Region 5 Updates Stimulus Statement

USFS Region 5 (California) has updated their first round Stimulus spending announcement to include an additional $1.5 million for “fuels projects” on the Shasta-Trinity and Stanislaus National Forests.

On March 5th Region 5 issued a News Release announcing that the first round of Stimulus projects had been selected. In that News Release [here, discussed here] Region 5 revealed that:

First round projects on lands managed by the Forest Service in California will include maintenance and construction on facilities, roads and trails totaling 70 jobs and $7.75 million. The jobs are estimated to last from four months up to a year. These projects will benefit 11 counties.

Today (March 12) Region 5 issued another News Release [here]

The language is virtually identical except that the above paragraph has been removed and the following two paragraphs added.

First round Forest Service “fuels” projects in California will total approximately $1.5 million. The jobs are estimated to last up to 18 months. Projects will take place on the Shasta Trinity National Forest and Stanislaus National Forest through contracts and agreements and with a Grant through State and Private Forestry.

Overall, first round total projects on lands managed by the Forest Service in California which was rolled out on March 5 will include maintenance and construction on facilities, roads, trails and now “fuels” totaling $9.25 million.

There is no matching announcement at the Shasta-Trinity NF website. They do note, however, that 208,460 acres burned on the S-TNF last summer, at a suppression cost of $158.9 million.

The Stanislaus NF has a number of fuel management and forest restoration projects in various stages of planning and implementation. These include:

* Phase II of the South 108 Fuel Reduction, Forest Health and Road Management Project. Phase I implemented a variety of treatments, including various combinations of mechanical and hand thinning, mastication, prescribed burning, and goat browsing on approximately 4,840 acres along the Highway 108 corridor. Phase II proposes an additional 5,500 acres to: 1) thin the forest stands to reduce the fire danger and improve forest health, 2) create a shaded fuelbreak system, 3) reduce the brush by prescribe burning, shredding and/or goat browsing, and 4) close or obliterate roads and trails that are in poor condition and are unneeded for management access.

* Pinecrest Interior Healthy Forest Restoration project. Fuels reduction (tree thinning) is proposed on approximately 780 acres within and adjacent to the cabins, camps, campgrounds, open spaces, and businesses of the Pinecrest Basin.

* Soldier Creek Healthy Forest Restoration Project. Mechanical thinning would be conducted on 575 acres.

* Middle Fork Fuel Reduction and Forest Health Project. The Proposed Action treats approximately 1772 acres and includes mechanical thinning, hand thinning, biomass removal, shredding, piling and burning, and broadcast burning.



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