TRPA: Forest Service can manage fuels on public lands
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board today authorized its staff to take actions necessary to remove any perceptions of the agency interfering with U.S. Forest Service fuel management on public lands in the Tahoe basin.
“We want to make sure the Forest Service and TRPA are on the same page,” TRPA Executive Director John Singlaub said.
Currently the TRPA and the Forest Service work under an almost 18-year-old memorandum of understanding that gives the TRPA authority to agencies like the Forest Service to authorize activities like fuel reduction that would usually require a permit.
Under the current agreement the Forest Service can remove areas of trees up to 100 acres not involved in the construction of permanent roads, reforest land, protect, maintain, or reestablish sensitive plants, and create, maintain or replace landscaping without a TRPA permit.
While the entire document needs to be reviewed according to TRPA and
Forest Service officials, the board voted to break out specific items of the 1989 agreement that pertained to fuel management into a new document.
The entire 1989 document between TRPA and the agency will be reviewed at a later date and updated for developments in forest management, Singlaub said. But because the Forest Service has expressed concern that the permitting process has slowed down fuel reduction management, Singlaub said that a proactive course of action would be to clarify the TRPA’s position.
“I think we have projects that have been delayed with permitting process,” said Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron.
Parts of the agreement in question included references to the Forest Service’s ability to conduct tree removal projects up to 100 acres not involving the construction of permanent roads.
Read the entire story in Thursday’s Tahoe Daily Tribune.