Welcome to the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District (HLV RCD)
The Lahontan Basins RWMG meets on the third Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. The next regular meeting of the RWMG is:
November 20, 2014, 4:00 pm
The Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District (HLV RCD) Board meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. The next regular meeting of the HLV RCD is:
October 22, 2014, 5:00 pm
Agenda: agenda packet – October 2014
The Watermaster Advisory Committee (WAC) meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. The next regular meeting of the WAC is:
October 9, 2014, 5:30 pm
Agenda: WAC agenda packet – 10-9-14
USDA Service Center
170 Russell Avenue, Suite C
Susanville, CA 96130
For more information contact:
Merry Wheeler, HLV RCD Executive Secretary
(530) 257-7271 x100
Diamond Mountain Forest and Meadow Restoration Project
Local Project improves forest and meadow habitat, protects property, and puts local residents to work!
A partnership between the Honey Lake Valley RCD, local private landowners living within the District, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC), restored the natural ecological function and health of forests and meadows within the Diamond Mountains in Lassen County, CA. Through the reduction of hazardous fuel loads on 455 acres within the Susanville Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), the Diamond Mountain Forest and Meadow Restoration Project (DMFMRP), with funding from SNC, improved habitat, protected local resources and property, put local residents within the timber and energy industries to work, and created renewable energy.
Due to fire suppression and historic timber management practices over the last 150 years, the natural cycle of fire within the forest ecosystem has been disturbed resulting in a reduction in tree size, an increase in trees per acre, and an increase in duff and other debris on the forest floor. Not only has this created a catastrophic wildfire ready to happen, but the health of the forest and the plants and animals that depend on it are suffering. Projects such as the Diamond Mountain Forest and Meadow Restoration Project seek to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk by thinning out smaller diameter trees to a historic tree density and treating fuels on the forest floor.
Local Forester Phil Nemir was instrumental in putting the project together and is pleased with the success of the project. “We carefully selected areas to be treated based on proximity to human structures, density of the forest, terrain, and access in the event of a potential fire.” A variety of treatment methods were used with more intensive hand work of precommercial thinning, pruning and slash disposal focused areas along Wingfield Road and in steep areas along a watercourse. Use of feller bunchers to snip trees for use as biomass chips was conducted on the upper slopes and covered the majority of the project area. Land adjacent to important access roads was thinned using a masticator that chops up trees and leaves the chips on the ground.
Improving wildlife habitat was an important component of the work. California black oak trees, in particular, received special attention. This species of tree is especially important to multiple wildlife species with its acorn being widely utilized by species including birds, deer and black bear. When encountered, conifers were thinned from around the black oak to reduce the competition for water, soil and nutrients.
Two small meadows totaling 11 acres were treated to remove the abundant growth of small conifer trees that had encroached during the past 35 years. Forester Nemir believes that the advance of conifers into the meadows is a visible sign of climate warming along with lack of wildfires. Now that the small trees have been harvested and removed, the water table should rise in the meadows and potentially stall or delay further conifer advances. Landowner monitoring will be necessary over time to prevent future establishment of conifer seedlings.
The Honey Lake Valley RCD has additional funds from the California Fire Safe Council to treat an additional 275 acres this spring as part of the project and hopes to work with local partners and local landowners to continue to implement successful projects like this. Funds for such projects however, are drying up. Federal Hazardous Fuel Reduction Program funds administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been cut in half over the last two years.
HLV RCD Watershed Coordinator and Acting District Manager, Tim Keesey, says, “Our forests are unhealthy and ready to burn. There needs to be more funding for projects like this that reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfire by returning the forest to its natural state and in doing so revitalize depressed local industries like timber and renewable energy development.”
SNC DMFMRP Photo Point #N7 Pre-Treatment
SNC DMFMRP Photo Point N7 Post-Treatment
HLV RCD Regular Board Meeting, October 22, 5:00 pm, USDA Service Center, 170 Russell Avenue, Suite C, Susanville, CA 96130
Lahontan Basins Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (LBIRWMP) Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) Monthly meeting, October 16, 2014, 4:00 pm, USDA Service Center, 170 Russell Ave., Susanville, CA 96130
HLV RCD Water Master Advisory Committee (WAC) Meeting, October 9, 2014 5:30 pm, USDA Service Center
Bureau of Land Management - Eagle Lake Field Office
2950 Riverside Dr.
Susanville, CA 96130
(530) 257-7272 x100