Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Sky Park at Santa's Village Reforestation Project
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The reforestation project area is located in an area previously comprised of mixed conifer-oak forest in the San Bernardino Mountains at an elevation of approximately 5,500 feet. The project area was impacted by drought, bark beetles, and burned during the 2003 Old Fire. After the fire, shrub species dominated the area due to the lack of conifer seed source and following years of below average rainfall. The project consists of tree planting within approximately 20 acres. The project area has been recently masticated by the property owner through a Natural Resources Conservation Service grant, therefore no site preparation or fuels reduction will be necessary prior to planning. All planting activities will be completed by Cal Fire hand crews and volunteers. Planting bars, or other similar planting hand tools, will be used to plant trees at approximately 10-foot spacing. Approximately 8,700 trees will be planted total. The seedlings were grown from seed stock collected locally at an appropriate seed zone and elevation. Species include ponderosa pine and Jeffrey Pine. Planting will occur in early spring, 2016, when adequate levels of soil moisture are present. All vehicles will remain on existing roads. Work is estimated to last no more than 10 days.
This project fits under the Class 4 (Minor Alterations to Land) Categorical Exemption to CEQA. Class 4 is described as a "minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry or agricultural purposes." This Project as proposed is to plant trees and does not remove healthy, mature, or scenic trees. Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption for this project. The Department has concluded that no significant environmental impact will 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, populations and housing, public services, recreation, transportation/traffic, or to utilities and service systems.