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SACRAMENTO, Calif. March 5, 2020 – Today, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board approved $13,555,224 in grants to 27 different projects focused on forest health, land conservation, and community resilience throughout the vital 25-million-acre region. Four of the projects are located in Nevada County, with three focusing on the South Yuba canyon and one on Little Deer Creek.

Little Deer Creek Landscape Resilience Project

Little Deer Creek Landscape Resilience Project

The Deer Creek Landscape Resilience Project will complete planning and due diligence for forest health treatments on 260 acres in Nevada County. The project is approximately one mile east of Nevada City along Little Deer Creek and consists of 200 acres of scattered Bureau of Land Management (BLM) parcels and 60 acres of private land under conservation easement held by the Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT). Little Deer Creek flows into downtown Nevada City, where it joins Deer Creek, which is a major tributary of the Yuba River. This project will remove dense surface and ladder fuels, and thin the overgrown forest to remove smaller trees and reduce crown density, reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

Funding Amount Requested: $75,000
Funding Amount Awarded: $75,000
Total Project Cost: $85,000

‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project – Phase 2

The ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project – Phase 2 will implement forest and fuels treatments on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The ‘Inimim Forest is approximately 2,000 acres of BLM-managed federal forest lands on the San Juan Ridge in Nevada County, between the South and Middle Yuba Rivers that is interspersed with residential properties. The project site is about six miles north of Nevada City.

This project is Phase 2 of a 1,200-acre forest resilience plan for the ‘Inimim Forest on BLM land and will fund 314 acres of thinning treatments: 138 acres of hand cutting and chipping, 101 acres of hand cutting and piling, and 75 acres of mastication.

Funding Amount Requested: $1,000,000
Funding Amount Awarded: $1,000,000
Total Project Cost: $1,019,200

Round Mountain Landscape Resilience Project

The Round Mountain Landscape Resilience Project will complete cultural and biological surveys and reports to support a joint NEPA/CEQA document for 1,210 acres of federal and private land in Nevada County. Yuba Watershed Institute (YWI) will work with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to complete a draft NEPA/CEQA environmental assessment/initial study and develop a Forest Management Plan. The project site consists of 1,070 contiguous acres of federal land managed by BLM and 160 acres of adjacent private land. The federally owned portion is part of BLM’s South Yuba Wild & Scenic River Recreation Area. The site is about three miles north of Nevada City on the ridge above the South Yuba River.

Funding Amount Requested: $100,000
Funding Amount Awarded: $100,000
Total Project Cost: $114,700

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Hoyt-Purdon Fuel Reduction and Prescribed Fire Project

The Hoyt-Purdon Fuel Reduction and Prescribed Fire Project will complete cultural and biological surveys and planning for CEQA on 964 acres of private land (three separate landowners) in the South Yuba River canyon in Nevada County. The project is about two miles northwest of Nevada City and extends for two miles along the south side of the South Yuba River between the Hwy 49 crossing and Purdon Crossing. The project area is adjacent to the South Yuba River State Park. Implementation of the project will be guided by the deliverables of this planning grant and create a large-landscape, shaded fuel break to reduce ignition potential and protect the communities around Nevada City from catastrophic wildfire.

Funding Amount Requested: $99,990
Funding Amount Recommended: $99,990
Total Project Cost: $140,000

In addition to discussing WIP grant funding, the Board also authorized funding for tree planting in high-severity burn zones from the 2019 Walker Fire*. Under the Plumas National Forest Good Neighbor Agreement, the extra work will help restore forestland that was converted into shrubland.

*This story has been updated to reflect the correct fire on the PNF.