Six Rivers, Humboldt County to work together for forest health and hazardous fuels reduction

EUREKA, Calif. – The Six Rivers National Forest and Humboldt County have entered into a Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) master agreement to work together to actively restore or improve forest, rangeland and watershed health, including fish and wildlife habitat. An additional focus of the agreement implements the Humboldt County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), as well as local CWPPs that tier to it, to reduce hazardous fuels on and near the Six Rivers National Forest.

Steve Madrone, Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor, representing communities such as Orleans and Willow Creek where many of the projects will take place, said, “Humboldt County is very appreciative of this collaborative effort that will create jobs, reduce fuels, enhance habitats, and protect communities. Our rural communities will all benefit from this effort.”

According to Ted McArthur, forest supervisor for the Six Rivers National Forest, “Like many of the agreements and partnerships we’ve entered into over the past several years, the projects that we’re working on are all about restoring the health of our forests and watersheds, as well as keeping our communities safe from devastating wildfires.”

First authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill (www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/
hr2642/text
) with subsequent updates and expanded authorities, the GNA seeks to improve coordination across federal, state, and private boundaries during hazardous fuels, insect and disease, and watershed restoration projects. Project activities under the GNA can include:

  • Forest restoration: Forest stand improvement, prescribed burning, reforestation, insect or disease treatments, biological assessments, heritage surveys, environmental analysis;
  • Hazardous fuels reduction: Forest thinning, piling, or burning slash, prescribed burning;
  • Fish and wildlife habitat improvement: Fish passages, instream fish structures, developing wildlife water sources; and
  • Watershed restoration: Seeding for soil stabilization, decommissioning existing roads.

This is the first master GNA agreement in California with a county. Each year, the forest and county will work together to develop and agree to an operating plan that documents the planned restoration and fuels reduction projects.

For additional information, contact Josh Eichamer, Six Rivers National Forest fire planner, at joshua.eichamer@usda.gov or Cybelle Immitt, Humboldt County natural resources planning manager, at cimmitt@co.humboldt.ca.us.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/srnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD775809