Tahoe to receive $3 million in federal funding for wildfire prevention
FUNDING BREAKDOWN FOR TAHOE:
U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit: The Forest Service will receive $1.094 million to reduce hazardous fuels on 2,300 acres of land between Crystal Bay and Incline Village, south to Spooner Summit and Zephyr Cove, and another $470,000 to prepare a plan to remove hazardous fuels from urban lots it manages.
Lake Valley Fire Protection District: : Lake Vallley Fire will receive $290,490 to reduce hazardous fuels on 93 acres of land in its service area.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District: Tahoe Douglas will receive $308,760 to reduce hazardous fuels on up to 100 acres of land around Kingsbury Grade communities so firefighters can more safely protect life, property, and the environment in the event of a wildland fire.
The State of Nevada: Nevada will receive $120,500 to reduce hazardous fuels on approximately 70 acres of urban lots and open space in communities on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe.
California State Parks: California parks will receive $261,940 to reduce hazardous fuels on 107 acres of land and restore and improve forest and watershed resources at D.L. Bliss State Park.
North Tahoe and Meeks Bay fire protection districts: North Tahoe and Meeks Bay will receive $450,000 to reduce hazardous fuels on up to 514 acres of private and local government-owned land in Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, and Meeks Bay. The two fire protection districts will also host educational workshops with local students and community members about the importance of fuel reduction projects and creating Fire Adapted Communities.
North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District: North Lake Tahoe will receive $200,000 to reduce hazardous fuels on up to 544 acres of local government owned land in Incline Village. The fire protection district will also host educational workshops for community members to learn more about the importance of fuel reduction projects and creating Fire Adapted Communities.
Source: Bureau of Land Management and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — In 2007 the Angora Fire brought the threat of wildfires to the doorsteps of South Lake Tahoe residents, claiming 3,000 acres of land and destroying more than 300 residences and commercial structures near Meyers. Since that time, the region has seen an increased emphasis on wildfire prevention and fuels reduction.
In an effort to continue to prevent future wildfires the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently approved over $3 million in funding for future forest fuels management projects, including continued prescribed burn efforts.
The funding will come from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA), which allocates funds from the sale of public lands in the Las Vegas Valley.
Funds will be split among numerous agencies on both sides of the lake in California and Nevada.
“This is huge,” Tahoe Regional Planning Agency spokesman Tom Lotshaw said. “(The BLM) has been a great partner for a lot of important environmental work. This latest round is going to provide a big source of funding.”
Speaking to the need for continued wildfire fuels management, Tahoe Basin U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Kuentz added, “It’s certainly been made a top priority. This is prime wildfire land.”
She called the funding “critical” to continuing to reduce fire risk.
The funds for the Tahoe Basin are part of close to $40 million in total allotments for projects around Nevada, including the Tahoe region. Funds go toward improving recreation opportunities, reducing wildfire risk, conserving sensitive landscapes and restoring wildlife habitat.
Sources with the Bureau of Land Management estimate that roughly $5.5 billion in funding has gone toward a variety of conservation, restoration, capitol and public improvement projects since the act was approved in 1998. Of that funding, approximately $300 million has gone to projects around Lake Tahoe.
The current round of funding for the Tahoe Basin will be divided between the state of Nevada, California State Parks, North Lake Tahoe, Meeks Bay, Tahoe Douglas and Lake Valley fire protection districts, and the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Money will primarily go toward maintaining close to 4,000 acres of land through fuels and underbrush management and prescribed burn operations, as well as educational outreach programs.
“We need to work with property owners to create defensible space,” Lotshaw said of the need for outreach. “The Angora Fire really drove home the need to reduce hazardous fuels and create defensible space.”
According to TRPA and the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team — a joint operation between regional fire districts and other state and federal agencies — fire protection districts and land management organizations have reduced hazardous fuels on nearly 40,000 acres since 2008.
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