Lama Community Task Force Proposal Table of Contents
Introduction General Fuel Reduction Summary of Prescriptions Buffer Zones Overview of Treatment Area Diameter Caps Forest Types Temporally Staggered Units Site Specific Prescriptions Area Vehicle Closure Wildlife Surveys No Commercial Logging Soil Information Slash, Stumps, And Trash Standards and Guidelines Site Specific Fire Models Controlled Burns Treatment Types Collaborative Oversight Group Defensible Space Closer Cooperation Sought in the Future Fuelbreaks Attachments included: see previous page
Lama Community Task Force Proposal
The Forest Task Force of the La Lama Neighborhood Association has developed the following alternative as a way to insure that we preserve the ecological, esthetic and recreational values of the forest areas adjoining our private lands, while at the same time meeting the need to protect our homes from fire and also to minimize the risk of catastrophic fire in the forest at large. In keeping with the Forest Servicešs policy of multiple use, we believe that the need for enhanced fire protection can and should be balanced with our desire as a community to live in a natural environment which inspires us with its unspoiled beauty and abundant life. It is our sincere desire to work together with the Questa Ranger District to reach a mutually agreeable plan which will meet these shared goals.
We have created this document with the generous assistance of ecologists and other experts throughout the Southwest. As a small community, however, we lack the resources to complete as technically detailed and explicit a proposal as the Forest Servicešs own documents. We offer this proposal in good faith confident that the Forest Service will continue to work with the La Lama Neighborhood Association and the Lama Fire Department in the future to flesh out with us the details which may not have been spelled out completely in this document. We do not see ourselves in an adversarial relationship with the Forest Service. On the contrary, we look at the planned Questa/ Lama WUI as an opportunity to forge an ongoing partnership with the Questa Ranger District in which we can work together to attain our mutual goals. We are confident that the Forest Service will work with us in a spirit of cooperation and openness to help us to fulfill the needs of our community.
Much of the forest land adjoining the community of Lama was burned during the Hondo fire. This traumatic event has made us all the more anxious to preserve the limited areas which remain of unburned forest surrounding our community so that they can be passed down to our future generations intact. We support a judicious thinning of certain carefully chosen areas between Lama and Questa for fire protection purposes. We recognize that such a thinning, if properly designed and executed, could be beneficial. We do, however, want this thinning to be performed in a sustainable manner which preserves the natural beauty and ecological integrity which brought many of us to this unique spot in the first place. We do not believe that these values have to be sacrificed to protect ourselves from fire. In order to meet these various objectives, however, we are convinced that the current Forest Service proposal needs to be significantly modified.
In particular we feel that the areas to be thinned should be strategically chosen to maximize their impact. Rather than a blanket cutting of more than80 percent of the trees on over a thousand acres of forest surrounding our community, as has currently been proposed, we would like to see a more focused thinning of carefully placed firebreaks (in the National Forest) and defensible zones on private land around houses-- areas which will be most critical in meeting our fire prevention needs. We believe that the ForestServicešs own studies indicate that the proposed general thinning in the forest at large far from settled areas will not be as effective as the firebreaks and creation of defensible space, and should therefore be scaledback. Decisions on which areas to treat in the general thinning should be based on site-specific surveys for sensitive soils, stand inventories, wildlife surveys, and results of fire modeling, including probable ignition zones and prevailing fire-season winds. Treatments should be limited to forest types that have exhibited catastrophic fire under unnatural fuel conditions, i.e. ponderosa pine and mixed conifer, but no pure stands of trees (i.e. piņon-juniper) which are already sufficiently open should be treated.
We would also like to see more stringent parameters set to limit the impact of the WUI on areas of ecological sensitivity, riparian areas, wildlife corridors, slopes and areas of old growth forest. In addition we would like to set an upper limit on the size and age of the trees to be cut. There should also be guidelines that would prevent off-road travel by woodcutter vehicles and the damage that this would entail for sensitive soils and vegetation. We would also like to see a landscape mosaic of treated and untreated areas in which treatments are limited in size and based on site needs in order to preserve the health and regenerative ability of our forest. And we propose as well to preserve buffer zones of untreated areas both for wildlife protection purposes and for community recreational use. We also want to make provision for a careful monitoring of areas to be thinned so that large commercially valuable unmarked trees are not taken illegally, and that persons who do not follow the thinning guidelines in any respect will be held legally accountable for their actions. This will require a level of vigilance and monitoring which we are convinced has not been exercised by the Questa Ranger District during past operations in our area during which significant poaching of trees, improper disposition of the slash, garbage left on the ground, and erosion and soil compaction caused by off-road travel have made areas of once pristine forest into ugly eyesores. It is our belief that a thinning operation performed carelessly actually increases rather than lessens the fire danger that we face. As an example we cite the thinning performed along the road a half a mile north of our community boundary where piles of garbage and slash, as well as huge uprooted stumps and mounds of soil remain years after the thinning and road expansion work was done. This area has been significantly eroded and degraded as a result of off-road travel and the use of heavy equipment. We would like to insure that such abuses are not repeated in the currently proposed project.
We also believe that, given the prevailing pattern of winds coming out of the southwest, the present focus of the thinning operation on our northern boundary is not well chosen. Treating the southern and western edges of our community will be more useful in protecting us from forest fire. More strategic areas such as Garrapata Canyon should replace areas proposed for treatment such as Lama Canyon. Although, any treatments in riparian corridors would be significantly limited by Carson National Forest standards and guidelines as well as other best management practices for protecting riparian habitat and water quality. Before getting into the specifics of our plan, we would like to offer a brief overview summary of the actions which we are calling on the Forest Service to take.
Summary of Prescriptions
*Break the treatment down into three components: 1) Defensible space on land around houses 2) Fuelbreaks 3) General Treatment. *Conduct soil, wildlife, old-growth and site-specific fire studies of the project area and exclude from treatment areas of special ecological sensitivity.
*Set a diameter cap (9 inches for ponderosa pine and 5 inches for pinion/ ) and age cap (80 years) for the trees to be cut in the general and fuelbreak areas.
*Treatments should be limited to forest types that have exhibited catastrophic fire under unnatural fuel conditions, i.e. ponderosa pine and mixed conifer, but pure stands of piņon-juniper which are already sufficiently open would be exempted from treatment.
*In the general treatment area, leave sections of untreated forest in a mosaic pattern alongside treated areas.
*Create buffer zones of untreated forest for ecological and recreational purposes.
*Create temporally staggered units to aid in the monitoring and evaluation of the work.
*Work with the La Lama Neighborhood Association and Lama Fire Department to plan a fuelbreak south and west of our community where, due to the prevailing wind patterns, the real danger lies.
*Assist the community in applying for and obtaining grants for thinning private property around homes.
* Conduct Firewise Workshops and other educational activities to inform us about how to protect our homes from fire.
*Form a collaborative oversight group of community members, ecologists and Forest Service personnel to guide the development and monitor the progress of the thinning operation.
* Appoint a full time overseer to insure that the work is properly executed and performed strictly according to the law as well as the parameters set for the project.
*Prohibit off-road vehicle use and the chaining of trees.
* No commercial logging should be permitted.
*Direct the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps or trained Forest Service work crews to perform the work around the community of Lama rather than unlicensed private contractors.
* Make woody materials with secondary value, determined to be in excess of what must be retained for soil protection and wildlife habitat, available to permit holders from the village of Questa and Lama.
*Create and strictly enforce guidelines for the disposition of stumps, slash and garbage within the project area.
*Create buffer zones of untreated forest. No treatment should be undertaken between the road a half mile north of our community and our community boundary. No treatment should be undertaken in Lama Canyon between our community boundary and the main road. No treatment should be undertaken in the forest land adjacent to the cemetery.
Overview of Treatment Area
The forest ecosystem adjacent to the communities of Lama and Questa are composed of a variety of forest types ranging from mixed-conifer at the highest elevations, to ponderosa pine, to piņon-juniper woodland at the lower elevations, with varying combinations of all these forest types. However, the area that can be effectively treated, the relatively level areas outside of the drainages, consist primarily of ponderosa pine, pine-oak, and piņon-juniper forest types. The ponderosa pine type stands generally have the highest tree densities, and the greatest canopy closure. However, continuous ponderosa pine stands are primarily at the highest elevations within the project area, and are broken up by drainages, piņon-juniper patches, and the burn to the east. The piņon-juniper stands are relatively dense in many places, but these are largely separated at the stand scale by drainages and openings. The piņon-juniper and open forest types contain a significant cryptobiotic soil component. This soil type is extremely sensitive to disturbance and compaction.
The drainages are characterized by relatively steep slopes, and contain the greatest variation in forest types. These areas are important wildlife corridors and riparian areas, and are more sensitive to soil disturbance and erosion.
The area burned by the Hondo Fire abuts the southeast edge of the project area. Much of this burned area has a relatively high fire potential due to large amounts of dead standing and down trees, debris and slash. However, subsequent fires within the burned area are not likely to enter the unburned forest or the community of Lama as high-intensity crown fires due to slope and wind direction, and the type of fuel remaining. Therefore, the Hondo Fire area effectively cuts off crown fire potential from the southeast for much of the project area.
The community of Lama has relatively high fuel levels, and a significant fire risk around the houses. However, at the landscape scale, the threat of an oncoming crown fire is relatively low because the area to the south and west of Lama is relatively open with low fuel loads, and the Hondo Fire reduced the potential for crown fire to the southeast of Lama.
For the purposes of this project, these forest types may be classified into three basic forest types: ponderosa pine forest (where ponderosa pine comprises the majority of the crown cover), piņon-juniper forest (where piņon and juniper comprise the majority of the crown cover), and mixed-forest (with roughly equal or significant components of ponderosa pine and piņon-juniper). The differences among the three forest types will primarily affect the definition of understory in each of the treatments. In ponderosa pine type, the understory that should be thinned consists primarily of small-diameter mid-story ponderosa pine. In piņon-juniper type, there is technically very little understory because the trees are largely the same height and crowns often reach to the ground, and only the small-diameter piņon and juniper should be thinned. In the mixed type, it is incorrect to consider all of the piņon and juniper as understory just because there is a component of taller ponderosa pine. Instead, only ponderosa pine that are significantly shorter than the average crown height of ponderosa pines at that site, and only piņon and juniper that are significantly shorter than the average crown height of piņon-juniper at that site should be considered as understory.
Site Specific Prescriptions
The original scoping letter does not specifically mention the forest types in the areas proposed for fuelbreaks or for general fuel reduction treatment. We do not believe that a single blanket prescription for all of our forest types is appropriate. Site-specific treatments for each identifiable stand or land unit, based on sensitive soil surveys, stand information, wildlife surveys, and fire modeling, should be developed.
For example, as previously mentioned, the proposed project area has a significant component of piņon-juniper woodland with very old trees that should not be thinned. According to the regionšs most respected fire historian, Tom Swetnam, there in no data to verify the fire history of piņon-juniper woodland. The Questa and Lama Wildland Urban Interface Project should, therefore, exclude those open piņon-juniper woodlands where there are already large gaps between the trees and tree stands, from fuel reduction treatment. On the other hand, thick ponderosa stands with significant ladder fuels and crown closure will require the greatest treatment.
The "current condition section" of the environmental assessment should include a map of fuel densities and forest types. The fuel loads in the Lama-Questa area are not uniform. A map of fuel density will greatly assist the strategic placement of fuelbreaks and the design of general fuel reduction treatments. All stands should be inventoried per Forest Service standard protocol. The results of surveys should be used for fire models and planning of site-specific treatments.
Stands should be surveyed for threatened, endangered and sensitive species as well as management indicator species. Special treatments should be prescribed for stands that are occupied by any of the target species or that may serve as potential habitat. Old-growth inventories should be made and the 20% allocation per the Carson Land Management Plan should be made prior to any treatments. Wildlife corridors should be set aside for non treatment-- in canyons, arroyos and ridges-- which will allow for sufficient wildlife cover and forage.
All treatment units should have soil characteristic information based on past surveys, or if none exist, surveys should be conducted prior to treatments. Soil information will assist in determining where and what type of treatments will be applied in the planning area. Certain areas which will be subject to significant erosion, or which contain poor quality soils should be exempted from treatment.
Site Specific Fire Models
In addition, fire models for each and every acre or identifiable stand of trees in the proposed treatment areas should be run using site specific information. The results would help determine where treatments will be most effective and where treatments will not cause irreversible damage. The 1995 Final Report: "Federal Wildland Fire Management, Policy & Program Review," as well as the "Federal Wildland Fire Policy, Guiding Principles" directs the Forest Service to complete risk assessments and Fire Management Plans for every acre with burnable vegetation. Completion of this fire modeling for the Questa/Lama WUI will contribute to the Carson National Forest complying with this direction.
The project involves three treatment types: defensible space directly adjacent to houses and communities, fuelbreaks in the forest, and general fuels reduction. These treatments will occur across the three basic forest types, with variations in prescription. In general, the prescriptions for all three treatments in all forest types will involve the following:
*Thin small diameter, understory trees; remove ladder fuels and underbrush.
*Thin primarily the smallest trees. But leave a sampling of trees of all ages to allow for the healthy regeneration of the forest.
*Retain all trees older than 80 years, as these existed prior to fire suppression.
*Prune lower branches and dead branches of trees in some cases as an alternative to cutting them down.
*Analyze and treat diseased trees appropriately.
*Retain all yellow ponderosa pines.
*Prevent soil compaction and disturbance by vehicles and logging machinery.
According to Forest Service studies, the chances of a home igniting during a wildfire is determined almost entirely on what happens within a hundred yards of the home. The landscaping within 40 meters of the home and the building design and materials determine whether or not a home will catch fire. Home protection is a local endeavor. It is what is done on private property that really counts. Management activity, including fuel reduction, beyond 40 meters away from a home has little effect on the likelihood that a home will ignite during a wildfire. (Cohen, Preventing Disaster, 2000; USDA, 1999, Reducing the Wildfire Fire Threat to Homes: Where and How Much, 2000; Cohen, Why Los Alamos Burned, 2000).
We therefore propose the treatment of the area on private land directly adjacent to houses and communities. The purpose of this treatment is to force a crown fire to drop to the ground, and to provide an area for firefighters to safely suppress the fire. This involves thinning, removing all ladder fuels and understory trees and minimizing the amount of continuous canopy, as well as the clean-up of all ground litter.
We take as a model the thinning project which was recently performed for private landowners in Red River by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp. For the purpose of the thinning of private lands around houses, the Lama Community requests the assistance of the Forest Service both in providing a fire safety-assessment for landowners, advising us, in conjunction with the Lama Fire Department about the most effective thinning methods (through "Firewise" workshops, and other community forums) and also in applying for and obtaining grants from the Federal and / or State government to enable this work to be done. Homeowner education should include direct mail to every household in Questa, Lama , and San Cristobal describing what is needed to protect a home from wildfire.
Lama would have been an ideal candidate for the Community Planning for Fire Assistance grants available with funds from Title IV of the 2001 Interior Appropriation (National Fire Plan), but the community was not informed of the grants in time. The district should proceed slowly with the proposed project in order to involve the Lama community more fully and to allow time for joint development of a CPFA grant in 2002.
Moreover, there is ample direction in various laws, regulation, and directives for the Forest Service to fund and accomplish such cooperative activities. The Forest Service Manual, part 3200 - rural and urban forestry assistance, chapter 3210 - forest management assistance, directs the Forest Service through the local state forestry office to provide management assistance to non-industrial timberlands owners. Such assistance can take the form of prescriptions for precommercial thinning, weeding, pruning, prescribed burning, site preparation, and planting. The list of specific activities that the Forest Service can lend assistance for includes: fire protection measures, technical services related to cost-sharing projects under State and Federal forestry incentives programs, as well as silvicultural and other forest management activities that affect wildlife habitat. The Manual provides specific direction for the agency to plan and implement these activities so as to help landowners meet their objectives.
Many of these actions might be funded under the funds made available to Counties by the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (the County Payments bill) that was signed into law by President Clinton on October 30, 2000 (Public Law 106-393). It would require cooperation of County Government and Resource Advisory Council, as well as acceptance by the Forest Service.
We also request that the same assistance outlined above and requested for Lama residents be offered residents in the village of Questa who live along the forest boundary.
Like the defensible space, the fuelbreak is a narrow strip of thinning through the forest. However, the fuelbreak should be narrower and involve less severe thinning than defensible space. The purpose of this treatment is to provide a break in the forest structure and fuel load, in order to alter the behavior of an advancing crown fire. This involves removing ladder fuels and understory trees and minimizing the amount of continuous canopy, as well as the clean-up of all ground litter. This treatment includes reducing the fuel load, tree density. Canopy closure may be reduced to 40-60%. This calls for a crown spacing of up to 10 feet for piņon-juniper, and up to 15 feet for ponderosa pine individuals and groups. The fuelbreak should be along roads and cleared utility rights-of-way, and the road should considered part of the width of the break, which should be between 15 meters (50 feet) wide, and 60 meters (200 feet) at the greatest.
The Lama community proposal maintains most of the fuelbreaks which have been proposed by the Forest Service (in Alternative C) although we do not believe that they need to be as wide as has been indicated on the Alternative C map. We have tentatively eliminated two fuelbreaks from our proposal which have been put forward in Alternative C because their purpose is not apparent to us. We request further clarification on the Forest Servicešs rationale for the Fish Hatchery Road fuelbreak (which because of its location far from settled areas does not seem to us to protect against any likely fires and, moreover, would have a serious impact on a significant riparian, old-growth and scenic area.) The forest in the canyon along the Fish Hatchery Road is relatively dense and contains a large component of relatively large trees. However, the forest is significantly less dense outside of the canyon. Therefore, at the landscape level, the canyon is the least appropriate location for a fuelbreak. A much more effective fuelbreak could be created in the relatively less dense forest requiring the removal of relatively few trees.
We also request further clarification on the necessity for the fuelbreak which forks to the west off of the natural gas-line fuelbreak (since this second parallel fuelbreak seems redundant and unnecessary.) If, however, the Forest Service can convince us of the necessity of these fuelbreaks, we will withdraw our objections.
In our plan we have also modified the fuelbreak in the northeast corner (of the Alt. C map) in order to allow for a wildlife corridor along the riparian area. We have moved this fuelbreak east of the riparian area.
In addition to the proposed fuelbreaks, we would like to consider the possibility of creating a fuelbreak to the south and west of the community of Lama where the most significant risk of a wind-generated fire remains. Our map ("Potential Fuelbreaks and defensible space to protect the south and west of Lama") includes some possible locations for this break, but not a final determination of how extensive it should be or where it should be placed. This determination should be made by the Forest Service fire management experts in conjunction and consultation with the La Lama Neighborhood Association and Fire Department.
General Fuel Reduction
This treatment involves general fuels reduction in the wildland forest beyond the wildland-urban interface, away from communities. The purpose of fuel reduction is to reduce the potential of a forest fire, and reduce the fuel available should a forest fire start, as well as improving the ecological health of the forest. This is the lightest thinning of the three treatments discussed here. Treatment should involve thinning small-diameter understory trees and ladder fuels. This thinning should have no target canopy closure or tree density. It is important to defer areas from thinning within the general fuels reduction in order to maintain wildlife habitat and structural diversity. This should be done on the scale of two to several acres, comprising between 30-40% of the thinned acres. We propose a mosaic pattern of treated and untreated areas within the area which we have marked in our proposal for general thinning. It is also important to leave an appropriate component of younger, smaller trees on every acre for age and structural diversity, and stand regeneration.
In our Lama proposal we have maintained the configuration of the general fuel reduction in Forest Service Proposal C, but we have exempted the upper portions of the drainages from treatment so that they can serve as useful wildlife corridors and riparian areas. The general fuels reductions as they are currently proposed severely reduce the value of the drainages, canyons and arroyos as wildlife corridors and riparian areas. The thinning on the relatively level areas extend across the drainages, turning these extremely important wildlife corridors into dead ends. Many wildlife species, such as bear, deer and turkeys, have specific requirements for visual cover or generally prefer the denser forest structure. Therefore, these drainages should extend un-thinned through the project area to allow for a useful corridor and undamaged riparian area.
No treatment should be undertaken between the road a half mile north of our community and our community boundary. No treatment should be undertaken in Lama Canyon between our community boundary and the main road. No treatment should be undertaken in the forest land adjacent to the cemetery.
Diameter caps will be established specific to tree species. Diameter cutting caps define the size of tree (diameter at breast height) that can be cut in a project. No trees with a diameter larger than the cap may be cut. However, this does not mean that all trees smaller than that diameter may be cut. Also, no trees older than 80 years, no yellow ponderosa pines, and no trees sharing a crown with a leave tree will be cut. The diameter cap in the defensible space on private land shall be left up to the individual landowners to determine. In the fuelbreaks and general fuels reduction areas no ponderosa pine trees greater than 9 inches diameter (dbh) will be cut and no piņon or juniper tree greater than 5 inches diameter will be cut.
Temporally Staggered Units
The project would be implemented in phases or temporally staggered units so that monitoring and evaluation of the treatment effectiveness can be accomplished. Such monitoring and evaluation of the treatments would direct the management of future phases to eliminate or reduce environmental impacts and ensure that treatments are effective in reducing fire severity, increasing defensibility, and reducing impacts to sensitive resources such as soils and wildlife. It would also allow for more effective monitoring to insure that the work is done strictly according to the prescription, and it would assist the Forest Service and the community of Lama in properly overseeing the project and preventing trees from being poached illegally as has happened in the past.
Area Vehicle Closure
The planning area will be designated closed to motorized vehicles except along roads unless otherwise noted. Motorized vehicles of work crews will not leave roads for any reason. Trees shall not be chained or bulldozed.
No vehicular traffic associated with the WUI should be permitted on private roads. Forest Service access roads into the project should be monitored and maintained.
No Commercial Logging
The thinning work done within a mile of our community boundaries is a special concern of the residents of Lama. To insure the highest standards of work within this area and the strictest compliance with treatment prescriptions and environmental protection guidelines, we request that this work not be done by unlicensed private contractors. Instead we would like it to be performed by trained Forest Service work crews, and / or members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp. There should be no commercial timber sale, commercial firewood contracts, nor goods for services contracts. Firewood, vigas and latillas, post and poles or other products which are cut during this work may be supplied to local residents of Questa and Lama who apply to the Forest Service for permits for obtaining this material, which will be left piled up at designated locations for pickup. This work will either be funded directly by the Forest Service, or through outside grants ear-marked for fuel reduction activities obtained cooperatively by the Forest Service and the Lama Community.
Slash, Stumps, And Trash Standards and Guidelines
The resulting visual quality and fire hazard from any tree cutting activities must be carefully controlled. Specific standards and guidelines shall be developed to limit the height of stumps (4 inches) and the treatment of slash. Slash should be spread on contour in direct contact with the ground and left to decompose, or mulched or chopped and spread, piled and burned, or spread to a safe depth and broadcast burned. Trees should be marked with biodegradable paint. There shall be strict provisions for cleanup of trash generated by work crews and the contractor for any post-treatment cleanup that may be necessary shall post a bond.
As a more natural alternative to manual thinning, reintroducing fire into the ecosystem through controlled burns may be considered in easily defended areas sufficiently distant from our boundary lines and separated from us by roads so that they pose no danger to private property. These burns may be considered in those areas deemed to be outside the normal range of vegetative conditions due to previous fire exclusion, silviculture, and/or grazing. In areas unlikely to burn outside the normal range of intensity, prescribed fire may be considered. In those areas deemed to be outside the normal range of vegetative conditions due to previous management and where a prescribed fire would be likely to burn outside the normal range of intensity, manual pretreatments should be performed in preparation before conducting prescribed burns. Burns should only be performed during wet seasons and during days of high humidity and low wind speeds. There should always be trained fire prevention personal on site and in position to prevent the spread of fires beyond the established perimeter for the burn. Before any controlled burn is conducted, however, the Lama community must be informed and consulted. And each proposed burn must be approved and signed off on in advance by both the Lama Neighborhood Association and Fire Department. Lacking such community approval, no burns should be conducted.
Collaborative Oversight Group
A working collaborative group shall be established to guide the development, implementation, monitoring and follow up activities associated with the Questa/Lama WUI Project. Members of the Collaborative Oversight Group shall include employees of the US Forest Service, members of the Questa and Lama communities, and representative members of the conservation community. The Group will assist in development of the treatment plan, have oversight of the implementation of the actual work, and finally, guide any post-treatment monitoring and evaluation. In addition, a full time employee of the Forest Service, or a member of the Lama community hired as an overseer should be assigned full time during the actual thinning operations to provide on-site inspection and monitoring of all work sites within a mile of the Lama community boundary.
We also request to hold discussions with Forest Service personnel on the possibility of setting up a community stewardship area adjoining Lama. The details of this stewardship need to be negotiated.
Closer Cooperation Sought in the Future
It is the desire of the Lama community to work in closer partnership with the Forest Service in the future. Lama residents desire a more active long-term caretakership with the forest that surrounds their homes, and intertwines throughout the neighborhood. We request to be informed in advance and consulted about any projects which will impact our forest area. The failure of the Questa Ranger District to inform the majority of Lama residents by scoping letter of the Questa / Lama WUI Project meant that, as a community, we entered this process at a late stage in the development of the plan and were, therefore, unable to offer our input during the scoping period itself. In the future we ask to be granted the opportunity to share our views on any undertakings which will significantly impact our community in a more timely fashion. In addition the Roots and Wings School would like its students and teachers to take part in educational activities together with Forest Service personnel and also conduct documentary video recording and monitoring of the Questa / Lama WUI Project. We hope that this Project will be conducted in an ecologically sensitive, community sensitive and low impact manner which will serve as a model for similar work in other communities.
1) Colored map of our proposed thinning scheme.
2) Some potential fuelbreaks and defensible space to protect the south and west edges of Lama.
3) Appendix A: Some initial thoughts on a Lama stewardship area.