Laughlin Peak Road Access Maintenance and Tower Clearance


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Document Title
Laughlin Peak Road Access Maintenance and Tower Clearance
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The purpose of this project is to improve the ingress and egress of fire engines, reduce wildfire risk to the state-owned Laughlin Peak radio tower, and aid in fire suppression activities through fuel reduction treatment on 35 acres, approximately 7 miles southeast of the town of Willits in Mendocino County, California. The tower and surrounding vegetation was heavily impacted by the Redwood Complex Fire in 2017. The project will remove shrubs, standing dead trees, and thin areas of live tress (<10” DBH) within the road easement (10-20 feet on either side) along 4.2 miles of road, starting at Laughlin Peak Road at Highway 101, ending at the Laughlin Peak Radio Tower. Fuel reduction work will be conducted within an additional 300’ buffer zone around the tower on State property. Larger live trees, (>10” DBH), with low overhanging limbs, will be pruned with a pole saw up to 14’ from the ground. Dead/dying or hazard trees of any size that pose a safety hazard to the roadway, people, or other infrastructure will be removed. Associated slash (limbs/tops <12” diameter) will be carried to a chipper, masticated, or piled and burned. Logs will be bucked and left on site. Operations will be conducted by hand crews, chippers, and machinery with mastication attachments (chippers and machinery will not leave the roadway). This project includes long-term maintenance of fuel loading and hazard tree removal as necessary.

Contact Information

Julie Rhoads
Agency Name
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Job Title
VMP Forester
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Citywide, Countywide
Total Acres
State Highways
Hwy 101
Other Location Info
4.2 miles of Laughlin Peak road starting at Hwy 101, approximately 7 miles southeast of the town of Willits

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4 §15304 Minor Alterations to Land
Reasons for Exemption
The project meets the requirements of a CEQA Article 19 Class 4 Categorical exemption “Minor Alterations to Land” (Section 15304, Public Resources Code) as the proposed fuel management activities entail understory brush removal, 10 “BDH or less tree removal, thinning, pruning, chipping, masticating on developed roadway, pile burning, and dead/tree removal to improve access and reduce volume of flammable vegetation encroaching state-owned radio tower. As such, CAL FIRE 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, utilities, and service systems, or to wildfire. No exceptions apply (Section 15300.2) which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption for this project. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit, 802 N. Main Street. Attn. VMP Coordinator.


Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

Download CSV New Search Print