U.S. Forest Service approves $2.2 million in emergency land treatment financing | TahoeDailyTribune.com

U.S. Forest Service approves $2.2 million in emergency land treatment financing

Adam Jensen

Nearly $2.2 million in emergency land treatment money for the Angora fire burn area has been approved by the federal government, officials announced Tuesday.

U.S. Forest Service officials in Washington, D.C., approved the Burned Area Emergency Response team’s recommendation for $2,192,205 for immediate forest fire recovery efforts.

“Within weeks, a significant series of large landscape treatments will begin to stabilize the ash and post-fire debris, allowing the burned area to resist erosion and run-off effects through the coming winter season,” wrote Rex Norman, spokesman for the Forest Service, in a press statement released Tuesday. The order was signed Friday.

About 70 percent of the money will go toward aerial hydromulching of steep slopes within the burned area.

Aerial hydromulching involves an aircraft delivering a seedless “wet wood fiber mulch mix.” This “sticky and resilient” mixture is designed to stabilize soil and decrease erosion potential from stormwater runoff.

BAER team recommendations are expected to decrease post-fire runoff impacts by “70 percent or more” when combined with projects on nonfederal lands, according to Norman.

South Lake Tahoe leaders and the city’s public works director expressed concern about the adequacy of the treatments recommended by the BAER team at last week’s council meeting, saying heavier than anticipated rains could overwhelm the BAER treatments and clog storm drains with ashy debris.

The BAER team’s recommended treatments will be adequate for immediate preservation of life, property and resources, Norman said on Tuesday.

Long-term rehabilitation is not included in the BAER funding package.

These efforts are currently being evaluated and will be take place over the next three years, according to Norman.

Treatments by the numbers:

Initial Assessment Costs – $115,650

Protection and Safety –

Hazard tree removal on urban lots – $2,000

Hazard tree surveys on urban lots – $22,000

Land Treatments –

Aerial hydromulching – $1,590,000

Ground hydromulching – $52,500

Noxious weed treatments – $16,000

Noxious weed surveys – $3,220

Hand mulching – $82,500

Check dam and water bar installations – $1,600

Urban lot seeding – $9,375

Installation of filter fencing on urban lots – $350

Fencing on urban lots – $30,000

Roads –

Drainage function restoration – $3,000

Removal of hazard trees – $7,500

Installation of drainage armor – $192,500

Installation of aggregate base rock – $ 56,250

BAER warning signs – $5,600

Installation of geotech fabric – $2,160

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