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Forest Health & Fire Safety

May contain: vegetation, plant, outdoors, forest, tree, nature, land, woodland, wilderness, and grove

Wildfire is a natural occurrence, but it is also the single largest threat to the forest condition and long-term functionality of our watersheds. Forest management projects are essential for protecting the watersheds in our care. Projects include fire hazard mitigation and hazard tree removal, forest community improvement, and habitat restoration.

You might see us at work around Scotts Flat and Rollins reservoirs thinning forests and removing the underbrush. A collaborative effort with CalFire, US Forest Service, and Sierra Nevada Conservancy, we are able to reduce the density of the forested area on and around NID land. 

Scotts Flat Fire Fuels Removal Partnership

NID and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy working together created a “shaded fuel break” by thinning excess trees and reducing ground fuels. Shaded fuel breaks allow fires to burn cooler, reduce the probability of an upper canopy “crown fire,” and create zones where fires can be more easily contained before reaching nearby communities.

May contain: tree, forest, vegetation, outdoors, plant, land, woodland, nature, human, person, and grove
Forest thinning for fire safety 

This project removed trees with a diameter of less than 12” and chipped and spread them throughout this site at Scotts Flat Reservoir. NID contracted with a local forester, timber operators, the California Conservation Corps, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to complete 82 acres of treatment on the shores of the reservoir. To preserve habitat for wildlife, some medium to large diameter trees, shrubs, standing dead trees, and flowering hardwoods were retained. The forest at this site now reflects a mixed-species composition and a mixed-age distribution with improved functionality compared to pre-treatment conditions.


Relevant Links:

2021 Wild Fire Preparedness Week

Past Wildfires Offer Future Roadmap for Forest Management’s Effects on Water in Sierra Nevada


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