Forest thinning resumes on South Shore of Lake Tahoe Causing Closures
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit resumed work on the South Shore Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration project. Mechanical whole tree removal will take place off Fallen Leaf Road near Fallen Leaf Campground over the next several months and the area will be closed for public safety. This project authorizes thinning of trees and brush on approximately 10,000 acres of National Forest System lands on the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and create healthier forests.
Mechanical whole tree removal involves cutting the entire tree and moving it to the landing area to remove the limbs and cut it into sections. This type of mechanical operation requires closure of the area during operations due to the hazards posed by heavy equipment and falling trees. The Forest Service has issued a forest order closing the project area (unit 1) to pedestrians from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily from approximately May 31 throughAugust 15, 2016. Hazards may be present even when operations have ceased for the day and the closure is not in effect. The Forest Service will post closure signs in the area and the forest order is posted under the heading South Shore Fuels Reduction Project at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ForestOrders.
In addition to temporary closures of recreational areas, other short-term impacts from fuels reduction projects include changes to the appearance of basin forests. Treated areas look disturbed at first, but recover visually within a few years. Overall benefits to forests in treated areas include reducing fuel for wildfires and providing the remaining trees with less competition for resources such as water, sunlight and nutrients, which allow the trees to grow larger and become more resistant to drought, insects and disease.
To learn more about the project, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/SouthShoreFuelReduction.