Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Cohasset Public Assembly Area Project
NOE - Notice of Exemption
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
The Cohasset Public Assembly Area Project is located in the town of Cohasset approximately 0.2 miles North of CAL FIRE station 22. The project is on private property on the East and West side of Cohasset Rd. in a wildland urban interface setting. It is on the Cohasset Ridge with Maple Branch Creek approximately 0.3 miles to the West and Rock Creek approximately 0.9 miles to the East. The vegetation consists of mixed conifers, CA black oak, dogwood, CA bay and manzanita. The school vegetation has planted fruit trees, bamboo and a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs. Within the project boundary there are multiple structures, property fences, utility sheds and lines and septic tanks. Cohasset Rd is the main way down the ridge and escape route for the community in case of an emergency, such as a wildfire. In the event of a wildfire, the school will serve as an emergency temporary refuge area (TRA) for the community members unable to immediately evacuate. Decreasing fuels on school and surrounding properties will improve the defense against fire for the first responders and increase the protection of community members. Since the school's closure, the once open area on the grounds has been populated by young trees, shrubs, brush and weeds. The increase in fuels and fuel continuity has put the Public Assembly Area at a higher risk of fire. There are several large dead and dying cedars on the school that are hazard trees that will be removed. Shrubs and most trees up to 12" in diameter will be cut and piled for burning or broadcast chipped; with the exclusion of dogwood, maples and fruit trees. The maples and remaining vegetation will be pruned up to 10'. Cut vegetation on neighboring parcels will be broadcast chipped or pilled for burning per landowner request. Work will be conducted by hand crews. Post-project completion, continued maintenance of the school will be conducted by Station 22 while also serving as continued training opportunity.
This project fits under portions of§ 15304 Minor Alterations to Land. No activity is proposed that is listed as a limitation under CCR§ 15300.2 (a-f). Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply that 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 or 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 or traffic, or to utilities and service systems. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at Butte Fire Center: 6640 Steiffer Rd, Magalia, CA 95954.