Kernville, CA, December 22, 2015 – Ongoing drought and beetle-infestation have killed many trees on Forest Service lands near homes, powerlines and along roadsides near the community of Alta Sierra. To promote public safety and forest health, the Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest is preparing a categorical exclusion for the Summit Healthy Forest Project (Summit CE), which will remove overstocked green trees, as well as trees that are dead and dying or pose hazards within 1,100 acres of Forest land around the Alta Sierra community.
A collaborative community meeting to discuss this project will be held at 5PM on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at the Kern River Ranger District Office at 105 Whitney Road, Kernville CA, 93238. This project is authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, as amended in 2014, to promote forest resilience to drought, insect and disease.
The Forest Service also began working on a larger 10,600 acre project proposal last year which also encompasses the land now being proposed for the Summit CE. The larger project, named the Summit Fuels Reduction and Forest Health Project (Summit Health) is currently undergoing environmental analysis, but is not expected to be ready for implementation until 2017.
Therefore, due to the significant increase in tree mortality in the area, and the falling danger these trees represent to the public, the Forest plans to move forward with the smaller Summit CE as soon as possible. Summit CE is proposed to begin in mid- 2016.
More information and maps detailing the Summit CE area can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48185