Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Las Posadas Fuels Reduction
NOE - Notice of Exemption
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Las Posadas Demonstration State Forest is a 796-acre mixed conifer forest managed by CAL FIRE. The property is heavily overgrown and currently exhibits a dangerously high volume of burnable fuels. This accumulation of fuels would normally be reduced by periodic wildfire, but fire suppression, lack of prescribe burning, and absence of other forms of fuels management has created a significant fire risk. The proposed project involves the management and reduction of fuels with the goal of a reduced threat of catastrophic wildfire, and an increase in forest health and vigor. Fuels reduction methods include prescribed burning, mastication, and hand-cutting and piling. The project will treat 311 acres in total out of the 796-acre property. 93 acres will be treated with mastication, 181 acres will be treated with prescribed burning, and 37 acres will be treated by hand-cutting and piling.
This project fits under the Categorical Exemption to CEQA: Class 4 (Minor Alterations to Land). The project involves 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. Specifically, subsection 14 CCR 15304€ authorizes temporary use of land resulting in no permanent environmental effects. 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 CAL FIRE's LNU Headquarters in St. Helena.