At our June 3 Governing Board meeting, the Board authorized three planning grants totaling $541,581 and approved the SNC’s 2021–22 action plan. Two forest health grants will complete permitting for 10,100 acres of forest health projects in Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties. A third grant will fund permitting for 40 miles of new mountain trails in Butte County and project design for another trail crossing the Sierra Crest into Plumas County.
The largest forest health authorization, for $200,000 to the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority (UMRWA), will allow them to conduct environmental analysis on 10,000 acres of forest restoration work. The acreage that will be analyzed is part of a larger 30,000-acre project planning area identified by UMRWA using a new project inventory and prioritization tool. That tool was created by Amador Calaveras Consensus Group, a community-based forest health collaborative, using a previous SNC grant.
The board also authorized a $70,581 grant to the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council (Council) of the Boy Scouts of America to create a nonindustrial timber management plan for Camp Hi-Sierra, a 100-acre property in Tuolumne County. This plan will permit the Council to manage the property in a manner that provides wildfire resilience benefits to the property and nearby communities and public recreational facilities.
“The expertise and relationships of our in-region staff allow the SNC to invest in partners and projects we are confident can succeed,” said SNC Field Operations and Grants Division Chief Andy Fristensky. “This is essential to keep the project pipeline full as we accelerate efforts toward regional restoration.”
The $271,000 authorization for trail planning grant to the Butte County Resource Conservation District will fund environmental compliance for the Colby Mountain Recreation Project, a 40 mile trail network near Jonesville in the mountains above Chico, CA, and fund layout and design for another trail that to link it to Chester, CA, and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Connected Communities trails master plan. The trails, which include a new West-East crossing of the Sierra Crest, will provide improved recreational opportunities and a regional tourism draw for several disadvantaged rural communities and will be built less than 30 minutes away from towns devastated by the 2018 Camp Fire.
“There is no shortage of beauty throughout the Sierra Nevada,” said SNC Executive Officer Angela Avery. “Trails like those envisioned in the Colby Mountain Recreation and Connected Communities Projects help create opportunities for vibrant recreation and tourism while also supporting resilient Sierra Nevada Communities throughout the region.”
Finally, the board authorized the SNC’s 2021–22 Action Plan. A key focus of the plan is the prompt and strategic deployment of forest and wildfire resilience funding appropriated to the SNC in recent budgets. SNC staff will begin work on the actions outlined therein this summer.
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