Three local agencies in Nevada County have been awarded grant funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) for forest resilience projects that will reduce wildfire risk and restore forest health in the region.
The grant recipients are:
- The Yuba Watershed Institute (YWI), which received $1.2 million for the “'Inimim Forest Restoration Project – Phase Three”. This project will reduce understory, ladder, and canopy fuels on approximately 304 acres of land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the San Juan Ridge. The project will improve landscape-level forest resilience to wildfire, drought, and bark beetles, and will improve safety for residents and fire personnel in the event of a wildfire. The project is a partnership between the YWI and BLM.
- County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services, which received $214,666 for the “South Yuba Rim Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project”. This is a planning project focused on approximately 800 acres of forest health treatments within a 6,000-acre strategic planning area on the San Juan Ridge. The project aims to reduce the unacceptable level of risk that wildfire along the South Yuba River poses to the communities of North San Juan, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, and Rough and Ready, and has been identified as a top priority by a suite of partners, including CAL FIRE, North San Juan Fire Protection District, 13 Firewise communities, and the Yuba Watershed Institute.
- City of Nevada City, which received $111,665 for the “Deer Creek Hazardous Fuels Treatment Project”. This is a planning project focused on developing an environmentally sound fuels-treatment plan for heavily forested properties in the wildland urban interface in and around the south side of Deer Creek, in the southwest portion of Nevada City. The project area encompasses 378 acres of private and public parcels, including critical infrastructure such as the Deer Creek and Seven Hills schools, the St. Canice Center, the Tech Center, and the City of Nevada City's wastewater treatment plant. The project aims to reduce wildfire risk in the most heavily forested area within city limits that is vulnerable to wildfires coming up Deer Creek Canyon.
The grant funding was awarded on March 2nd by the SNC at their quarterly Board meeting. The SNC is a state agency that initiates, encourages, and supports efforts that improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region.
“Nevada City is excited about partnering with SNC and the other stakeholders to address one of the most existential threats to our City’s existence. This funding will help mitigate the potential of wildfires in the most heavily forested area within City limits, which will ultimately protect the entire City from devastation,” said Doug Fleming, Mayor of Nevada City.
This suite of projects furthers long-standing goals in Nevada County to direct resources toward the risk of wildfire that is especially pervasive in and around the steep canyons associated with local watersheds. “Taken in sum, these projects will protect life and property, important habitat, critical infrastructure, and beloved recreational resources like the South Yuba River and the Deer Creek Tribute Trail. Nevada County OES is thrilled to see this investment in our community,” said OES Senior Analyst Alex Keeble-Toll.
For more information about these projects or other SNC programs, please visit the Sierra Nevada Conservancy website.