Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Starchman Fuel Break Project
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The Starchman fuel break is a fuel break on private property along a dominant ridge that parallels Highway 49 near the South edge of the town of Mariposa. The fuel break will utilize thinning, mastication, maintenance of the road system for improved access, and pile and burn treatments. Treatment standards include the selective mechanical mastication (thinning, release and hazardous fuels reduction) of small trees 10 inches in diameter and less, removal of dead or hazardous trees, and brush. All residual trees in the project area that are taller than 20 feet will be limbed to a height of approximately 10 feet to reduce the ladder fuels. Within the areas that have rock outcrops, slopes exceeding 40 percent, and watercourse buffer zones, crews will either hand cut and feed cut material to a chipper or hand pile and burn. No equipment will be used on slopes over 45 percent. On slopes less than 45 percent and along the road surface the tracked excavator with a mastication head and tracked chipper may be utilized to reduce the vegetation. The project area totals approximately 32 acres.
This project fits under portions of 15304- Minor Alterations to Land. The project consists of vegetation removal along gentle ridgeline slopes, pile burning of vegetation and mastication along the ridgeline and access roads. A query of the CNDDB did not reveal the presence of any sensitive species within the project area. No sensitive resources were located during pedestrian surveys for this project.
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 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. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at the CAL FIRE Mariposa Unit Headquarters in Mariposa.