Oil Management in Creeks and Streambeds – Forest Research and Access

Due to the accumulation of oil in the catchment areas, fires and forest owners are increasingly worried about what they can do to control these areas. Basin vegetation and forests are important for water quality and quantity, and for wildlife and aquatic ecosystems. They have social benefits such as entertainment, heritage and beauty. These values ​​are important for forest owners, but can the protection of catchment areas be equated with fire reduction?

Historical fires in the basin. Over the past decade, we have been able to better understand the fire regimes in the basin. According to a study by Van de Water and North (2011), the confederation of the Basin and the Highlands is a mixed forest. Before the fire was extinguished, fires in the basin were regularly burned at various strengths, cutting down trees and conserving small amounts of fuel. Combined with high soil moisture, low vegetation densities in the catchment areas can disrupt wildfires and provide a safe haven for wildlife. Indigenous Indians in California often set fire to river basins to encourage the regeneration of trees and shrubs that respond well to low temperatures.

What are the current laws governing the catchment areas? Unfortunately, the rules governing the catchment areas did not fully reflect the new rules of fire control. The California Forestry Law (WLPZ) defines land areas on either side of a stream or stream, either in the lake or in the spring, to protect the catchment areas from potential soil erosion. Heavy equipment. WLPZ width varies from 50 to 150 feet depending on the slope, the section of the waterway and the geography of the place. In the WLPZ, hundreds of floors, canopies, and unstable areas must be protected to protect water resources and wildlife habitat. Equipment Isolation Zones (EEZs) prohibit the use of heavy equipment in the WLPZ to prevent soil erosion, erosion, and segregation. In very small water lines, you may be allowed to bring in some heavy equipment using Equipment Limitation Zones (ELZs) instead of EEZ.

Current research. Rob York, a US Department of Forests Extension Specialist, Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, has been conducting research at the UC Blodgett Forest Research Center on oil management and fire risk reduction. Rob and his team are reviewing the effectiveness of WLPZ regulations and other evidence-based alternatives aimed at maintaining low-risk and high racial diversity in and around Sierra Nevada forests. According to Rob, the purpose of the CA Forestry Regulations is to avert a significant negative impact on the vital functions of the riparian zones, but there is an unintended risk of wildfires due to mismanagement. If there is no treatment similar to the traditional fire system in nature, the catchment areas will be more vulnerable to severe fires.

Although the current regulations have special ecological and social benefits, it is easy to reduce fires in areas outside the basin. The unintended consequences of the 2007 Angora fire, which left untreated riparian areas ultimately destroyed more than 250 homes in a devastating fire in Angora Creek.

What should a landlord do? We are now encouraging proper fuel reduction in the catchment areas. That said, logistics can be difficult. Because heavy equipment is not allowed in the catchment areas, trees can sometimes be cut off with a cable from the protective area (called the final lane). Due to this additional cost, however, large trees that need to be preserved can be preferred. It can be caused by cutting, piercing, and burning thin hands, although in some places you will need to remove the piles of burnt material from the drainage area to prevent ash from reaching the drain. A landowner can treat the burnt area by covering it with sand or treating it with ash and debris. Another option for the catchment areas is a fire in the spring or after the onset of spring rains. The catchment areas are generally wet during authorized fires, reducing the tree cover to 60% or less increases the chances of successful fires because high radiation exposure can dry out surface fuels faster. Although reduction of roofs is allowed under canvas retention laws, it is difficult to perform due to equipment isolation zones.

Basin area with oil treatment

For more information and assistance, please contact your local UC Cooperative Forest and Natural Resources Consultants and Specialists.

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