Los Banos Road Grading


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Document Title
Los Banos Road Grading
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is proposing a road grading project southwest of Los Banos in Merced County. Approximately 45 miles (~106 acres) of pre-existing dirt roads will be maintained every winter with a rubber-tired road grader vehicle. This will maintain the dirt roads that provide access to ~157,000 acres of SRA. The dirt roads traverse rural ranch and agricultural rangeland settings, with annual and perennial grasses, forbs, shrubs, oak woodland, and riparian woodland communities. Such as rabbitbrush, bush lupine, valley oak, blue oak, coast live oak, gray pine, buckeye, sycamore, and willow species. Most of the rangelands are used for cattle grazing by local ranchers. This road has been improved in the past, with imported road base soil and rocking along portions. Ditch lines and drains within the existing road prism will also be maintained. No new roads will be constructed, only grading the previous extent. Elevations range from 498’ to 2,294’ above sea level.

Contact Information

Brian Mattos
Agency Name
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Job Title
Unit Forester
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Sebastien Cordier
Agency Name
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Job Title
Environmental Scientist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Total Acres
Other Location Info
Portions of T10S, R08E, Sec. 26, 34, 35, T10S, R09E Sec. 31, T11S, R07E, Sec. 25, 26, 35, T11S, R08E, Sec. 1, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 20, 21, 29, 30, 32, T11S, R09E, Sec. 6, 36, T11S, R10E, Sec. 30, 31, T12S, R07E, Sec. 2, T12S, R08E, Sec. 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, T12S, R09E, Sec. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 21, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, T13S, R09E, Sec. 2, 4, 5, 8 MDBD.
Other Information
Southwest of Los Banos

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 1 § 15301 Existing Facilities
Reasons for Exemption
This project fits under portions of Class 1, §15304(c): Existing Facilities Categorical Exemption to CEQA. Class 1 consists of the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of existing or former use. Under section (c), this includes existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and similar facilities (including road grading for the purpose of public safety). 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, 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 or traffic, utilities and service systems or wildfire. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at CAL FIRE Mariposa Headquarters at 5366 State Highway 49 North, Mariposa CA 95338.


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