The 2014 Farm Bill included an important provision for addressing insect and disease threats on National Forest lands. Areas that are experiencing forest health decline, are at risk of experiencing substantially increased tree mortality, and contain hazard trees that pose an imminent risk to public infrastructure, health or safety may be designated as part of an insect and disease treatment project. Section 8204 of the Farm Bill amended Title VI of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) by adding a categorical exclusion (CE) for projects that:
· Are designed to reduce the risk or extent of, or increase the resilience to, insect or disease infestation;
· Are located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI);
· Are located within a designated landscape-scale (HUC 12) watershed;
· Are less than 3,000 acres in size.
Calaveras intends to tackle multiple declining resource issues when implementing the Arnold-Avery Farm Bill CE. These objectives are subject to change but we are prioritizing to:
· Enhance/maintain the 2015 Butte Dozer line fuel break starting from Valley View Rd (Avery) through the community of Arnold;
· Remove hazard trees along roadsides and structures near Blue Lake Springs, Valley View Rd and Mill woods.
· Consider Green thinning treatments to provide economic sustainability and increase forest resiliency near the Arnold-Avery Interface.
Logistics and Options for the Field Trip:
If the majority of group wants to combine a monitoring meeting on January 10th or February 14th the meeting would be held at the Calaveras Ranger District at 9:30 AM and most likely go till 3:30 PM. If it is on a monitoring meeting day, the field-trip-only folks should arrive a little before 11:00 AM.
If it rains we would still have a field trip. If it snows, depending on how much, we will cancel. Generally the project area is in the lower elevation and shouldn’t be affected by snow.