Why is this important?
Healthy forests provide quality habitat for a wide range
of fish, wildlife, and plant species; they are the source of
our clean water, offer abundant recreation opportunities,
and are a source of raw materials for local businesses such
as the timber industry.
Much of Tuolumne County is comprised of forested
ecosystems, including the oak woodlands in the lower
elevations through the pines and the fir at the crest of the
Sierra Nevada range. The social and economic health of
the county is directly tied to the health of our forests.
A century of fire suppression combined with prolonged
drought and associated insect infestations left many
forested areas unhealthy and susceptible to wildfire. As
the population increases adjacent to and within these
forested ecosystems, the threat of wildfire to life and
property has become a major public concern.
The local sawmills provide an important source of
employment and income, and improve forest health by
processing wood products. This reduces the density of
overstocked timber stands as does other fuel treatment.
What is the measure?
The indicators are two-fold: the number of acres that
are treated to reduce hazardous fuels in our forests and
woodlands, and the wildland fires by number and acres.
How are we doing?
The Stanislaus National Forest and California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection focus
their forest fuel reduction efforts in areas adjoining
communities—the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and
the State Responsibility Areas (SRA).
The number of acres treated decreased in the past three
years compared to the prior years. The variation can be
due to weather, budgets and available personnel.