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New Grant Fueling Rim Fire Forest Recovery

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Sonora, CA – More than a million dollars in federal funding will go towards expanding a series of shaded fuel breaks in the Stanislaus National Forest areas impacted by the 2013 Rim Fire.

Work will begin immediately in the Groveland area with a $1.06 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Natural Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). GTS Forestry out of Sacramento has been contracted to perform the work to support the Community Watershed Resilience Program (CWRP). It will consist of three interconnected activities to “foster a resilient recovery” in those fire impacted areas.

“This is a meaningful collaboration between the Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to strategically place continuous fuel breaks to assist wildfire prevention efforts,” relayed Brady McElroy, Stanislaus National Forest, Forest Representative. “This project decreases fuel continuity across the landscape and will increase public and firefighter safety.”

Additionally, a series of shaded fuel breaks on 660 acres of USFS, BLM and non-federal lands in the Summit/Mi-Wok and Groveland Ranger Districts and neighboring BLM parcels will be expanded through the project.

“The BLM looks forward to enhancing the partnerships between the Forest Service and stakeholders,” said BLM Mother Lode Field Manager Elizabeth Meyer-Shields. “This project allows partners to work across jurisdictions and promote the healthy stewardship of our federal lands.”

Forest officials detailed that the entire project will reduce ladder fuels and establish eight 300-foot-wide shaded fuel breaks totaling 22 linear miles (approximately 1,808.4 acres). They added that the Stanislaus National Forest will implement the fuel break activity on federal lands and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) staff will support implementation activities on non-federal lands.