Howard Forest Fire and Safety Hazard Reduction


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Document Title
Howard Forest Fire and Safety Hazard Reduction
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption

Document Description
The project area is located at the 87-acre Howard Forest Station and Training Center located at the top of Ridgewood Grade, off Highway 101, 2.8 miles south of the town of Willits. The Station and Training Center is situated in and adjacent to a Douglas-fir/mixed hardwood forest interspersed with Ponderosa pine, true oaks, grassy openings, and shrubs. The area contains multiple buildings for unit staff in a mostly wildland interface and serves as a training center for fire fighters. Annual vegetation management activities are necessary to maintain the grounds in a manner that reduces vegetative fuels around buildings to lower fire risk and remove trees or portions of trees that pose a fire and/or safety risk to structures, property, and human life. Fuels reduction activities also serve as training opportunities for unit fire fighters such as S-212 course (chainsaw certification), putting live fire on the ground, constructing fire line, and simulating mop-up operations. Fuel reduction activities involve the use of hand crews, chainsaws (tree falling, bucking, and brushing), pole saws, chippers, skid steer with masticator attachment, and pile and broadcast burning.

Contact Information
Robert Douglas
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Lead/Public Agency
17501 North Highway 101
Willits, CA 95490

Phone : (707) 972-3795


Total Acres
State Highways
Other Location Info
Portions of T17N R13W Sec 4, 5, 8 & 9 MDBM
Other Information
2.8 miles south of the town of Willits

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4 § 15304 Minor Alterations to Land
Reasons for Exemption
The project meets the requirements of a CEQA Article 19 Class 4 Categorical exemption “Minor Alterations to Land” (Section 15304, Public Resources Code) as the proposed activities involves tree and brush removal, chipping, hazard tree removal, and burning to reduce wildfire threat. Although this project will modify some structural aspects of the vegetation, it will not convert the vegetation type or result in the removal of otherwise “healthy, mature, and scenic trees.” A search of the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) found no rare, threatened or endangered plant or animal species on the project site that will be negatively impacted by this project. The CAL FIRE Archaeologist has been consulted and has determined, based on pre-operative surveys and historical information for the project area, the project as proposed will avoid impacts to cultural resources. Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply (Section 15300.2) 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, energy, 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, utilities and service systems, or wildfire. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit, Resource Management, 17501 N. Highway 101, Willits, CA 95490, Attn. Environmental Coordinator.


Notice of Exemption
Howard Forest - NOE signed   PDF 120 K

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