Spanish Valley Prescribed Burning Project

Summary

SCH Number
2020060026
Lead Agency
Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
Document Title
Spanish Valley Prescribed Burning Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
6/2/2020
Project Applicant
Land Trust of Napa County
Present Land Use
County Park

Document Description
The proposed project consists of a 261-acre prescribed burn with ecological restoration objectives on the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District’s Spanish Valley Preserve property. The project will be implemented by CAL FIRE, Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit. Project activities will be completed over a roughly two week period between 20 May and 20 June. The project consists of two activities: (1) installation of fire containment line, (2) broadcast burning across the project area (Map 3). All project activities will be overseen by a CAL FIRE Battalion Chief from the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit. A combination of machine, hand and wet containment line will be used. Wet line will be used wherever possible to avoid soil disturbance. Hand line will be installed by CAL FIRE inmate crews. Machine line will be installed by a CAL FIRE equipment operator using a dozer. Wet line will be established using water from CAL FIRE engines. CAL FIRE engine crews and inmate crews will assist with broadcast burning. The primary goal of the project is to restore an extensive area of serpentine alluvial meadow that has been heavily invaded by barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) and a number of other invasive exotic plant species. The project area lies adjacent to active serpentine meadow restoration areas on the Land Trust of Napa County’s Missimer Preserve which has entailed CAL FIRE-managed prescribed burning. Prescribed burning is the most efficient and effective way to begin barbed goatgrass control in serpentine meadow systems. Serpentine meadow restoration using prescribed fire and follow-up treatments began on the Missimer Preserve in 2013. CALFIRE assisted with implementation of a 60-acre prescribed burn on the Missimer Preserve in June of 2013, a second, five-acre prescribed burn on the Preserve in June of 2015. LTNC has been conducting annual restoration efficacy monitoring and producing annual monitoring reports. The reports confirm that the meadow, which was dominated by invasive exotic annual grasses before the prescribed burning, is now dominated by native forbs and perennial grasses. 223 native plant species have now been documented in the Missimer Preserve restoration area, including 11 special status species listed in the California State Rare Plant Ranks.

Contact Information
Tom Knecht
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
1199 Big Tree Road
St. Helena, CA 94574

Phone : (707) 967-1405
Tom.Knecht@fire.ca.gov

Location

Counties
Napa
Regions
Unincorporated
Cross Streets
Butts Canyon Road & Pope Valley Road
Total Acres
261
Parcel #
016140016, 016120020
Waterways
Pope Creek
Township
10N
Range
5W
Section
34
Base
MDBM

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4, minor alterations to land
Reasons for Exemption
The proposed project qualifies for a Categorical Exemption under CEQA Guidelines Section 15304. Pursuant to Section 15304, Class 4 consists of minor alterations of vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, or scenic trees on public or private land. This proposed project will reduce the volume of flammable vegetation, thereby reducing wildfire risk, and will have significant ecological restoration benefits. Field review by Land Trust of Napa County staff confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption. The Land Trust of Napa County 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 on the environmental review is kept on file at CAL FIRE’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit Headquarters.

Attachments

Notice of Exemption
LNU Spanish Valley Prescribed Burn NOE   PDF 287 K

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