Lassen County Fire Safe Council was recently awarded $75,000 in grant funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and will use the that money to help Lassen National Forest complete an environmental analysis that will allow the Forest to conduct watershed restoration and fuel reduction activities in the Diamond Mountains.
The project partners will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 15th at 6:30p.m. at the Susan River Fire Protection District, located on Highway 395 North in Johnstonville. Representatives from the Fire Safe Council and Lassen National Forest will describe project objectives and proposed treatments, then invite public input.
The forum organizers hope to answer questions or concerns from landowners in or near the proposed treatment area at the June 15th, meeting. “We would love to get more landowners involved in the project,” said Tom Esgate, LCFSC Managing Director.
“The entire area has been designated as a Wildland Urban Interface zone, “said LCFSC Chairman Lloyd Keefer. “A wildfire in this area, with downslope winds, has a very high potential to impact nearby communities and the watershed.”
Adjacent to Janesville and less than 10 miles south of Susanville, Diamond Mountain is under the ownership of the US Forest Service and private landowners. The project partners are now working to identify the areas that will most benefit from proactive treatment.
“Lassen National Forest is in the process of completing field surveys and analyzing potential landscape restoration treatments to create an effective Wildland Urban Interface,” said Lassen National Forest Ecologist Bobette Jones.
In addition to supporting the LNF effort, LCFSC has also been awarded $559,000 from the U.S. Forest Service, the California Fire Safe Council, and CAL FIRE to treat fuels in the same area. The LCFSC has also applied for additional funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
These funds will be used to complete large-scale landscape restoration work designed to create more resilient forests by reducing fuels, improving forest health and watershed function, and increasing safety for fire suppression activities on both private and public lands.
This work is being coordinated and supported by the Diamond Mountain Initiative, a public-private partnership that includes the US Forest Service, Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc., the US Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE, Susanville Indian Rancheria, Lassen County, Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District, Susan River Fire Protection District, Honey Lake Power, and private landowners. The National Forest Foundation has provided LCFSC with capacity funding to support DMI.