California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is proposing to treat approximately 1,866 acres of high-risk parkland including a Public Safety and Historic Core Protection Zone and use prescribed fire to conduct understory burning at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (Malakoff). Malakoff is located in Nevada County approximately 9 miles northeast of Nevada City, and includes the historic town of North Bloomfield, a public campground, a pond (Blair Lake), wooded areas with hiking trails, and the former hydraulic mine in the Malakoff Diggins basin.
In 2021, DPR received funding from the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Package in the 2022/2023 state budget to develop a strategic and programmatic Prescribed Fire and Forest Management Program at Malakoff. The proposed forest management effort at Malakoff will treat approximately 1,866 acres of high-risk parkland including a Public Safety and Historic Core Protection Zone and use prescribed fire to conduct understory burning in new and historic burn plots.
The entirety of Malakoff lies within a historic district with significant cultural resources dating back to before California’s gold rush era. These actions will not only protect irreplaceable historic and prehistoric resources and park staff but will also reduce wildfire hazards along the San Juan Ridge and populated areas of western Nevada County.
This forest management program directly supports Governor Newsom’s 2021 California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan which calls for increased use of prescribed fire to restore ecosystem function for long-term forest health and resilience. This stewardship effort also supports the mission of California State Parks to provide for the health, inspiration, and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.
In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and State CEQA Guidelines, DPR has prepared an Initial Study evaluating the environmental effects of the Prescribed Fire and Forest Management Program. As designed and with implementation of requirements and mitigation measures identified in the Initial Study, DPR has concluded that the project will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts and will improve long-term forest health and resilience.
DPR issued a draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) on February 8, 2023, for a 30-day review and comment period. The draft IS/ MND is available for public review and comment through March 10, 2023, and can be viewed and downloaded from DPR’s Internet Website at:
Questions regarding the project should be directed to Rich Adams, Senior Environmental Scientist, Supervisory, RPF#2741, California State Parks, Sierra District, P.O. Box 266, Tahoma, CA 96142 or by email at email@example.com.