs; creating a new trail near the former Incline Lake bed and installing resource protection barriers.

Restoration activities would include removing the dam diversion ditch that connects Third Creek to the former Incline Lake bed; restoring stream channels and aquatic species habitat throughout the area; revegetating areas that are degraded with native vegetation species; restoring damage to wetlands, which resulted from water diversion activities; repairing erosion along the Franktown Ditch; developing a plan for future white bark pine management; and reducing tree density in the meadow and wetland areas through forest thinning and restoration of Aspen communities.

The draft document is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/InclineMgmt.

Contact Ashley Sibr at 530-543-2615 or email asibr@fs.fed.us for more information on the project and how to comment.