After decades of fire suppression, the Tahoe Basin’s forests are overstocked and highly vulnerable to insects, disease and catastrophic wildfire. Fire suppression, logging practices and lack of active forest management in the 1800’s to mid 1900s has led to a lack of diversity in tree species and age structure to support a healthy forest ecosystem. The threat of catastrophic wildfire looms over Lake Tahoe with many neighboring communities In California and Nevada suffering from destructive blazes. With much of our forests left vulnerable to catastrophic fire, there is a threat to life, property, lake clarity, scenic values, and wildlife habitat.
The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) is actively working together to thin overstocked forests to reduce hazardous fuels and proactively manage forests to improve ecosystem resilience. This partnership has treated tens of thousands of acres through hand thinning, mechanical thinning, and prescribed burning. These projects improve the vitality of the basin’s forests to withstand the increasing threats of drought and other extreme weather events.
Responding to the increasing threat to our forests, the partner organizations of the TFFT developed the Lake Tahoe Forest Action Plan in August of 2019 to proactively minimize the growing risk. The Plan charts a path for collaboration across property boundaries to accelerate landscape restoration and community wildfire protection.
Goals of the Forest Health Focus Area: