The Carson Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, will begin mowing and mulching brush to reduce fuels on 208 acres of a 1,200-acre area in and around the Mount Rose Tracts off of Mount Rose Highway, State Route 431, starting Monday, February 21, 2012,through April 15, 2012, weather permitting. Fuels are vegetation, such as grass, brush, or trees that help carry wildfires.
The project is located mainly on Forest Service parcels in and around 115 homes in the Mount Rose Tracts within the wildland urban interface, where homes are adjacent to the forest, as well as around Huntsberger Elementary School. General boundaries for this project area are Arrowcreek Parkway to the north, Fawn Lake to the south, Quiet Meadow Drive to the east, and Timberline Drive to the west.
“Many Washoe County residents have painfully experienced devastating losses in November and January’s unprecedented wildfires,” said Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor. “Our Forest Service project will remove dense vegetation to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and risk to firefighters in the event of a large fire,” added Higgins.
“Mechanical thinning overgrown shrubs and woody debris is also a cost effective way of reducing hazardous fuels where prescribed fire and other treatments are infeasible,” said Steve Howell, District Fuels Specialist. The newly mowed and mulched areas create a healthier environment for wildlife; the thinned areas promote new plant, drawing animals to these areas.
“The winter normally isn’t when we start reminders about maintaining defensible space around homes, but unfortunately, it is a reality, given this season’s minimal rain and snow,” said Howell. Howell said that this long weekend’s warm weather provides a good chance for homeowners to complete an outside to-do list to clear debris on the ground, such as pine needles and leaves, remove brush and limb trees, clean out gutters, and move wood that may be piled next to or near your homes.
Residents can expect to see equipment clearing brush on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest for the next seven weeks. The project will occur during weather conditions that would minimize impacts on the soil. An ASV masticator, which resembles a bobcat machine, but includes an attached mechanical masticator head, is being used because of its low impact to forest resources.
This project is part of the Carson Range Multi-Jurisdictional Fuel Reduction and Wildfire Prevention Strategy, which includes an area of around 100,000 homes in portions of Washoe, Carson City, and Douglas counties in western Nevada. The Carson Ranger District is responsible for managing approximately 45 percent of the 223,000 acres and its resources in this strategy planning area.
The strategy was developed in 2008 to comply with the White Pine County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-432 [H.R.6111]). Sixteen federal, state, and local agencies coordinated comprehensively by combing all existing fuels reduction plans in the strategy. The strategy also provided a framework for participating agencies to identify priority areas and a strategy to work collaboratively on completing those endeavors.
Learn more about this release by contacting Howell at 775-884-8114.
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