An alphabet soup of efforts is emerging from the government bureaucracy. For starters is CFLRP - Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. That spawned DLRP - Dinky Landscape Restoration Project.
So, what does this mean? In short, they are efforts to restore the forest to a "natural" state by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Using the term "catastrophic wildfire" does raise the hackles of a number on the preservation side as in their view, wildfires are not catastrophic; they are either natural or unnatural. As I understand, a natural wildfire burns desired litter and understory while and unnatural wildfire burns everything; meaning it is catastrophic due to the amount it burns.
Enter the U.S. Congress as a means to accomplish something. In 2009, an Omnibus Lands Bill was passed that contained funding for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. The Sierra National Forest was one of the original beneficiaries of the funding provided. That funding supports a "collaborative" process composed of various special interest groups with a charter to assist the Forest Service restore the forest to a healthy condition; reduce the risk of wildfire to protect humans and wildlife.
Within the Dinky area of the Sierra NF, several projects have been started with minimum controversy. Now, the Bald Mountain Project is bringing out the controversy as it involves critical habitat for Pacific Fisher, Great Gray Owl and a few other species of concern.
Part of the restoration involves expanding the size of existing meadows by removing conifers that have encroached and are choking out stands of aspen. Numerous trees 30 inches or more in diameter are projected for removal as are many other trees of various sizes throughout the project area.
Did you know it is more beneficial to "kill" a tree and leave it standing as a dead snag or cut it down and leave it lay on the forest floor than to remove it for its lumber value? Still trying to figure out that logic...
So, this CFLRP has spawned two more "landscape restoration projects" within California - Burney Hat Creek Community Forest and Watershed Group and the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group.
These efforts are part of what is now being called as "all lands" approach to land management focusing on restoring forests and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire. These efforts are using a "triple-bottom line" approach which means that environment, economy, and community are simultaneously advanced; no one or two components are advanced to the exclusion or detriment of the others.
This has spawned SCALE - Sierra Cascades All-Lands Enhancement project. SCALE has linked two groups with a focus on implementation of linked management practices across federal, state, and private lands. and, SCALE will soon link a third group - DLRP.
Wow, the list of acronyms continues. Wonder if real progress will be made?