Scotts Valley Fire Prevention Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Document Title
Scotts Valley Fire Prevention Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The purpose of this project is to create a shaded fuel break, reduce wildfire risk, and aid in fire suppression activities through fuel reduction treatments around tribal residences and community facilities at Scotts Valley Rancheria. The project area is located on the tribe’s Red Hills property located 2.5 miles south of Clear Lake and approximately 5 miles east of Kelseyville. The ownership area is approximately 35.3 acres, and the project area is 5.5 acres in size, composed of one treatment unit. The project will be initiated this coming year, and maintenance treatments are expected over the next ten years. Treatment activities will involve thinning and pruning oak woodland vegetation within a 100’ buffer zone along the parcel boundary as well as thinning manzanita shrubs behind residences on the property. All work will be completed using manual treatment methods (no off-road heavy equipment or ground disturbance is proposed). Hand crews will employ chainsaws, pole saws, weed whackers, and hand tools to remove small trees, brush, and surface/ground fuels. Live trees (10 inches in diameter or less) will be removed when appropriate. Larger trees will be pruned to provide for a minimum vertical clearance of 8 feet, when appropriate. Slash and debris created by this project will be chipped and spread on site or pile burned in piles not to exceed 4-feet by 4-feet. Chippers will remain on the cultivated agricultural field on the same ownership. Burn piles will be located outside the drip line of trees and away from identified sensitive resource areas.

Contact Information

Mike Wink
Agency Name
Job Title
Assistant Chief, Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Estelle Clifton
Agency Name
Clifton Environmental LLC
Job Title
Principal & RPF
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Northern California
Total Acres
Other Location Info
Scotts Valley Rancheria Red Hills property located 2.5 miles south of Clear Lake and approximately 5 miles east of Kelseyville

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4/15304 Minor Alterations to Land
Reasons for Exemption
This 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” DBH or less tree removal, thinning, pruning, chipping, and burning to reduce wildfire threat. Although this project will modify some structural aspects of the vegetation, it will not convert the vegetation type or result in removal of otherwise “healthy, mature, and scenic trees.” 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/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, populations and housing, public services, recreation, transportation/ traffic, utilities and service systems, or to wildfire. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Department is kept on file at Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, 1199 Big Tree Road, St. Helena, CA 94574.


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