St. Louis Fuels Reduction Project

Summary

SCH Number
2018098297
Lead Agency
Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of (Cal Fire)
Document Title
St. Louis Fuels Reduction Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received

Document Description
This NOE is for an approx 250-acre broadcast burn within the existing St. Louis Fuels Reduction Project. The following is a brief overview of the project; "The Forest Service proposes to reduce the risk from wildfires to the rural communities of LaPorte and American House from wildfires by modifying fuels and constructing Defensible Fuel Profile Zones (DFPZs) over a 500 acre project area. This action is needed since forest stands in the St. Louis Project area are crowded with dense timber and brush that have become increasingly flammable with age, resulting in an elevated risk of wildfire. In the project area, the number of thinbarked, shade-tolerant trees (such as white fir and incense cedar) have increased as a result of past fire suppression and management practices, acting as a fuel ladder. Treatments would include reduction of surface, ladder, and canopy fuels through a variety of methods such as mechanical harvest, hand thinning, piling and burning, chipping and removal, and prescribed underburning. No trees greater than 30 inches diameter breast height (dbh) would be cut. Treatments would reduce current canopy cover from 40-59 percent, while increasing canopy base height and reducing surface fuel loading to less than 5 tons per acre of dead woody material less than 3 inches in diameter. Treatment prescriptions would call for removal of the smaller, suppressed, and intermediate-crown-class trees; removal of some co-dominant trees; and retention of the largest trees to achieve the target canopy cover or spacing guidelines. Prescribed underburning would be used to treat excess live and dead vegetation. Treatment in Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas (RHCAs) would be limited to underburning. Ignition would occur along contour strips upslope of the RHCA and fire would be allowed to back down-slope into them. The desired condition is to have trees spaced approximately 18-24 feet apart, reduced ground fuels, and flame lengths under 4 feet to promote fire resilient stands, including a higher proportion of shade intolerant species in the overstory and reduced crowding in the understory. This condition may also allow plant species that do not germinate in dense stands the opportunity to grow and provide greater biodiversity.

Contact Information
David Jaramillo
Cal Fire
P.O. Box 356
Hayfork, CA 96041

530-628-4206
david@thewatershedcenter.com

Location

Counties
Plumas
Township
21N
Range
9E
Section
9,17,1
Base
MDBM
Other Location Info
northeast portion of Feather River Ranger District, Plumas National Forest

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15304
Reasons for Exemption
It has been determined that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a NOE for this project. This project is consistent with the requirements stated in section 15304; minor alterations to land, and will have no significant environmental impacts 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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