Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Newton Prescribed Burn
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The project area (87 acres) was historically managed for dryland crop production approx 50-60 years ago. Currently, the area is unmanaged and resembles a natural meadow comprised of sage, rabbit brush, native and invasive grass species, and an array of forbs including yellow star thistle and Marlahan mustard which are both highly invasive species. The area is also comprised of highly scattered Ponderosa pine, western juniper, and buck brush which have slowly encroached the area since the last farming disturbance which entailed plowing, seeding and harvesting annually. Tree species appear to range from one to twenty-five years of age. Elevation ranges from 2,900 ft to 2,800 ft with slopes ranging from 0% to 20%. The entire project area is located on the valley floor, and soils are deep and highly developed.
The environmental setting surrounding the project boundary is a highly variable mix of oak foothill woodlands, small contiguous pine stands, residential neighborhoods, rural residential housing, grasslands, and small ranches.
Project activities will entail installation of control lines followed by prescribed burning. Control lines will be constructed by both hand crews and ground based heavy equipment. All of the control lines will be located on slopes ranging from 0-20% slope. Control lines constructed on slopes in excess of 5% will have waterbreaks installed as necessary to prevent erosion.
Broadcast burning or project activities which result in vegetation disturbance will only be conducted during the months of September through May, on an annual basis, as climatic conditions allow.
No healthy, mature, scenic trees will be removed pursuant to CEQA 15304.
Minor alterations to land.
This project fits within the above-listed Categorical Exemption listed in the CEQA Guidelines. 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 has concluded that no significant environmental impact would occur to aesthetics, agriculture and forestland/timberland, air quality, biological 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.