Reasons for Exemption
CEQA does not apply to prescribed fire, thinning, or fuel reduction projects undertaken on federal lands to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire that have been reviewed under the NEPA if the primary role of a state or local agency is providing funding or staffing for those projects. The SNC would provide funding to implement fuel reduction and thinning treatments on federal land within Stanislaus National Forest and land managed by BLM. The proposed activities within Stanislaus National Forest were reviewed in their entirety under NEPA in the Monotti Urban Fuel Reduction and Plantation Thinning Project Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The Decision Notice for the EA/FONSI was signed by the U.S. Forest Service on May 12, 2011. Although the decision was signed 10 years ago, it has been determined that the NEPA decision is still relevant and viable. The proposed activities within BLM-managed lands were reviewed in their entirety under NEPA in the Wagner Ridge Fuel Break Watershed Protection Project Initial Study/EA and Proposed Negative Declaration. The Initial Study/Proposed Negative Declaration was never approved or adopted; however, the Decision Record for the EA/FONSI was signed by BLM on July 24, 2019.