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Sierra Nevada Conservancy awards $1.2 million for healthy forest projects

Feather Publishing

Approximately $1.2 million in grant awards for projects that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve forest health was recently approved by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s governing board during its quarterly meeting in Sacramento. The funding is from Proposition 84, passed by voters in 2006.

“These projects improve forest and watershed health and help protect communities from catastrophic wildfire in the Sierra Nevada,” said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham. “As the region where more than 60 percent of California’s developed water supply originates, this helps all Californians.”

The projects approved for funding include the following:

—Plumas County: Plumas Community Energy Wood Processing Facility, $350,000.

Development of a wood processing facility in the community of Crescent Mills that will convert forest biomass into conditioned wood chips to supply heating boilers in public facilities in Plumas County.

—Nevada County: Sagehen Basin Old Forest Sensitive Species Habitat Restoration Project, $349,140.

Forest thinning and prescribed fire will be used to help restore the forest to a more natural condition, resulting in reduced risks of large catastrophic fire, improved habitat conditions and a healthier watershed. Treatments will occur on 291 acres of the 2,621-acre project area, located on USFS land approximately 10 miles north of Truckee.

—Placer County: American River Canyon Shaded Fuel Break, $288,206.

Fuel reduction treatments on approximately 45 acres of forested land in high-threat wildfire areas on the rim of the American River Canyon adjacent to the city of Auburn within the Auburn State Recreation Area.

—Fresno County: Soaproot Stewardship Project, $349,788.

Forest thinning in areas with dense vegetation to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and restore approximately 1,038 acres of the Sierra National Forest to a healthier condition.

In addition to the grant awards, the board also received an overview of Rim Fire restoration efforts, as well as an update on a variety of issues and activities affecting the utilization of forest biomass in the Sierra Nevada.

About the Sierra Nevada Conservancy governing board

Created in 2004, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy is a state agency whose mission is to improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region. The SNC has awarded more than $50 million in grants for projects to protect and enhance the health of California’s primary watersheds by improving forest health, remediating mercury contamination from abandoned mines, protecting critical natural resources and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Funding for these projects comes from Proposition 84, which was passed by voters in 2006.

The SNC governing board meets quarterly around the Sierra Nevada region, which spans 25 million acres, encompasses all or part of 22 counties and runs from the Oregon border on the north to Kern County.

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