Alpine County, California — The National Forest Foundation (NFF), in partnership with the Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF), and Alpine Watershed Group (AWG), will move forward on the West Fork Carson River Fuels Reduction, Aspen, and Meadow Restoration Project in 2022. The objective of this project is to improve forest health by reducing fuels, enhancing aspen stands, and restoring meadows.
The aspen ecosystem in the West Carson River watershed has steadily declined from environmental factors, including drought, conifer encroachment, and Sudden Aspen Death. In addition, areas of dense conifer are increasing risk of wildfire, and meadows are also being impacted by conifer encroachment.
Contractors will remove conifers from seven units near Alpine County’s Hope Valley beginning in late spring or early summer 2022 via hand cut methods through a combination of the Civilian Conservation Corp, American Conservation Experience, and private industry crews.
AWG will conduct baseline aspen monitoring prior to conifer removal. Annual monitoring will occur for the next three years in the fall before the aspens drop their leaves. “We hope this data will help determine the success of aspen regeneration and reestablishment following conifer removals,” said AWG Watershed Coordinator Rachel Kieffer.
Project partners will also work together on an educational video to tell the story of the restoration project. Matt Millar, NFF Sierra Nevada Program Senior Manager, is thrilled to have put together this partnership. “I have been coming to Hope Valley since I was a kid. It is an honor and a privilege to get to work with the Carson Ranger District and AWG on this much needed project.”
NFF procured funding for this project from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through California’s Proposition 1. According to US Forest Service Forester Annabelle Monti, collaborations like this project are critical.
Monti explained, “Last year’s Tamarack and Caldor Fires showed how much we need fuels management projects like this one. Partnerships help the Forest Service expand our capacity. This project is especially exciting because it restores a unique habitat and will contribute to the body of research on aspen stands.”
About National Forest Foundation:
The National Forest Foundation, chartered by Congress, engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests. Working on behalf of the American public, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. We believe these lands, and all they provide, are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities.
About Alpine Watershed Group:
Alpine Watershed Group (AWG) works to preserve and enhance the natural system functions of Alpine County's watersheds for future generations through collaboration, education, and proactively implementing stewardship projects. AWG supports Alpine County watershed health through water quality monitoring, restoration projects, and community engagement.
For more information, please contact:
Rachel Kieffer, Watershed Coordinator
Alpine Watershed Group