Bear Valley Common Areas Fuels Reduction Project

Summary

SCH Number
2020080006
Lead Agency
Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
Document Title
Bear Valley Common Areas Fuels Reduction Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
8/3/2020
Project Applicant
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Present Land Use
Rural

Document Description
This project directly impacts over 350 homes in the Greater Bear Valley area. Bear Valley is at great risk for catastrophic wildfire as are many communities in and around this fuel break. The project will encompass 500 acres of lodge pole pine, ponderosa pine, white & red fir and brush species. The Bear Valley community lies at approximately 7000 feet above sea level and is located approximately 27 miles northeast of Arnold, CA. Fuels reduction will take place on slopes between 0-40%. Hazardous fuels, including ladder fuels, low branches up to 8 feet above the ground, brush and small diameter green trees (<12” DBH) and dead trees will be cut and hand carried to a chipper. Chips will be broadcast back onto the soil surface to a depth 3” or less. Green trees that are 12 inches DBH or less will be removed to achieve a minimum of 20 feet spacing between individual trees or a distance of 1.5 times the height of adjacent tree. The project is anticipated to last 75 days. All trees that are dead, dying, or diseased will be removed regardless of size unless designated for retention. No heavy equipment will be used, except on existing road surfaces. With the majority of the privately held parcels treated, the Common areas are the most vulnerable to spreading fire. If these common areas can be modified to become fuel breaks the potential for multi-structure fires or rapidly spreading wildfires will be reduced. A site visit and reconnaissance level survey of the project areas was completed on Oct. 25, 2019.

Contact Information
Gary Whitson
CAL FIRE
785 Mtn. Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA 95249

Phone : (209) 754-3831
Gary.Whitson@fire.ca.gov

Location

Counties
Alpine
Total Acres
500
Other Location Info
Sec. 12 & 13, T7N, R17E; Sec. 7 & 18, T7N, R16E MDBM
Other Information
27 miles NE of Arnold, CA

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4: 15304, Minor Alterations to Land
Reasons for Exemption
This project fits under the Class 4 (Minor Alterations to Land) Categorical Exemption to CEQA. Class 4 is described as a “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.” This project as proposed, consists of chipping, thinning, and hand crew work and does not remove healthy, mature, or scenic trees. These activities are best described as minor in scope. Review by Tim Morin, RPF #2505, confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption for this project. The RPF 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 RPF is kept on file at CAL FIRE’s Calaveras County office.

Attachments

Notice of Exemption
C__Users_sjohnso2_Documents_SAC VMP VTP CEQA_NOE_TCU_Bear Valley Common Area NOE signed   PDF 66 K

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