Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forest-thinning project approved for South Lake Tahoe

The U.S. Forest Service has been seeking approval to thin the forest in South Lake Tahoe since 2004.  The Angora Fire (South Lake Tahoe) destroyed 250 homes in 2007. Here we are in 2012 to hear that the U.S. Forest Service has just won final approval for forest thinning in South Lake Tahoe.  This has been an 8 year Forest Service approval process.
There are a variety of oversight jurisdictions that need to review and approve forest-thinning.  The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board was the final approval needed for the Forest Service to implement their plan to thin the forest of excess trees and low vegetation.
The fuel reduction/forest thinning project is set to begin this summer.  The area covers over 10,000 acres of Forest Service land from Stateline to Cascade Creek.  Temporary roads, burn piles and whole tree skidding tend to deposit contaminants into streams.  Therefore, special erosion-control techniques will be used in stream zones.
Outdoor recreation in the area will be effected.  Areas will be closed to hikers/bikers when work is in progress.  Logging trucks will be using main roads in the area.  In some instances, helicopters may be lifting trees to loading points. 
The work will be inconvenient and expensive, but maybe it will prevent another Angora Fire.  Hopefully the Forest Service will update us with maps and timetables when they become available.

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