Thinning of trees, brush aimed at cutting fire risk

Published: Saturday, May. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 19, 2013 - 11:37 am

The U.S. Forest Service will resume work Monday on a major fuels-reduction project at South Lake Tahoe.

The South Shore Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration Project involves the thinning of trees and brush on national forest lands from Cascade Lake to the Nevada state line to reduce wildfire risk and create healthier forests.

This season's work will begin Monday in a popular recreation area consisting of 280 acres between Golden Bear Estate, off Pioneer Trail, and the Sierra Tract.

The area will be closed to the public for about two months because of hazards posed by heavy equipment operating and falling trees, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit officials said in a news release.

While the treatment area is heavily crisscrossed with neighborhood trails, it has very few official roads and trails, according to the release.

After the fuels-reduction work is completed, the Forest Service will restore official trails but will not restore user-created trails, which may be covered with ground-up vegetation to prevent erosion.

Early-season work will also include removing decks of logs, slash and biomass near Trout Creek and Fallen Leaf Campground.

As the season progresses, mechanical thinning is planned near Christmas Valley, Fallen Leaf Lake, Meyers, the Highway 89 corridor, Gardner Mountain and Trout Creek.

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