Forest Service seeks comments on proposed Incline Management Plan

Sierra Rec Magazine, November 30, 2017 – SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is asking for public input regarding the management of 1,138 acres of National Forest System lands off the Mt. Rose Highway (SR 431) above Incline Village, Nevada. The planning effort proposes project-specific activities to establish National Forest System standards for streams and habitat, recreation, road and trail management under the LTBMU Land Management Plan. The project also proposes a Forest Plan amendment to modify a portion of the project area from a general conservation management area to a backcountry management area.

The preliminary need to amend and change the Forest Plan is to designate approximately 400 acres of the project area (west of Third Creek) as a backcountry management area, which would benefit water quality, habitat, scenery and provide dispersed recreational opportunities. The remainder of the site would remain designated as a general conservation (general forest) area. No change to the management area description in the Forest Plan is proposed; only the geographic distribution of the land designated as backcountry management area within the project area is proposed to change. The following substantive requirements may be related to the amendment: 36CFR 219.8 (a3i) Riparian Areas sustainability, and 36 CFR 219.10 (a [1, 6, and 10]) Integrated resource management for multiple use.  The plan amendment will be subject to the objection procedures outlined in 36 CFR 219 Subpart B.

Project-specific proposals include adopting, decommissioning and rerouting of existing trails; adopting existing roads and replacing and/or upgrading road and trail stream crossings; installing Best Management Practices (BMPs), interpretive and wayfinding signs; creating new trail and pedestrian access routes and resource protection barriers; allowing vehicular use of the dam access road under the terms of a special use permit, and closing other trails to motor vehicle use.

Restoration activities would include removing the dam diversion ditch that connects Third Creek to the former Incline Lake bed; restoring stream channels and aquatic species habitat throughout the area; revegetating areas that are degraded, with native vegetation species; restoring damage to wetlands, which resulted from water diversion activities; repairing erosion along the Franktown Ditch; developing a plan for future white bark pine management; and reducing tree density in meadow and wetland areas through forest thinning and restoration of Aspen communities.

Comments are most helpful if received by January 5, 2017.

The scoping letter and proposed action is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/InclineMgmt.

For more information on the project and how to comment, contact Ashley Sibr at 530-543-2615 or email asibr@fs.fed.us.