Apple Valley - Meadowbrook Shaded Fuel Break


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Document Title
Apple Valley - Meadowbrook Shaded Fuel Break
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The project is located in the oak woodland/ oak- pine transition belt near Phoenix Lake in Tuolumne County. The fuel break is strategically situated West of the densely populated communities of Apple Valley and Meadow Brook as well as in the common areas of the Apple Valley community. The main fuel break is a 300-foot-wide shaded fuel break on 67 acres spanning 5 parcels of densely vegetated oak, and shrub forest. In addition, 13 acres of common area in Apple Valley community will be treated. Proposed project includes Hand Cutting, Pruning, Track Chipping, Mastication, and Pile Burning. Small isolated areas within unit may not be accessible to equipment because of either slope or other mechanical deterrent. In these areas, vegetation will be hand cut with chainsaws, piled and burned. It is anticipated piles will be no larger than 6 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter. Depending on density of vegetation, piles may be as close as 30 feet apart. Piles will be located to protect residual vegetation during burning operations. Project will remove live trees less than 12 inches diameter breast height (DBH), larger dead trees that are deemed as a hazard to worker and public safety will be removed and left onsite, no trees will be merchandised. Following or concurrent with mastication a hand crew will prune trees to a minimum height of 10 feet or maximum of ½ the height of the crown whichever is less. Slash created from pruning will be chipped or masticated.

Contact Information

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


Total Acres
Other Location Info
Portions of T2N, R15E, Sec 21 & 28 MDB&M

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4 §15304 Minor Alterations to Land
Reasons for Exemption
This project fits under portions of 15304- Minor Alterations to Land. The Class of Exemption to be used is 14 CCR 15304- Minor Alterations to Land. The project consists of constructing shaded fuel breaks. A query of the CNDDB did not reveal the presence of any sensitive species. Protection measures for watercourses and archaeological sites are consistent with Best Management Practices implemented in the area and project impacts are not expected. All burning will be done in accordance with a permit for the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District. No large trees will be removed. Ground disturbance will be minimal and chips will be broadcast on site acting as a mulch matt. Operation will not significantly change the qualities of the site maintaining site productivity and lessening the potential fire hazard. Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply 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, potential for wildfire, or to utilities and service systems. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Headquarters in San Andreas.


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