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State Funding To Improve Forest Health In Mother Lode

Sonora, CA — Some projects in the Mother Lode will receive a sizable chunk of money from the Proposition 1 water bond approved in 2014.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is awarding over $2-million towards efforts that will help reduce fire risk and restore forest and watershed health. Of which, a combined $1-million will be split between projects in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

The project details are below:

·         Calaveras County – Pumpkin Hollow Restoration Project, $500,000

This grant to the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority will complete aspen, forest, and meadow restoration, and the construction of a shaded fuel break on 971 acres. The project area is a part of the Hemlock Landscape Restoration Project and the even larger Cornerstone Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration project. The restoration treatments are designed to improve watershed conditions within the headwaters of the Mokelumne and Stanislaus Rivers.

·         Tuolumne County – Beaver Creek Watershed Improvement Project, $500,000

This grant to the Save the Redwoods League will treat 336 acres adjacent to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park (CBTSP) to protect Beaver Creek, which drains to the North Fork Stanislaus River and eventually to New Melones Lake. The treatment includes thinning overgrown forests, and the creation of two fuel breaks that will link open fields and buffer the South Grove of the CBTSP.

“Sierra watersheds continue to face many challenges,” says Jim Branham, Executive Officer for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. “These projects can help protect our watersheds from large, damaging wildfires, insects, and disease, and make them more resilient to a changing climate.”

Other projects to receive funding are in Butte, Nevada and Plumas counties.

Proposition 1 was approved by voters to help improve water quality, and increase supply, in the state.