Wild & Scenic Mokelumne Update

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Sierra Nevada Conservancy grants more than $2.3 million for local forest projects
At its March 7, 2019, meeting, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board voted to authorize more than $26 million in grants for projects that will reduce fire risk, improve forest and watershed health, and protect water supplies in the Sierra Nevada. Including in that action was the approval of more than $2.3 million in grants for project in our area. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is a state agency based in Auburn.

The local projects approved for grant funding include:

  • The South Fork Mokelumne River Watershed Restoration Phase 3 Treatment Project in Calaveras County, a 285-acre fuel reduction and forest restoration project near Rail Road Flat. Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS) was awarded the $865,835 grant for work that will be carried out largely in overgrown, unthinned Ponderosa pine plantations.
  • A planning grant to CHIPS of $89,125 for Phase 4 of the South Fork Mokelumne River Watershed Restoration Plan. The funds will pay for California Environmental Quality Act analysis of a future project to reduce hazardous fuels on 112 acres of Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) property and 356 acres of private residential property.
  • A grant of $1 million to the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority to implement the Black Springs Restoration Project in Calaveras County. The project encompasses multiple forest types including Sierran mixed conifer, red fir, and pine plantations. Developed collaboratively by the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group, the project will use a combination of hand thinning and mechanical mastication to remove ladder fuels and reduce forest densities resulting in more resilient, fire-safe stands that will sequester carbon and provide higher quantities of drinking water to downstream beneficiaries.
  • Environmental analyses for the Tiger Creek Fuel Break Watershed Protection Project in Amador County, to be carried out by the Amador Fire Safe Council with a $100,000 grant. The project will analyze 1,195 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land with the intent of later perform a landscape-level fuel reduction project with neighboring parcels.
  • Recruitment, training and deployment of a new forest restoration and prescribed fire crew for CHIPS, with a $40,000 grant. Tribes in parts of the Sierra currently not served by CHIPS will benefit from the new crew. The crew will employ at-risk and Native American youth to carry out fuel reduction, prescribed fire, and other forest restoration work.
  • The completion of a LiDAR Project on the Eldorado National Forest, funded with a $250,000 grant. LiDAR is advanced aerial imaging technology that provides a detailed, 3-D look at every element on the forested landscape.
As part of the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group, we are pleased to see the state investing bond money in our local watershed in ways that will benefit the natural environment, our communities, and local residents.

For more information and detailed descriptions of these projects, see the March 7, 2019, SNC agenda .

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