Scoping Study on Forest Health & Local Economic Development

The July meeting will feature the kickoff public meeting on the scoping study to determine how best to utilize the excess biomass in our forests to improve forest and watershed health and strengthen the local economy. In addition there will be a planning session on fuels reduction in part of the Woodfords Planning Area, and the beginning of a discussion on governance.  Prior to the meeting it would be helpful if participants reviewed the Woodfords Planning Area section (beginning on page 25) of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan which can be downloaded from here.

The contract to conduct the scoping study is being awarded to High Sierra Community Energy Development Corporation (HighSierra) of Folsom, California.  HighSierra is a subsidiary of Widewood Energy.  The Beck Group will be working on the study as a subcontractor to HighSierra.  Both Widewood Energy and The Beck Group are based in Portland, Oregon, but have experience on similar projects in California.  The scoping study is being funded by an $80,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration and a $20,000 non-recourse 0% interest loan from Community Vision (formerly Northern California Community Loan Fund).  The study would not be possible without the active support of Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS).  An invitation to attend was mailed to ~610 mailing addresses in Alpine County.

For those that were able to attend Alpine County’s town hall meeting last Friday on how to survive a catastrophic fire there should be no doubt on the importance of improving forest and watershed health as a means to reduce our risk from wildfire.  Hopefully this scoping study will find us the best way to do it, while also strengthening the local economy.

There will be detailed maps available to facilitate further discussion on fuels reduction projects in the Woodfords Planning Area.

Our July meeting is scheduled for Tuesday July 2nd at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park, and will include sandwiches so nobody should miss their dinner!

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