South Lake Tahoe, Calif. –As tree-felling operations under the South Shore Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration project move to new areas, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) reminds the public to stay clear of active operations. “Heavy equipment operators can’t easily see people walking or biking through their operations, so if you’re disregarding posted signs and forest closures, you’re putting your safety at risk,” said LTBMU forester Duncan Leao. “Respecting closures will help us open recreation areas back up more quickly by minimizing interruptions to tree thinning operations.”
Thinning in the first unit along Hwy. 89 North has been completed, and mechanical operations in the Nez Perce Drive area of South Lake Tahoe also are nearly complete. Once that unit is complete, the contractor will be working near Fallen Leaf Campground and along Trout Creek, off Pioneer Trail. Noise from the operations near Fallen Leaf Lake may affect campers, although operations will occur during the daytime only. The work will also limit access to the Moraine Trail and other trails from the campground leading to Fallen Leaf Lake. The Trout Creek work will limit access to the Railroad Grade Trail.
Once work is complete, the Forest Service will restore official trails such as the Moraine Trail and the Railroad Grade Trail to their previous condition. The agency does not restore unofficial (user-created) trails, and these trails may be covered with slash that has been left behind for soil stabilization.
The Forest Service has also issued a number of contracts for hand-thinning and piling operations, in project areas around the Lake. South Shore project activities will continue as conditions allow, including possible over-the-snow operations during the winter.
The South Shore project includes mechanical and hand-thinning to reduce wildfire risk to communities, improve forest health and restore aspen stands. The project will treat approximately 10,100 acres from Cascade Lake to Stateline on the California side of Lake Tahoe over the next eight years. “We appreciate the community’s patience as we continue this important work to help protect our neighborhoods and restore the health of our forests,” said Leao.
For more information on the South Shore project, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/