Forest Health to be Monitored with Lidar

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Forest Health Project Funding

October 24, 2019 – North Fork, California – In August Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council was awarded $4.1 million in forest health funding for the Madera Projects – Southern Sierra All Lands Recovery and Restoration Project (Madera SSARR Project), to address fuel reduction, reforestation and LIDAR acquisition and planning.

From a press release in Sierra Sun Times.

Fuel reduction treatments will take place on public lands (in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Bass Lake Ranger District) in the Shuteye Restoration area, which includes the French Fire burn area, Whiskey Ridge and the Kinsman Flat area in Eastern Madera County and covers approximately 800 acres. About 35,000 bone dry tons of woody biomass spanning an area of 300 acres will be removed from the Whiskey Ridge area. The North Fork power plant will utilize the resulting biomass for power generation when it comes online.

Reforestation will take place in the French Fire burn area with 1,250 acres planned for tree planting. An estimated 337,500 mixed conifer seedlings, including Jeffery, ponderosa, and sugar pines and incense cedar, will be planted. The first trees will be planted in the spring of 2020.

The LIDAR acquisition portion of this project will encompass over 1 million acres in Mariposa, Madera and Fresno counties. LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, will be used on aerial flights by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to collect data on the forest landscape. The data will then be analyzed and mapped by the University of Washington, Forest Resilience Lab, to plan for forest health and resilience and carbon sequestration.

The Madera SSARR Project will also include two environmental planning efforts.  First, the North Fork Rancheria, Environmental Protection Department, will work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to analyze the Mission Fire burn area for forest fuels reduction, prescriptive fire, pest management, and reforestation. Second, American Forests will develop a climate-informed framework, which will use the best available climate science to inform planned and future restoration treatments to create forests resilient to climate change.

The Southern Sierra All Lands Recovery and Restoration Program (SSARR) is an all‐lands, coordinated adaptive management framework developed to improve the administration, health and resilience of the forests and watersheds of the southern Sierra Nevada. The SSARR is voluntary and composed of government, scientific, tribal and non‐profit organizations, representing State and Federal Responsible Areas in Mariposa, Madera, and Fresno Counties.

Funding for this project is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program.

For the full article click here.

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