Comment sought for Upper Echo Lakes Fuels Reduction project

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. –The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is seeking public input on the Upper Echo Lakes Hazardous Fuels Reduction project. The Proposed Action (PA) includes tree thinning and surface fuels reduction that is intended to reduce the risk of wildfire and improve firefighting effectiveness.

The project area is located on National Forest System lands within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) on approximately 100 acres at Upper Echo Lake in El Dorado County, California, with a portion of the project in the Pyramid Roadless area. Brief closures of areas adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail are possible. This would ensure public safety while the project is implemented. In addition, resource protection measures are included in the project design to maintain the scenic nature of the trail.

The proposed treatments would establish a defense zone around seasonal residence cabins and outbuildings, allowing firefighters to carry out effective fire suppression activities, in the event of a wildfire. Cabin owners would retain the responsibility to maintain their defensible space improvements.

Fuel reduction work would consist of cutting and hand piling brush and conifer trees up to 16” in diameter. Vegetation would be cut by hand, with chainsaws or other hand tools. Piles would then be burned approximately one to three years later, once the fuels are dry and weather conditions allow for prescribed burning. Larger thinned trees would be made available for fuelwood.

Work would begin as early as this fall and might take up to six years to complete, depending on funding and availability of burn days.

The public comment period begins on July 15, 2011 and ends on August 15, 2011. The Proposed Action and a map of the project area are available for review at the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor’s office located at 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, or online at For more information on the project, or on how to provide comment, contact Duncan Leao at (530) 543-2600 or email using the subject: Upper Echo Lakes Fuel Reduction Project.