Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Cressman Fuel Break Expansion
NOE - Notice of Exemption
This existing shaded fuel break is located on Cressman Road at the 5,000' level of the southern Sierra Nevada of eastern Fresno County near the community of Pine Ridge. The original projects 168 acres shall have maintenance performed. 72 additional acres shall have a majority of the understory brush removed and small diameter trees thinned to eliminate existing ladder fuels bringing the fuel breaks total acres to 240. The projects mixed conifer over story consisting of 90% ponderosa pine has sustained between 50%-100% mortality and shall be removed to ensure fuel break vitality. Maintenance of the existing 168 acres and installation of the new 72 acres shall be performed utilizing pile creation for burning by hand and by tractor, and mastication. Dead trees shall be felled. Slash and tree boles small enough in diameter or dry enough for immediate burning shall be pile burned or masticated. Tree boles too large or too green for immediate pile burning shall be decked, allowed to cure for approximately 1 year, and burned.
Field review by CAL FIRE staff 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 system. A biological assessment in consultation with CA Department of Fish and Wildlife which included a search of the California Natural Diversity Database, and subsequent field surveys were completed for the last project entry in 2010, and again for this entry early spring 2015. A Professional CALFIRE Archaeologist was consulted and there shall be no anticipated impacts to cultural resources. Burning will only be done on approved air quality burn days.