Reasons for Exemption
CAL FIRE would provide funding to the Hoopa Valley Tribe to treat a total of 1,062 acres using a combination of hand methods and prescribed burning to achieve cultural and vegetation management objectives, which include an effort to restore oak woodlands, promote carbon storage on the landscape and reduce accumulated fuel storage. The activities include various thinning and burning treatments across six primary management areas which include old growth stands, mature second growth plantations, and young plantations in the Pine Creek watershed area to prevent widespread mortality due to Sudden Oak Death, reduce wildfire risks to local resources and community members, promote native plant and wildlife species, and improve forest resiliency.
The California Environmental Quality Act 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 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) if the primary role of a state or local agency is providing funding or staffing for those projects. CAL FIRE would provide funding to the Hoopa Valley Tribe, a federally recognized tribe, to reduce forest fuels within the HVIR. All the proposed Project activities are included in the Exception Checklist for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) NEPA Categorical Exclusion (TR-4416-P5 J00 561T Revised East Viewshed Prescribed Burn) and the 2011 Programmatic Environmental Assessment of the Hoopa Valley Tribe 2011-2025 Forest Management Plan and the NEPA Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and the associated Decision Record prepared by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office signed in 2012.