Dry Hills Forest
Almanor Ranger District, Lassen National Forest
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project Scoping Documents:
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project Notice of Proposed Action - 12/08/2010
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project Proposed Action Map 1 - Treatments - 12/08/2010
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project Proposed Action Map 2 - Fuels - 12/08/2010
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project Proposed Action Map 3 - Transportation - 12/08/2010
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project and Almanor Ranger District's Proposed, Planned, Accomplished DFPZ Network (map) - 12/08/2010
Dry Hills Forest Restoration Project - Appendix B - 12/08/2010
for Collaboration - October 6, 2009
Ranger District of the Lassen National Forest is beginning development
of a possible forest restoration project near Mineral, in Tehama
The proposed Dry Hills Project area includes approximately 7,000
acres north of the town of Mineral. Past management activities,
including fire suppression, which has resulted in accumulated
surface and ladder fuels, have led to changes in this forested
area. Over time these changes have affected wildlife, watersheds,
the distribution of rare plants, and plants unique to the area.
The Almanor Ranger District is proposing to treat approximately
4,700 acres. This action will address a variety of restoration
objectives and contribute to the safety of fire fighting personnel,
neighboring communities, and the Lassen Volcanic National Park
by continuing and enhancing the Defensible Fuel Profile Zone (DFPZ)
DOCUMENTS - JANUARY, 2010:
Project area maps (October, 2009):
One - Proposed Treatment
Proposed Changes to Forest Road System
On July 21 and on October 21, 2009,
members of the Battle Creek Watershed Conservancy and the
Greater Battle Creek Watershed Working Group participated
in LNF-led tours of several proposed Dry Hills Project restoration
sites within the Battle Creek watershed.
NEPA Coordinator Blair Halbrooks displays
project site map
L to R - Peter Jacobsen, Glenn Graham,
Blair Halbrooks, Mark Williams, Jim Smith and Ryan Foote
Biologists Steve Tussing (center) and Ryan Foote (right)
listen to LNF District Wildlife Biologist Mark Williams
describe plans to remove all conifers of less than 29.9
inches (excluding healthy pine) from this 4 acre riparian
site to create beneficial conditions for aspen to flourish.
Dry Hills Project proposal includes replacing this
culvert on South Fork Digger Creek. According to the
proposal, "The current 5 foot diameter culvert
would be replaced with a bottomless arch culvert 12
to 20 feet in diameter. This would be done to decrease
the risk of catastrophic failure of the current undersized
culvert and provide for aquatic passage in this stream
Roads are deemed the
number one cause of stream degradation due to sedimentation.
Road density in Lassen National Forest is an issue and
LNF is currently working with NOAA Fisheries on plans
to decommission some roads and improve crossings on
Diseased stand of
red fir in LNF
Past management practices
have resulted in degraded species diversity in areas throughout
Lassen National Forest. In many areas, red and white fir
dominate stands and prevent the development of other species.
Overcrowded stands of fir have become diseased, increasing
the potential of catastrophic wildfire in the watershed.
Proposed restoration includes thinning to remove small,
shade tolerant species such as red and white fir in an effort
to achieve forest diversity by promoting shade intolerant
The tour of proposed restoration
sites included this slope where dead understory litters the ground
because sunlight can no longer penetrate the thick fir canopy.
The decline in Ponderosa, sugar pine, and other shade-intolerant
species is attributed to the encroachment of fir-dominated stands
that create dense shade and prevent other seeds from sprouting.
LNF's Dry Hills Project proposal
states that "healthy, shade-intolerant pine (ponderosa, sugar,
western white, and Jeffrey) and Douglas-fir would be favorably
retained over shade tolerant species in all treatments. Although
shade tolerant trees, particularly white fir, would be targeted
for removal, as a species they would be maintained within the
The project "would be designed to
achieve forest restoration objectives, vegetation fuels objectives
including defensible fuel profile zones (DFPZs), watershed restoration
(riparian and meadow restoration)."
Aspen clones sprout
in the dappled shade of a small clearing
South Fork Digger Creek downstream of a
proposed restoration site
"In addition to providing
habitat for wildlife, inner zones of RHCAs are important to the
process, function, and structure of adjacent aquatic habitats.
They buffer delivery of upslope flow and sediment to channels,
provide shade to channels, moderate air temperatures, provide
stability to channel banks, and deliver large wood to stream channels.
The primary objective of the outer zone is to maintain microclimate
and protect the inner zone from fire and wind damage. Within the
proposed Dry Hills project area, there is a need to provide for
continuity of upslope fuel treatment areas and those sensitive
areas found within both the inner and outer zones of RHCAs. Treatment
of these areas would further progress toward decreasing the risk
of catastrophic wildfire, improving overall watershed conditions,
and continue to trend toward meeting Riparian Management Objectives
Diseased stands of
fir crowd out species such as aspen, alder and willow in
the riparian corridor along South Fork Digger Creek. LNF
proposes to encourage the production of aspen clones and
other hardwoods at this 4 acre site by removing all firs
of less than 29.9
inches in diameter for a distance
of up to 200 feet from the most distal aspen tree or shoot.
"Motor vehicle use within
meadows, particularly Dry Lake (above), has also had an
impact on meadow habitats, leading to ruts that divert
water and affect the vegetation."
LNF proposes to reduce vehicle access
into the meadow while continuing to support the use of the
existing dispersed camp sites, including sufficient parking.