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Fuels reduction project to start at Lake Tahoe Airport

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The city of South Lake Tahoe is planning some hazardous fuels reduction and flight path safety work on land surrounding the airport to commence after Labor Day.

The work may be visible to trail users.

New Airport Manager John Dickinson, who brings extensive experience in Federal Aviation Administration regulations and safety management, flagged an opportunity to partner with Cal Fire, said the city in a news release. 



“Taking advantage of this opportunity to work with Cal Fire on a cost-effective fuels reduction contract will free upwards of one to two hundred thousand dollars in the city’s budget for other projects,” Dickinson said. “This is work that is necessary to keep safety equipment accessible and reliable while also keeping flight paths in compliance with FAA regulations.”

The city works closely with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in pursuit of fire safety and environmental compliance for brush and tree removal. A migratory bird survey was conducted just for this project to make sure no inadvertent harm would come. 



The city’s sustainability coordinator, Sara Letton, was consulted and agrees that fuels management and forest health are sustainability and climate priorities in the bigger picture, “even when it means that some carbon-sequestering trees have to come down sometimes.” 

Work crews will focus on brush reduction around avionics equipment and will later target some trees in a nearby stream environment zone on city-owned property. 

In the longer term, the city will be working in partnership with the California Tahoe Conservancy and the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit on tree removal in the longer flight path and around beacons in the next few years.


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