Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
(California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
H 120 SRA Grant
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The project area is located in southern Tuolumne County along the north side of Highway 120, approximately 1 mile east of the city of Groveland. The project area ranges from approximately 2,500 feet to 3,200 feet in elevation above sea level. Vegetation type is in the conifer transitional belt and consists of Ponderosa Pine and Chaparral vegetation types. Major tree species include native oaks, Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii), Canyon and Interior Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis and wislizenii), Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii), along with Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), and Incense Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens). Brush species include manzanita, toyon, ceanothus, poison oak, and bear clover. The project consists of fuel break construction and improvement of existing fuel breaks. Construction will consist of pre-commercial and commercial thinning over story trees to reduce crown densities to a level that will not carry a crown fire. Trees will be selected to create an open canopy and improve forest health and vigor. Trees with cavities will be left to maintain wildlife structure. Understory treatments will consists of removal of ground and ladder fuel. Maintenance will treat brush that has regrown since original fuel reduction work was performed. The project area is approximately 360 acres in size. Vegetation removal will consist of hand cutting and piling for burning during a safe burn window, mechanical mastication with light and/or heavy equipment, and/or harvesting using mechanical harvesters or traditional logging techniques. Heavy equipment will be confined to slopes that do not exceed 40%. Trees up to 12 inches DBH may be removed to achieve the necessary spacing needed for achieving a functional fuel break. Larger merchantable trees shall be removed using the Forest Practice Act 1038 Exemption process. Any tree posing a threat to life and safety shall be removed. Grass, forbs and other low-lying ground vegetation will not be targeted for removal. The primary goal is to disrupt the horizontal and vertical continuity of fuels in order to provide a safe and feasible means of defense against the high probability of vegetation fire within the wildland urban interface.
The Class of Exemption to be used is 14 CCR 15304 - Minor alterations to land. Field confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption for this project. CAL FIRE Staff has concluded that no significant environmental impact would occur to aesthetics, agriculture and forestland/timberland, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use planning, mineral resources, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, transportation/traffic, or to utilities and service systems.
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