$3 million set aside for Tahoe wildfire reduction | RecordCourier.com

$3 million set aside for Tahoe wildfire reduction

Staff Reports
An NDF aircraft lays down retardant on the Kingsbury fire in August 2014. More than $300,000 is available to reduce hazardous fuels on 100 acres of land around Kingsbury Grade.
Brad Coman | The Record-Courier

More than $3 million to help reduce wildfire risk at Lake Tahoe was included in the latest round of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is receiving $308,760 to reduce hazardous fuels on up to 100 acres of land around Kingsbury Grade, so firefighters can more safely protect life, property, and the environment in the event of a wildland fire, according to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency spokesman Tom Lotshaw.

The funding award for Lake Tahoe is part of nearly $40 million going to projects around Nevada to reduce wildfire risk, conserve landscapes, restore wildlife habitat, and improve public recreation. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the funding awards this January.

Lake Tahoe fire districts and land management agencies are receiving the funding for projects to remove hazardous fuels from the Tahoe Basin’s extensive forested lands. Projects will reduce wildfire risk for communities, watersheds, and natural resources, improve forest health, and educate people about Fire Adapted Communities and the need to create defensible space on their properties.

“This funding represents an important investment in the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, and will help protect our homes, businesses, and our recreation-based economy from devastating wildfire,” said Chief Michael D. Brown, of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District

Since 2008, fire protection districts and land management agencies at Lake Tahoe have reduced hazardous fuels on nearly 40,000 acres of land. Funding is critical for this important work to reduce wildfire risk.

“Improving forest health while reducing the risk of wildfire to our community is essential. This funding will build on our past efforts to reduce fuels throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin,” said Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais, of the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “In addition, the funding for urban lot treatments will allow us to continue to address the fuels on some of the 3,400 neighborhood parcels the Forest Service manages.”

Since becoming law in 1998, the act has raised money from public land sales in the Las Vegas Valley. Through the act, the Bureau of Land Management has provided $300 million in federal funding for projects at Lake Tahoe. The funding has paid for water quality projects, bike paths, habitat restoration, hazardous fuels reduction, aquatic invasive species prevention, public recreation enhancements, planning, and scientific research.