Public comment on hazard tree removal open
Citizens have until Aug. 10 to comment on a proposal by the U.S. Forest Service to remove “hazard” trees on approximately 225 acres of federal land burned by the Angora fire.
“For the purpose of this project, a hazard tree is generally defined as a tree that is void of needles or is absent of any green foliage and is within striking distance of human life or property,” according to the proposal. “Striking distance is considered to be 1.5 times the height of a tree due to the potential for airborne limbs.”
Although the majority of removal will occur within the first three months of the project’s implementation this summer, the tree removal project could last up to three years, Forest Service officials explained.
The extended timeline is necessary because some trees scorched by the fire may continue to die, especially if the basin has more dry winters, according to the project proposal.
Tree cutting will be concentrated along private property and on forest system roads and trails, but the project does not include removing hazard trees on the forest service’s 148 urban lots damaged in the blaze.
“Separate from this proposal, hazard trees are also being planned for removal on Forest Service Urban Lots and parcels to provide for immediate public safety,” according to a press statement from U.S. Forest Service spokesman Rex Norman.
The project may include mechanical thinning, as well as work in stream environment zones.
No planting is proposed as part of the project, “but may occur through other projects,” the proposal indicated.
A copy of the proposed action and map of the project area can be obtained from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Supervisor’s office at 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150. Written comments may also be submitted via mail or in person at the office.
Faxes should be sent to (530) 543-2693; oral comments may called into Duncan Leao at (530) 543 2660. Public comment can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All correspondence should include “Angora Hazard Tree Removal Project” in the subject line, the forest service said.