The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it is seeking public comments on a plan to expedite fuels reduction treatments and fire protection efforts near high fire-risk areas on public lands in 44 counties throughout California and northwest Nevada.
The public may submit written comments on the issues, potential impacts, alternatives, and project design features presented in the preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) by visiting https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2016583/510 or by email: [email protected]. The BLM said it will consider all “substantive comments” received by Jan. 20, in finalizing the EA.
According to the release, the statewide Wildland-Urban Interface fuels treatments programmatic Environmental Assessment aims to facilitate projects on approximately 900,000 acres of public land near rural communities.
The BLM manages three recreation areas in San Benito County: Tumey Hills, Panoche Hills and Clear Creek Management Area.
“The BLM is adding another tool to our wildfire prevention and protection toolbox.” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. “This initiative is designed to streamline on-the-ground projects to reduce hazardous fuels and double down on our efforts to protect local communities.”
The release added fuels reduction projects aim to reduce the intensity, severity, and the spread of wildfire on public lands by reducing overgrowth, creating fuel breaks and thinning forest density.
“As a result, communities in and around BLM lands will experience reduced likelihood of loss of life, property, and community infrastructure from wildfires,” the release said.
It added these treatments will also improve firefighting conditions when wildfires happen, allowing for greater success of fire suppression and fire perimeter control, contributing to increased safety for firefighters and decreased suppression costs by reducing potential fire damage and fire size.