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PLACERVILLE, Calif. August 30, 2016 – The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (Tribe) and the Eldorado National Forest have signed a five year agreement to work cooperatively on the Wrights Lake Fuels Reduction Project in the Pacific Ranger District. This project will improve fire safety in a popular recreation area with heavily used trails, a developed campground, lake access for boating, and 75 privately owned cabins under special use permits on forest service land. It also supports a tribal job training and development program.

Under the new agreement, the forest will provide $252,000 to the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians for 160 days of fuel reduction work by the Tribe’s 14-person vegetation management crew. The work is located along roads and near structures. It will include cutting, piling, chipping, and decking dead down trees, understory trees, brush and existing slash.

“We are still cleaning up dead and down trees at Wrights’ Lake from a big wind event in 2012 and we need to remove a lot of other fuel too. We are very fortunate to have a resource like the Tribe’s crew nearby,” said District Ranger, Richard Thornburgh.

“This is a great opportunity for the Tribe to be involved in a large land management project,” said John Tayaba, Tribal Fire and Fuels Management Director. “It will expand our fuels crew’s skills and develop professional relationships in the community.”

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Dennis Colomb, president of the Wright’s Lake Summer Home Association, added, “This work will make a difference if we ever have to evacuate. Vegetation management is critical to protect life and property, especially along the narrow roads around Wrights and Dark Lakes.”

The Wrights Lake Fuel Reduction Project is part of the cohesive wildland fire management strategy for the South Fork American River watershed. The project will contribute to the goal of safe and effective fire response by improving emergency egress and access, and increasing defensible space for both private cabins and forest service recreation infrastructure.

The agreement was signed by Nicholas Fonseca, Chairman of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and Laurence Crabtree, Eldorado National Forest Supervisor. Work has begun and will continue throughout the fall and into next spring.