Placer County moves forward on 179 acres of forest thinning to reduce wildfire risk

Today, the French Meadows Forest Restoration Project took a step forward with the Placer County Board of Supervisors voting to award a contract to execute forest thinning on an additional 179 acres of the forest health project.

Red Mountain Resource LLC was awarded $301,270 to thin trees and perform mastication, which clears and grinds vegetation and small trees on the forest floor. The contract approval is one of several board actions needed to ensure the restoration project moves along during the 2019 operational season.

The French Meadows Forest Restoration Project is a collaborative forest health project intended to reduce wildfire risk and protect the county’s water supply. Covering 22,000 acres of public land around French Meadows Reservoir west of Lake Tahoe, this public-private partnership is anticipated to serve as a model for increasing the pace and scale of ecologically-based forest management and fuels reduction throughout the Sierra Nevada.

The project area provides water supply to thousands of people and businesses, as well as power generation, recreation and high-value natural habitats. The protection of high-quality and reliable water supply as well as these other beneficial uses of the watershed are the project's goals.

Additionally, the project has been awarded three California state grants worth approximately $5.25 million. This includes a $1 million multi-year grant agreement with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy that allows the county to use SNC funding for work to remove biomass material for energy creation, as well as mastication work on 410 acres of the project area affected by the Star Fire.

Work on the project started in June and is scheduled to go through October, and will start again in summer 2020.

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