SCH Number 2020040374
- Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve Prescribed Fire Program Unit 7
- The project is a 322-acre fuels reduction and ecological enhancement effort situated on Musty Buck Ridge within the 3,950-acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). The 322-acre BCCER prescribed fire project would complete the western portion of a landscape-scale defensible zone in the path of historic fire spread in the Big Chico Creek Watershed. The project would reduce fuels using mechanical cutting, crushing brush with a machine such as a small tracked Bobcat, uprooting brush by pulling, pile burning, and broadcast burning. Means of shrub and small tree removal -- mechanical, motorized, or fire -- would be selected based on careful analysis of current site conditions including weather, time of year, and the presence of sensitive cultural or biological resources. On steep slopes, or where machine access is impractical, fuels would be reduced by hand crews opening long hand-cut transects and piling brush for machine collection, or later pile-burning when conditions are optimal. Pockets of black oak would be used as “anchor points” to define project boundaries and sub-zones within the project area. Approaching the project in this way will conserve black oaks and facilitate range expansion where appropriate conditions exist. There is evidence from within the project area that these black oak stands were once more expansive, but top-killed by previous wildfires. Currently many pole-sized oaks are emerging within dense shrub stands, and arise as sprouts from large diameter burls. Auxiliary project operations would include maintenance and improving (including isolated widening) the natural surface (dirt or bedrock) of the private 4WD roads which access the steep, remote area, and rehabilitation of excessively disturbed areas (e.g., machine tracks) after machine operations are concluded. Brush removal would be almost entirely within a 50-100-foot buffer of Musty Buck Rd., and would taper off to a lighter prescription beyond the buffer. The lighter prescription would widen existing openings, interrupt fuels continuity to slow fire spread, reduce ladder fuels to protect black oak crowns from ignition, yet still maintain a desirable spatial and biological diversity of shrub species. Project activities will likely commence Fall 2020 and be complete by December 2028.
2 documents in project
|NOD||California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)||Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve Prescribed Fire Program Unit 7|
|MND||California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)||Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve Prescribed Fire Program Unit 7|