by: CLERC Staff
CLERC is over a year into implementing the Lake County Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project - Phase 1 and we're finally starting to see some major progress. Below are some highlights from CLERC's most recently submitted progress report to CAL FIRE.
Mount Konocti Interface
CLERC has obtained the cooperation of two landowners of property that borders on the Clearlake Riviera subdivision to allow a 300 foot shaded fuel break to be created in the footprint of a 2016 CAL FIRE-produced fuel break.
The Riviera West and Riviera Heights Homeowners Associations are cooperating in taking the lead on maintaining the fuel break adjacent to their subdivisions. They have chosen a contractor for fuel break maintenance using goat browsing. The goats are more economical than hand crews given the steep slopes. The goat herder, by careful planning in terms of goat intensity and length of time grazing, can graze to kill everything or to leave trees as a shaded fuel break. To date the goats have grazed a total of 66 acres of shaded fuel break with funds secured through CLERC.
Scotts Valley Shaded Fuel Break
CLERC worked with a landowner in Scotts Valley who is a heavy equipment operator and able to perform the work himself. In total 52 acres of shaded fuel breaks were maintained by the landowner utilizing a dozer rented with CAL FIRE grant funds. The consulting ecologist surveyed the project area prior to the dozer work to ensure that no rare or endangered plants or animals were impacted.
Davis Fuel Break
Task comprised a combination of mastication and dozer brush piling in decadent old chaparral, and hand tree thinning in drought stressed dense blue oak woodland and removal of ladder fuel branches on mature trees. In some areas of oak woodland, manzanita/chamise/whitethorn chaparral was encroaching. Ladder fuel and hand-removed understory chaparral was broadcast-chipped. Thinned and dead oaks were left for firewood to be used by the property owner and extended family. Work started on May 21st and was completed on June 21st. A total of 74 acres were treated.
South Lake Fire Safe Council (SLFSC) Chipping Program
High Fire Risk Commercial Lot in The City of Clearlake
Regional Prioritization Planning
The past three months of work have been focused on finalizing reports to the Lake County Resource Conservation District (RCD), fine-tuning a county-wide prioritization system for fire management projects, producing online maps and other information that can be made available to the public, and organizing a fire safety meeting in the Blue Lakes region of the county. The RCD is now in possession of all new community and tribal fire management projects, which they will then add to the updated Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The prioritization system is ready for use and produces results that appear accurate based on community consultation. Both a story-map describing the CWPP update process and a web-map of CWPP priorities are finished and are posted for public use on the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center website (www.clerc.co).
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