CLERC responds to Tree Mortality Emergency
April: CLERC joins the Lake County Tree Mortality Task Force along with other community partners and government agencies.
May: CLERC provides letter of support to Lake County Board of Supervisors advocating for the declaration of a local emergency due to tree mortality. CLERC receives proclamation from the Lake County Board of Supervisors in recognition of work to improve community wildfire resiliency.
December: CLERC, in partnership with the South Lake Fire Protection District, CAL FIRE, and CALTrans begin roadside vegetation management work along State Highway Rights-of-Way in order to improve evacuation ingress and egress and reduce the impacts from roadside wildfire ignitions. This new partnership will continue on for several years utilizing grant-funded investments in heavy equipment.
December: by years’ end, CLERC has funded the removal of over 700 hazardous dead and dying trees across all areas of Lake County. In total, over $1M is pumped into the local economy through CLERC’s fuel reduction projects.
CLERC Completes Environmental Review on over 900 acres as part of the environmental review process for Phase 1 of the Lake County Wildfire Resilience Project.
February: Staff kicks off botanical field survey work, which must be conducted entirely during flowering season.
March: consulting archeologists are brought on board to assist with the cultural resources review. Historical records were reviewed for over 30 different parcels.
April: Specialist consultants are engaged to weigh in on impacts to Northern Spotted Owls, a threatened species. CLERC staff works with consultants to conduct night time owl calling to detect the presence of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl.
July: Botanical survey work is completed across the 900-acre project area on private lands. Due to the presence of special status species, multiple field surveys were required in some locations to determine the extent of their habitat and subsequent avoidance areas for fuel reduction activities.
December: CLERC submits final reports to the funding agency for review, setting the stage for hundreds of acres of “boots on the ground” implementation work in 2023.
CLERC doubles staff size, adding several key positions in the Fire and Forestry Program and organizational support.
January: CLERC hires first Fire and Forestry Program Manager
March: CLERC hires biologist to assist in botanical surveys
April: CLERC hires UAV pilot to conduct data collection with drones
June: CLERC hires first Operations and Outreach Coordinator
August: CLERC hires additional Project Coordinator
CLERC Continues to Build Regional Partnerships and Secure Resources for the Community
North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP): the first contracts in Lake County were awarded in 2022, providing over $40,000 in cost-share financial assistance to four private forest landowners. Next application round closes in March 2023.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): after two years of planning, the 7-county Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is launched with the help of a $5M grant from the USDA NRCS.
Inner Coast Collaborative (ICC): the new 5-county Inner Coast Collaborative is launched with support from the California Department of Conservation in order to build capacity for regenerative land stewardship and wildfire resilience.
Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG): CLERC collaborates with partners to request $9.8M for completion of several projects in Lake County. The CWDG is a new federal-funded program made available as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIA).
Big Plans for 2023
Three’s a lot to be excited about for CLERC in 2023.
The latest news, views, and perspectives from the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC)