The following press release was issued by the United State Department of Agriculture Forest Service:
Mendocino National Forest staff will be discussing the forest’s land management strategy following the 2020 August Complex during a virtual public meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 1. The meeting will be available online through Microsoft Teams (http://bit.ly/MendoTeamsMeeting) or by calling 202-650-0123. Presenter slides will only be visible to online attendees.
The August Complex was a lightning-ignited fire that burned 1,032,648 acres from Aug. 16 through Nov. 12 across California’s northern Coast Range. It became the largest wildfire in California’s recorded history. Within the Mendocino National Forest, the fire burned more than 612,000 of the forest’s 913,300 acres.
Mendocino staff have developed a phased approach to assisting with the forest’s recovery. The first phase is focused on removing dead trees along roadways and recreation sites that could be hazardous to motorists, hikers and campers. It also entails thinning concentrations of dead trees to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire in the event of a reburn.
The second phase continues hazard tree and dead fuel reduction, but also introduces replanting of seedlings in areas where natural regeneration is unlikely, as well as habitat and recreation site improvements. The final phase will be a systematic assessment of all the watersheds within the forest’s boundaries to develop individualized restoration strategies, as necessary.
In addition to an overview of the forest’s restoration strategy, resource specialists will discuss the first project being proposed within the strategy’s initial phase: Plaskett-Keller. The Plaskett-Keller Project is located in and around Plaskett Meadows with treatment areas on both the Grindstone and Covelo Ranger Districts. Hazard tree removal and fuel reduction treatments are being proposed on 4,500 acres within the 15,500-acre project area.
Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the forest’s strategy as well as the Plaskett-Keller Project. The virtual meeting will be recorded and posted on the forest’s August Complex Restoration webpage at http://bit.ly/AugustComplexRestoration.