Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Nelson Bug Kill Tree Project
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The project consists of cutting and onsite chipping of one acre of dead pine trees that died due to beetle infestation and drought. The site is a former cattle ranch that seeded with ponderosa pine 40 to 50 years ago. These young pine trees eventually became overstocked and competed for space, nutrients and water. The current beetle infestation and drought caused the total collapse of the young stand of pine. At minimum, 90%-95% of the trees have died. Approximately 100 trees would be removed and would occur over a 10 day period. Tree diameters range from 12 to 22 inches DBH and are 50-80 feet tall. The landscape is gently rolling high productivity soils that consist of dry land grass pastures in the lower flats and pine timber with scattered oaks and brush on the slopes. The entire region is heavily populated and resembles the Wildland Urban interface (WUI). Parcels range in size from 5-50 acres and contain residential structures. The specific site where cutting will occur is a flat ground adjacent to steeper slopes to the north and west.
This project involves the use of hand tools and a track chipper to reorient understory vegetation. The resulting condition will be only slightly and temporarily altered from the existing conditions of the land and qualifies under 14 CCR§ 15304 Minor Alterations to Land. A CAL FIRE Registered Professional Forester has conducted an environmental review of the project and determined, pursuant to 14 CCR § 15300.2. (a), (b), (c) and (f) that have no cumulative impacts will occur and no historical resources or unusual circumstances exist which would prevent the use of a Categorical Exemption.
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