Tree planting activities will be conducted in the Bald Fire (800 acres) and Eiler Fire (1,500 acres). Funds will be used to purchase trees, and prepare and plant sites.
The Manzanita Chutes project, located on the Lassen National Forest, consists of seven plantations covering 676 acres. These plantations have received limited vegetation management since they were established and are now densely stocked with trees and brush creating conditions where stands are more susceptible to mortality caused by drought, insects, disease, and wildfire. In addition, they create forest connectivity to the Hat Creek 89 Recreation Corridor, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Manzanita Creek. The plantation treatments would contribute to a network of cross-jurisdictional treatments between forest service land and the Lassen National Park’s Northwest
Three treatments will reduce threats to communities. These include the Tamarack Fuel Break (FB), Crossroads, and Jackrabbit. Jackrabbit is a 2,669 acre treatment surrounding Burney, and Crossroads is a treatment of 2,825 acres near Burney.
The Tamarack Fuel Break will treat 24 miles (692 acres) along a major access road. The treatment will create defensible space and disrupt fuel continuity through removal of biomass and mastication of brush and small trees.
Additionally, the Crossroads project will reduce wildfire threats to the summer recreation areas in the region (i.e. Burney McArthur Falls State Park), while Northwest Gateway II will protect late seral forest and reduce wildfire threats to historically significant infrastructure within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mechanical treatments in all three projects lead to future prescribed broadcast burning
Northwest Gateway is a 800 acre project within the boundary of Lassen Volcanic NP. The project restores late-seral pine forests through ecological treatments. The project builds on Northwest Gateway I, a 450-acre restoration thinning that was completed in 2014, while some of the restored areas were burned in 2018 by the National Park Service (NPS). Treatments will protect California Spotted Owl and Northern Goshawk breeding territories from high intensity wildfire by reducing stand density and returning low to moderate severity fire to the landscape. The project protects existing NPS water and visitor infrastructure, as well as sites of historic and cultural importance. The treatments will include radial and drip-line thins of all legacy trees, matrix thins and removal of white fir, along with biomass removal, and surface restoration of the site. These treatments will be followed by burning and seeding treatments that will utilize National Park Service funding to complete.
The USFS and RCD have identified multiple restoration opportunities on public and private lands to increase forest resilience, accelerate reforestation of severely burned forests, and reduce the risk of future catastrophic fire impacts to both communities and natural resources. Forest thinning through the diameter class and other fuel treatments (e.g. mastication, prescribed fire) would be used to reduce forest biomass and surface fuels in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire. This reduction would help to protect tree-based carbon stocks, improve growth rates and carbon uptake of residual trees, and minimize greenhouse gas released in the instance of wildfire.
Reducing forest density and surface fuels are a key step towards building a resilient landscape. Thinning prescriptions were designed to restore forest structure and facilitate the widespread use of prescribed fire by removing biomass, reducing stand densities, and shifting species composition towards more drought- and fire-tolerant species. Thinning treatments would reduce inter-tree competition from limited water and nutrients, thereby reducing the risk of insect and disease-caused mortality and GHG emissions from dead and decaying trees.
Prescribed under burning would be used to maintain the benefits of widespread thinning and to begin restoring fire as a process in forests throughout the project area. Prescribed burning would reduce surface and maintain the reduction in ladder fuels by reducing understory shrubs, small trees, and raising the live crown heights of residual larger diameter trees. As a result, fuel ignitability, ignition of tree crowns, rate of fire spread, and fire duration and intensity would be reduced. Creating favorable stand conditions across the landscape at scale would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and associated adverse effects to air and water quality. If fires occur on the landscape, fire size and severity could be reduced, resulting in less GHG emissions when compared to fires that occur if forests are not treated.
There are three local biomass facilities near the project area. Chips generated from the proposed projects would be utilized by local biomass facilities to generate energy and offset fossil fuel consumption. Controlled combustion results in demonstrated reduction not only of CO2 but of other GHGs (CH4, and CO) produced by incomplete combustion during in-woods burning. In addition, implementation of this project will enhance and create employment opportunities for local facilities, their employees, and the local businesses they utilize on a regular basis.
Several large fires recently occurred throughout the project leaving uncharacteristically large patches deforested. Planting treatments would be used to accelerate forested conditions across the landscape. Planting would favor fire tolerant species at wider spacing conducive to individual tree growth and reduced future fire risk as the plantation develops. As trees grow, carbon would be sequestered, resulting in increased tree-based carbon storage through time, particularly when compared with carbon sequestered of shrub fields or partial natural regeneration.
Funding for this project provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the
California Climate Investments Program
CAL FIRE's Forest Health Grant Program awards Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds allocated by the legislature for California Climate Investments (CCI) to implement projects that seek to proactively restore forest health and conserve working forests, protect upper watersheds where the state's water supply originates, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon from large, intense wildfires.
Burney - Hat Creek Forest Health Project, is part of California Climate Investments,a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California.
For more information,
visit the California Climate Investments website at: