The Chukchansi tribe of Coarsegold, Ca. has awarded $25,000 to the Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation District to clean up marijuana grow sites near Oakhurst Ca. The funding will be used by the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew to clean-up toxins left in large scale marijuana grow sites found in the Sierra National Forest. The High Sierra crew has been working in partnership with the US Forest Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife and has reclaimed more than 400 grow sites since 2004.
Of particular concern at these sites is the amount of rodenticide used and then left behind. The SNAMP fisher research team identified the first confirmed fisher death as a result of rodenticide poisoning believed to be from these sites and it is a growing concern, see here.
Anne Lombardo from the University of California Cooperative Extension helped Brittany Dyer from the Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation District put the grant proposal together back in February. The tribe will hold an awards ceremony on December 3rd at 6pm at their casino. According to Anne, “This serves as a fitting thank you to Shane Krogen from the HSVTC, who we lost in September doing similar work, and all the effort he expended to address this problem in our forests.”
The discussion of how the USFS deals with fires on public forests came up strongly in our recent SNAMP Annual Meeting [link]. Our Last Change field site burned in October, and we are very interested in understanding the behavior and impact of the American fire. Part of the discussion stemmed from this presentation on preliminary estimates for fire intensity, ascertained partly from analysis of WorldView imagery delivered at the meeting.
The website (linked below) offers an initial description of post-fire vegetative conditions using the Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG) process. RAVG analysis looks at fires that burn more than 1,000 acres of forested National Forest System (NFS) lands, beginning with fires that occurred in 2007. These fires result in direct losses of vegetative cover and many of the benefits associated with forested ecosystems.
NFS lands experience thousands of wildfires every year, most of which are relatively small. The largest fires typically account for 90% of the total acreage burned. RAVG analysis provides a first approximation of areas that due to severity of the fire may require reforestation treatments. These reforestation treatments would re-establish forest cover and restore associated ecosystem services. This initial approximation could be followed by a site-specific diagnosis and development of a silvicultural prescription identifying reforestation needs.
Dr. Craig Thompson of the SNAMP Pacific Fisher Team participated in a webinar today, October 23rd, in which he presented an overview of the team’s camera survey, reproduction, survival, and dispersal data for 2013. He also gave details about the metrics that will be used to integrate fisher data with the other SNAMP research teams, including occupancy, intensity of use, and reproductive habitat quality, as well as the priorities for fisher research in 2014. The webinar was recorded and available for view here.