California, May 5, 2017 – In October 2016, the Sequoia National Forest initiated an early scoping period on a general proposal to address hazard trees along roads within the Cedar Fire footprint. After reviewing the comments received and performing additional internal evaluation and coordination, the Bull Run Roadside Hazard Tree Mitigation proposal was released for additional scoping comments.
A second proposed project, along roads in the Cedar Fire area entirely within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, would include the felling of hazard trees. Many of the culverts along these roads are clogged with ash and debris due to the recent storms. Those roads will require road maintenance activities such as cleaning the culverts and grading.
The fire and beetle-killed trees are an imminent safety hazard along the roads in these areas. Felling these trees would help to provide for the safe and effective use of the roads. Trees, identified as hazards using the “Hazard Tree Guidelines for Forest Service Facilities and Roads in the Pacific Southwest Region,” will be felled if they are within 300 feet of the road. Only dead, dying and damaged trees would be felled.
Some of the felled trees would be left as down woody debris for wildlife habitat and soil cover. However, many of the trees would need to be removed to reduce the fuel loading hazard along the road and to reduce the chances of materials falling into the road. The logs not used for large woody debris may be sold for timber, firewood, posts and poles. Some felled trees and logs in excess of the large woody debris needs or having no commercial value would be burned or chipped. Once the trees are removed, reforestation activities would occur, including planting and seeding.
You can visit the Sequoia National Forest Website to get a full description of the proposal, along with a map. Go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/sequoia/landmanagement/projects and click on the Spear Creek Roadside Hazard Tree Mitigation Project. If you would like to submit comments on this proposal, please send them to Eric La Price, District Ranger, Western Divide Ranger District, 32588 Highway 190, Springville, CA 93265.
Comments would be most helpful if received by June 15, 2017. For additional information, please contact George Powell, Ecosystems Manager, Western Divide Ranger District at (559) 539-2607.