Forest Futures Campaign tackles fuel reduction

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 2:44 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The forest floor is considered one of the most distinct features of the forest ecosystem. It contains various stages of vegetation from new to decomposition all above the soil’s surface.

On one piece of land in the Glenshire area, it’s easy to identify. But just across the street the forest floor is overgrown.

If a fire were to roar through here, there’s no question where it would take a hold.

“Right on the other side of the road you are seeing an accumulation of fuels,” says Eric Horntvedt with Truckee Fire. “We have head high shrubs, and this creates a ladder. If this was burning through the scrubs, it could easily connect up to the trees; and wind driven. You end up with this catastrophic wildfire behavior that is really challenging,” he says.

With the help of Cal Fire money Truckee Fire was able to clear the small part of land near Truckee.

But a look at a map of the other areas in this region which need attention, it is apparent, the department and those it contracts out to help them, have their work cut out for them.

But with the help of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, fire agencies along with conservation organizations may be able to cut through the red tape and get projects going faster.

The foundation’s newly formed Forest Futures is working on a three-year program to raise $30,000,000 dollars.

Money will go to projects which involve fire mitigation, as well as economic and infrastructure which involve the forest and trees and the land they grow on.

“We really tackle that full spectrum of organizations doing the work, sizes, scale, and that’s how we think this work is holistic and systemic,” says Stacy Caldwell, CEO of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation .

So far the group has raised nearly $2,000,000 dollars.

Truckee Donner Land Trust applied for, and received $100,000 dollars to rehab a little less than three hundred acres owned by the trust.

“Being able to open that up will allow other species to come back that will create a more balanced habitat both from an ecological stand point and a fire stand point,” says Greyson Howard, with The Truckee Donner Land Trust.

The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation says while some of their recipients will be no stranger to the local community, the Forest Futures program will also consider lesser known groups or agencies who as recipients can sometimes can be left out of the competition for funding.

There are state and federal grants that can accomplish the same thing that’s being done on pieces of land near Truckee and other parts of the Sierra. However, it can take up to a decade to get the money into the right hands.

Forest Futures hopes to do it in a fraction of the time.

Forest Futures - Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (

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