Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit thinning, fuel reduction operations begin next week

Submitted to the Tribune
Liberty 625 Project area

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is scheduled to begin mechanical forest thinning and fuel reduction operations next week on approximately 208 acres along a powerline corridor that stretches from near the top of Brockway Summit, westward toward Mount Watson, and then south toward Tahoe City on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. 

This fuels reduction work is part of the Liberty Resilience Corridors Project that aims to reduce the risk of severe wildfire, reduce risk of impacts to utility infrastructure, and create more healthier and resilient forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The thinning method used during this project will be mechanical whole tree removal. WT thinning involves cutting the tree down, moving it to a landing, removing the limbs and cutting it into sections, and then removing the tree and as much branch and top material as possible.

WT tree removal may require closure of the area during operations due to the hazards posed by heavy equipment and falling trees. No closures are currently planned, but recreationists are advised to use caution when accessing the Tahoe Rim Trail where it crosses under the powerlines just east of Mount Watson.

The public can expect to see heavy equipment associated with the WT tree removal in proximity to the power lines and trucks hauling materials out on the 16N73 road to Brockway Summit. Work may continue throughout the summer and fall as conditions and staffing schedules allow.

In addition to short-term impacts to recreational access, other impacts from thinning and fuel reduction projects include changes to the appearance of Tahoe Basin forests. Treated areas look disturbed at first but recover visually within a few years.

The Decision Memo for this project can be found on the Liberty Utilities Resilience Corridors here:

For more information on current activities, contact Azad Henareh at

Sourced by Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

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