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Frpm the February 2013 Battle Mountain News

posted Jul 3, 2014, 3:41 PM by Joe Christy

What Volunteers, Inmates, and a Little Cash Can Do

As we prepare to wrap up our mid- and lower-Empire Grade projects, it's an opportune time to summarize what we accomplished with fewer than a dozen Fire Safe Council volunteers, using Ben Lomond Camp crews and a little less than $12,000 in Federal grant money.

We constructed 1.4 miles of fuel breaks, totaling 14 acres of fuel treated; that represents a mile of frontage on Empire Grade and 4 tenths of a mile along the strategic ridgetop south of Pineridge. We worked with State Parks and 17 private landowners; on Fall Creek State Park we followed their ecologists' prescription to simultaneously improve habitat both under the redwood canopy and in the sensitive northern maritime chaparral.

BDFC volunteers contributed 15 days surveying and preparing environmental documentation, 72 days monitoring the crews, 6 days training with and maintaining the SC County Fire Chiefs' chipper, and 9 days coordinating the projects. We used over 3,000 man-hours on BLC crew labor.

We held two educational workshops attended by 60 Dooners, and, in addition to our monthly column here, distributed informational flyers to project landowners and along park trails.

We are about to embark on our second grant project, to be complete by May, along Empire Grade between the camp and Alba Road.

Securing Your Home and Your Neighborhood

We did not receive grant funding in the latest cycle, but that won't stop us from working with you and your neighbors on smaller, neighborhood and property scale projects. In addition to the neighborhood initiative we discussed here last month, we have trained in hazard assessment in the Home Ignition Zone and will be glad to come and talk to you about securing your home and surrounding property from ignition in a wildfire.

Please join with us and help out with your donations and by volunteering your time to these grassroots initiatives.

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