Report: $2.2 Million needed for environmental restoration
A U.S. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response team has recommended nearly $2.2 million in rehabilitation efforts to stabilize soils and prevent further damage in the area burned by the Angora fire.
The team’s report was presented to Forest Service officials earlier this week and was approved on July 11, with implementation of the recommendations expected to continue into the fall.
Helicopter applications of hydromulch, a cellulose-based material sprayed to prevent erosion, were recommended over 636 acres of severely-burned forest by the team. These applications are expected to take place above the neighborhoods on North Upper Truckee and South Lake Tahoe High School.
Although the aerial applications are expected to cost nearly $1.6 million, mulching from the air is necessary because “ground based treatments in nearly all of the Angora Creek watershed are not feasible due to road access limitations,” according to the report.
Hand crews will apply hydromulch to approximately 35 acres of land adjacent to the Boulder Mountain Drive neighborhood, Mule Deer Circle area and the Angora Creek Restoration site downstream of Lake Tahoe Boulevard.
Straw and chipped mulch are also proposed to be spread by hand over 48 urban lots, encompassing 110 acres.
Although Todd Ellsworth, a soil scientist on the BAER team, admitted the straw could act as fuel during an interview on July 9, he expected the applications to be undertaken later in the fall when the risk of wildfire has subsided.
Silt fences on two urban lots will be used to trap sediment and will be located on Lookout Point Road to protect life and property below the area’s steep slope, according to the report.
Twenty five acres of seeding are planned for 14 urban lots to reduce erosion and prevent the spread of noxious and invasive plants.
Hazard tree detection surveys and removal projects are also planned as part of the immediate rehabilitation efforts.
BAER team scientists came into the burned area before the fire was contained to determine major needs to prevent further damage from the fire and stabilize soil before the first major rain event.
Long-term rehabilitation efforts have not yet been detailed.
The full BAER report can be viewed at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/angora-fire/.