Great Basin Institute has entered into a Cooperative Agreement with USDA Forest Service to provide National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) support services for restoration efforts following the Castle Fire. The fire burned hundreds of giant sequoia trees on western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and burned through nearly twenty giant sequoia groves in the Alder Creek Grove area last summer. The fire charred over 174,000 acres of land in portions of the Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia National Park. The Castle Fire was among the many triggered by a series of August lightning storms, kicking off California’s largest ever wildfire season, which burned over 4.1 million acres statewide.
GBI senior resource specialists will evaluate proposed restoration actions to determine potential impacts to biological and cultural resources. Analysis and field work include a disciplinary review of botany, hydrology, wildlife, and heritage project components required under the National Environmental Policy Act. The project includes hazard tree abatement along approximately 130 miles of travel corridor and restoration activities at designated recreation, administrative, and special use sites located within the burn area on the Western Divide Ranger District.