A collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office and the Yuba Watershed Institute was recently awarded $414,678 from CAL FIRE’s Climate Change Investments grant program. The funds will be used for 320 acres of fuels reduction treatments on BLM-managed public lands on the San Juan Ridge.
The planned fire prevention treatments include establishment of a 200-foot-wide shaded fuel break along portions of major access routes such as Tyler Foote, Sages, Old Mill and Jackass Flats Roads. Other activities will include burning about 140 acres of debris piles that were created during a BLM-funded fuel reduction project conducted earlier this year along Lake City Road and Farrell Ravine Way.
Twelve separate BLM-managed parcels on the San Juan Ridge, collectively known as the ‘Inimim Forest, have been managed collaboratively by the Mother Lode Field Office and the Yuba Watershed Institute since the early 1990s. ‘Inimim means ponderosa pine in the Nisenan language.
“We believe community partnerships like the ‘Inimim Forest collaboration are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands,” says William Haigh, Field Manager for the BLM Mother Lode Field Office. “Groups like the Yuba Watershed Institute can add staffing and capacity to our land management efforts. Together, we are committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive.”
CAL FIRE’s Climate Change Investments grant program aims to reduce the risk of wildland fires to habitable structures and communities, while helping to sequester carbon and minimize the uncontrolled release of emissions by wildfires. The program is funded by California’s cap-and-trade program, which took effect in 2012.
The CAL FIRE funding is the latest in a series of grants the Yuba Watershed Institute has obtained for the ‘Inimim Forest project. In 2017, the Bella Vista Foundation funded the revision of a management plan for the forest, and earlier this year the Sierra Nevada Conservancy awarded the project a planning grant through its Proposition 1 Watershed Improvement Program.
“This summer’s wildfires are showing us how a history of fire suppression, coupled with rising temperatures, is leading to a dangerous situation for residents of California’s wildland-urban interface,” says Chris Friedel, Executive Director of the Yuba Watershed Institute. “The ‘Inimim Forest project will help to reduce the risk of high-severity fire on San Juan Ridge, while making the forest more resilient to future droughts and climate change.”
Sunday, July 1, 2 -4 pm
Join the Yuba Watershed Institute (YWI) for a tour of the San Juan Ridge’s ‘Inimim Forest.
Management of the ‘Inimim Forest is undertaken through a partnership between the YWI and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM has recently completed about 350 acres of understory fuels reduction work, which involved removing small diameter trees and brush and constructing burn piles.
Our walking tour will take us to the Bear Tree Parcel of the ‘Inimim Forest where we can see this fuels reduction work up close and also view a beautiful mature mixed conifer forest. The walk will be led by Chris Friedel (YWI’s Executive Director) and Bob Erickson (YWI Board member).
North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
17894 Tyler Foote Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
On Saturday, May 5th, join the Yuba Watershed Institute (YWI) for a day of meadow restoration and education in the ‘Inimim Forest, the San Juan Ridge’s community forest.
Participants will be removing invasive plants and encroaching conifers from a wetland meadow, helping to preserve this special habitat type, which is rare in the Sierra Nevada foothills. There will also be an educational talk on meadow ecology.
Meet at 10 am at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center to carpool to the site. Bring a lunch and gloves, and digging forks and loppers (if you have them). For more information, contact Daniel Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (530) 575-6192.
This event is part of the first annual Know Your Watershed Week. Check out the link for lots of great activities around the Yuba River watershed and beyond!
The Yuba Watershed Institute has a new executive director! Chris Friedel has been actively engaged with the stewardship of California landscapes since 2004. In Marin County, he managed coastal riparian and wetland restoration projects for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service. In the Sierra Nevada, he has managed diverse projects for the South Yuba River Citizens League, Camptonville Community Partnership, and Yuba Watershed Institute, including salmonid habitat enhancement, environmental education, forest health, and biomass utilization. Chris began his current role as the YWI’s Executive Director at the beginning of April 2018, and is continuing the YWI’s legacy of collaborating with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to steward the forested lands of the San Juan Ridge.