In May of 2018, the National Wild Turkey Federation was awarded a a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy in the amount of $487,000 for the Trestle Forest Health Project. The goal of the project being to thin 270 acres of Eldorado National Forest lands around the community of Grizzly Flats, CA. Prior to beginning the project, the overall health of the ecosystem within the area was at an all time low. Tree densities were so high that the area was at SEVERE risk of catastrophic wildfire, insect/disease outbreak, and served very little benefit to wildlife that inhabits the area.
The NWTF teamed up with the Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and Green Tree Services to come up with a plan to restore health in these forest stands. Work began in September where trees throughout the project area with a diameter of less than 10 inches were felled, cut up into sections, stacked, and piled. These piles will be burned at a later date when the forest and air quality conditions allow for it.
Work was completed in November, and the desired conditions of the project were met. The health of these forest stands will now be much more resistant to high intensity wildfire, insect and disease risk, and can now support renewed growth of grasses, forbs, and shrubs – which are crucial to providing high quality habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife. Also, the community of Grizzly Flats is now safer from the risk of catastrophic wildfire, which is a concern for all rural communities here in California.
The NWTF is proud to be a leader in active forest management throughout the nation, and will continue to partner with the Forest Service here in California to provide high quality habitat for wildlife.