Sequoia National Forest and Forest Hazard Mitigation Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
Tulare County
Document Title
Sequoia National Forest and Forest Hazard Mitigation Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Tulare County and the USDA, Forest Service entered into a Master Stewardship Agreement for the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument to achieve land management goals for the national forest; and meet local and rural community needs to mitigate hazards and improve watershed and forest health. The project's purpose is to improve overall forest and watershed health by reducing the dangers created by recent catastrophic wildfires and hazards to public safety in Tulare County. The project locations have widespread tree mortality hazards within national forest lands on critical transportation corridors and critical habitat. In 2020, the Castle Fire burned within the project. The next year, in 2021 the Windy Fire destroyed 97,000 acres, in the Project area. Both fires left very hazardous conditions for personnel, residents, and visitors accessing and traveling across the Sequoia National Forest. The fires also destroyed important habitat and environmental infrastructure. Due to the increased risks, California and Tulare County have proclaimed states of emergency for tree mortality paving the way for a united effort to implement full scale, immediate and aggressive measures to undertake efforts to remove dead or dying trees to restore forest and watershed health. New growth in the bum scars have created conditions for invasive species to root and a lack of defensible space to protect against the spread of wildfires across the landscape; thus, limiting protection of key environmental infrastructure as well as personnel, roadway travelers, and communities along the main access roads. Not only does this project mitigate safety hazards for forest personnel working on habitat restoration work, but it will also address evacuation route capacity, safety, and viability under a range of emergency scenarios.

Contact Information

Hector Guerra
Agency Name
Tulare County Resource Management Agency
Job Title
Chief Environmental Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Sequoia Crest
Cross Streets
County M216 (Redwood Drive), Forest Road 20S03 (Fox Farm Road). and Alder Drive
Other Information
See map attachment

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
CEQA Guidelines Class 1 Section 15301 Existing Facilities (c)
Reasons for Exemption
Also, this action is consistent with CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 Class I, Existing Facilities (c) Existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and similar facilities through the application of CEQA Guidelines Section· 15300.4, Application by Public Agencies, whereby the County of Tulare Board of Supervisors adopted an exemption for the removal of trees or limbs which are dead or diseased or for traffic safety of the aforementioned facilities per the Tulare County Guidelines for the Implementation of California Environmental Quality Act of 1970, Section 300 (c)(5). Therefore, the application of CEQA Section 15301 and Tulare County Guidelines for the Implementation of CEQA of 1970, Section 300 (c)(5) are applicable and appropriate for this proposed Project

Exempt Status
Emergency Project
Type, Section or Code
Sec. 21080(b)(4); 15269(b)(c)
Reasons for Exemption
The proposed Project is excluded or exempt from the California Environmental Quaiity Act (CEQA) on the grounds that the proposed Project is consistent with the following: Public Resources Code Section 21080, subdivision (b) (4) (Emergency), and State CEQA Guidelines Section 15269, subdivision (c)(Emergency). The Project addresses the risk and potential impact of wildfire and dead and dying trees Countywide that pose a threat to public health and safety within National Forest lands on critical transportation corridors along County M216 (Redwood Drive), Forest Road 20S03 (Fox Farm Road), and Alder Drive. Pursuant to State CEQA Guidelines Section 15359, an "Emergency" applies when a project is necessary " ... to prevent or mitigate loss of or damage to life, health, property or essential public services." As such, preventive efforts would be undertaken to remove dead or dying trees to protect essential public services (such as accessible roads) prior to the occurrence of catastrophic wildfire.
County Clerk


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