Inyo National Forest Receives National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant for June Mountain Whitebark Pine Restoration
Mammoth Ca, Oct 5, 2016 – The Inyo National Forest, in partnership with Cal Trout and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA), received one of the first round of National Fish and Wildlife (NFWF) grants as part of the recently launched Pacific Southwest Fuels Management Partnership. The June Mountain Ski Area Whitebark Pine Restoration project award brings $490,144 to the grant recipient, Cal Trout.
The project is designed to remove bark beetle-impacted trees to improve forest resilience and decrease the risk of a large-scale, high-intensity wildland fire in the
June Lake and downstream Grant Lake/Rush Creek watersheds. The project will remove dead and dying coniferous trees on 110 acres of selected whitebark pine stands to promote seed cache behavior by Clark’s nutcracker and improve stand conditions. Project will also confer fire protection benefits for the community of June Lake
The NFWF grant is an example of the success of partnerships. The Inyo National Forest staff provided the technical forestry and fuels management expertise needed for the project, MMSA will implement the contract for the tree removal and restoration, and Cal Trout will oversee the project completion and provide local education and outreach about fuels management and forest resiliency.
As part of the project, Cal Trout will work with the Forest Service to continue monitoring plots within the treatment area, providing excellent data about conditions before and after the treatment. This project also hopes to better explore the best management practices for fuel utilization to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The partners continue to seek to leverage funding options for later phases of the project.
“Cal Trout appreciates the opportunity to partner with the MMSA and the Inyo National Forest on an important project that will benefit the health of the watersheds, downstream waters and improve safety for the community of June Lake,” said Mark Drew, Cal Trout’s Sierra Headwaters Region Director. This is a win-win project for all.”
“We are very excited to be a part of this project with the U.S. Forest Service, our longtime partner, as well as with our new partner, Cal Trout, and we are thankful for the support of multiple community interests,” said Ron Cohen, Chief Administrative Officer for MMSA. “The project will reduce the significant buildup of wildfire fuels adjacent to the Village of June Lake, benefitting forest health and providing watershed protection for the June Lake Loop, Rush Creek, and Mono Lake. We thank NFWF for their belief in the project and their strong support of this partnership.”
Cal Trout’s Sierra Headwaters Region spans from the Northern Sierras, exemplifying California beauty, to the plateau around Mono Lake and Owens Valley, a high-desert region home to some of the state’s most sought-after trout angling. Their mission is to restore and ensure the health and vitality of Sierra Nevada headwaters, their aquatic ecosystems and downstream communities through progressive research, policy and restoration actions.