Funding will treat nearly 12,000 acres of Truckee/Tahoe-area forests to reduce risk of fire and improve forest health.
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is pleased to announce it has received a major grant from the California Climate Investments Forest Health Grant Program to conduct important forest health work on the Tahoe National Forest, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands in the Truckee / Tahoe region.
“This grant, the largest the NFF has received, is testament to the need for forest health work in the Tahoe area,” said NFF President Mary Mitsos. “We know that Californians love their National Forests and that these public lands are in dire need of fuels reduction and cross-boundary forest improvements. We are grateful to the state of California and CAL FIRE for its leadership in reducing the devastating effects of climate change and for recognizing how critical forests are to this goal.”
The NFF will work with multiple local partners, including youth and tribal conservation crews, to perform fuels reduction work on nearly 12,000 acres of forests in the region. This funding will support twelve projects across the Tahoe National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and one research project with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station.
Funding from Coca-Cola, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Yuba County Water Agency, Blue Forest Conservation, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and the U.S. Forest Service comprises an additional $5.2 million in matching funds the NFF is adding to the forest restoration and fuels reduction work in the area. With this matching funding, the total project value is roughly $18 million.
"Californians are taking the next big step to address the severe wildfires we are experiencing.”
“This grant will make possible forest health and fuels reduction projects within critical headwaters of the Truckee, American and Yuba Rivers. Projects like these not only reduce wildfire risk by removing fuels, they ensure our forests are healthy and resilient to changing climate, disease, and drought. Resilient forests will continue to provide clean water, hydroelectric power, wildlife habitat, and outstanding recreational opportunities for this generation and the next,” said Eli Ilano, the Forest Supervisor of the Tahoe National Forest.
The NFF and partners will work on 10,173 acres of federal lands and 1,360 acres of SRA lands. The work is expected to include roughly 7,900 acres of forest thinning/fuels reduction work, 3,600 acres of prescribed fire and 240 acres of reforestation. In addition, the project anticipates producing nearly 70,000 green tons of biomass for local biomass plants, which will boost local economies and support the emerging biomass industry.
The NFF received the largest single grant in this year’s funding and worked with a coalition of agencies as part of a larger regional collaborative effort known as the Tahoe Central Sierra Initiative (TCSI). TCSI applicants for this funding included the California Tahoe Conservancy, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the American River Conservancy. By working together on their respective grant proposals, the TSCI was able to bring a total of $27.5 million in grant funding to the Central Sierra region for this critical work.
“We have long believed that working with other agencies and partners is more effective than working alone. Our approach with this project has proven this true. With our partners, nearly $30 million will be invested in improving the health of the Tahoe-area’s forests, while reducing wildfire risk and benefitting local economies,” said Kim Carr, the NFF’s California Program Director.
The NFF has until April 30, 2022 to complete the work.