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Winter 1997 Conservation Almanac Newsletter, Trinity County Resource Conservation District

Winter 1997 Conservation Almanac Newsletter, Trinity County Resource Conservation District

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Winter 1997 Conservation Almanac Newsletter, Trinity County Resource Conservation District
Winter 1997 Conservation Almanac Newsletter, Trinity County Resource Conservation District

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Published by: Trinity County Resource Conservation District on Dec 08, 2011
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t could be started by anything--a lightning strike on a hillside, acigarette casually thrown from a vehicle, the spark from a backfiring tractor--but once it gets started it may rage frantically and uncontrollably throughbrush, forest and property alike. Several land owners in Hayfork realizedtheir danger and decided to take the Trinity County Resource ConservationDistrict (RCD) up on their offer to participate in a demonstration project toreduce the risk of fire by clearing underbrush and thinning trees--a process known as “fuels reduction”--alongroads and near buildings on their properties.The TCRCD garnered fundsavailable through a cost-sharingarrangement with the AgriculturalConservation Program (a part of the FarmServices Agency) and workedcooperatively with Community GeographicInformation Service, US Forest Service,California Department of Forestry and Fire
Fuels Reduction in Hayfork Valley
Conservation AlmanacConservation AlmanacConservation AlmanacConservation Almanac
Trinity County Resource Conservation District 
Winter 1996-1997 Vol. VI No. 1Fuels reduction creates a Park-likelook to forested property.
 Inside This Issue:
Since the 1960’s, attitudes about fire have shiftedSince the 1960’s, attitudes about fire have shiftedSince the 1960’s, attitudes about fire have shiftedSince the 1960’s, attitudes about fire have shiftedfrom viewing fires as an external destructive forcefrom viewing fires as an external destructive forcefrom viewing fires as an external destructive forcefrom viewing fires as an external destructive forceto recognition that it is partto recognition that it is partto recognition that it is partto recognition that it is part
(Continued on Pg. 5)
 Page 2 Trinity County Resource Conservation District Winter 1996-1997
within the defensible space to aheight of 10 feet above theground. Also, remove shrubs,small trees, or other potential“ladder” fuels from beneath largetrees; left in place these can carrya ground fire into tree crowns.8. Trim branches whichextend over the eaves of your roof.remove branches within 15 feet of a chimney.
9. Clean roof and guttersof pine needles and leaves toeliminate an ignition source forfirebrands, especially during thehot, dry weather of the fire season.10. Reduce intensity of surrounding forest at least 100feet out from homesite (it ispreferable to thin your entire lot).Thin trees so crowns do not toucheach other.
Home Fire Protection
It is important to create adefensible space around houses onforested homesites. Fire hazardcan be reduced if you follow thethese safety guidelines:1. Create a 30-foot bufferzone around the house by thinningtrees and brush cover toacceptable levels. Adequatethinning is when the outer edges of tree crowns are at least 10 to 12feet apart. Occasional clumps of 2or 3 trees are permitted foraesthetic reasons if more spacesurrounds them. Small patches of brush or shrubs may be left if theyare separated by at least 10 feet of irrigated grass or noncombustablematerial. If your home is on aslope, enlarge the defensible space,especially on the downhill side. If it is located at the crest of a steephill, thin fuels at least 100 feet
 Fuels (Continued from page 1)
Protection (CDF), and theWatershed Center in Hayfork tobegin work on eight adjacentproperties along Hyampom road inHayfork.The “natural” look of denseundergrowth and dark, tangledmasses of bushes and trees isreally quite un-natural. It is onlyrecently that aggressive fire-suppression campaigns gave fire abad name and
made it the forest’sdeadliest foe. In actuality, naturallyoccurring fires can be a friend toforest habitat, and NativeAmericans have long viewed fireas a forest-friendly tool for reducing the risk of catastrophicfires, for regenerating certainconifers, and restoring nutrients tothe soil. Ironically, the risk of disastrous fires has increased inthe wake of fire-suppression effortsof the last thirty years or so. Thisyear’s major fires in both Northern
below the crest.2. Dispose of all slash anddebris left from thinning. Commondisposal methods are a. lop and scatter(cut debris into small pieces anddisperse over area to acceleratedecomposition); b. pile and burn (onlywhen moisture is sufficient to preventfire spread); and c. chipping.3. Remove dead limbs, leaves,and other ground litter within thedefensible space.4. Stack firewood uphill and atleast 15 feet from your home.5. Maintain an irrigatedgreenbelt immediately around yourhome using grass, flower gardens, orornamental shrubbery. An alternativeis rock or other noncombustablematerial; avoid bark or wood chipmulch in this area.6. Mow dry grasses and weedsto a height of 2 inches or less and keepthem well watered, especially duringperiods of high fire danger.7. Prune branches from trees
and Southern California bear witness to this fact.Fuels reduction is seen asa safe alternative to controlledburning, which, as in the raging1996 Montana fires, can get out of hand and lead to uncontrolled,catastrophic burning over largeareas. Fuels reduction addressesthe problem of fire “ladders” (denseunderbrush and lower tree limbs)without the risk of sparking wildfire.It
labor-intensive,however. A crew of five TCRCDemployees worked for nearly amonth in the dense undergrowthalong Hyampom road, sawinglimbs, clearing manzanita, thinningtrees and running cut materialthrough a “chipper” to turn the cutbranches into mulch. Butlandowners and others seriouslyinterested in reducing the risk of fire in the area agree it was wellworth the effort.Once work got underwayon one property interest spread likewildfire among neighbors of ChuckGeorge, who signed on early in theproject. Residents agree that notonly are they safer from the risk of fire, but the clearing of underbrushand debris gives their properties anew, park-like atmosphere: viewsof tangled undergrowth have turnedto clear views up hillsides andthrough trees where one can catcha glimpse of Don and MaryAnnCoon’s beautiful white alpine-stylehome festooned with balustrades,birdfeeders, and curving walkways.
The TCRCD will continuespreading the news about fuelsreduction and in February expectsto begin work on other Hayforkproperty with a CDF Stewardshipgrant.This grant is a cost-sharingprogram and landowners will beexpected to contribute at least 25% of the total cost of doing thework.
 Page 3 Trinity County Resource Conservation District Winter 1996-1997
Weaverville BasinTrail System
his fall, the WeavervilleBasin Trail CommitteeChairman, ScottMorris, requested the TrinityCounty Resource ConservationDistrict (RCD) to be the leadagency to help the Trail Committeefulfill its goal of creating a basin-wide trail system. The RCD hasagreed to adopt this community-development project and tofacilitate funding and trailmaintenance. The Trail Committeenow functions as a sub-committeeof the RCD Board of Directors.Members of the volunteer Committee have been working for more than ten years to designateapproximately 40 miles of trail,complete an EnvironmentalAssessment with the ForestService, and include thepreliminary trail system map in theTrinity County General Plan. TheWeaverville Community Plan isbeing amended to accuratelyreflect the trail system and toprotect it as developmentprogresses in the basin.The Trail Committeesubmitted a Community EconomicRevitalization Team (CERT)proposal for funds to develop aMaster Plan for the System andfor trailmaintenance anddevelopment.The proposal wasprepared by theResourceConservation &DevelopmentCoordinator,Scott Eberly, withassistance frommembers of theTrail Committee.TheWeaverville Basin Trail system isunique because of the manyopportunities that exist for interpretation of historical sites andnatural features, and itincorporates the overall historictheme of the community. TheRCD supports the effort tocomplete a “Trail Through Time”to be enjoyed by the localcommunity and tourists interestedin hiking, biking, horseback riding,and sightseeing. The trail systemwill provide users with a sense of wilderness adventure but also offer hot showers, good meals, andcomfortable accommodations atthe end of the day. This in turn willprovide much needed revenue tothe community as well as localbusinesses, which have been hardhit by changes in the timber-basedeconomy.A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between theRCD and the Forest Service--theprimary landowner of the trailsystem--was recently signed by theShasta-Trinity Forest Supervisor,Sharon Heywood, and the RCDChairman of the Board of Directors, Gregory Lowden. Thepurpose of the MOU is to provide aframework for cooperationbetween parties in support of thetrail system. Construction andmaintenance of the trail willenhance the recreation experienceof area hikers, mountain bikers,equestrians, and, to a limitedextent, Off-Road Vehicles(ORV’s).One of the efforts currentlybeing made by the TrailCommittee is to educate localORV users about the sections of trail that are off-limit to motorizedvehicles. In a letter to the editor of the Trinity Journal, the Committeepointed out that in order to obtainaccess on private lands within thesystem, permission was grantedin many cases only if motorizeduse was not to occur. Manylocations still exist in the basin for ORV use, but in order to maintaintrail access for a majority of users,it is critical that the traildesignations be followed. Thevolunteer Committee invites ORVusers to participate indevelopment of the trail system sothat all uses can be effectivelyplanned.Caltrans has donated apickup-truck load of treated woodposts for use as trail signs for theproject. Boy Scout Troop No. 15is assisting in making the signs aspart of their effort to earn EagleScout Merit badges.This project is now acooperative effort, with manyinterested people helping to movethis project forward. Other ideasabout getting communitymembers even more involvedinclude: having a logo contest for the Trail System by local artists,developing an Adopt-A-Trailsystem, and organizing a"Volksmarch"--a thematicfundraising walk-- as a means of generating funds for the trailsystem. The Trail Committeemeets every second Wednesdayof the month at 7pm at #3Horseshoe Lane in Weaverville.Everyone interested in theWeaverville Trail System iswelcome and encouraged toattend.
The original Weaverville Basin Trail Committee on the bridge atEast Weaver Creek Campground.

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