Northwest Gateway Forest Restoration
One hundred years of fire exclusion in the northwest corner of Lassen Volcanic National Park has resulted in overly dense and unhealthy forest areas. In the absence of surface fires, young white fir have formed dense thickets crowding out old growth pines, aspen stands, and understory shrub and grass vegetation. Lassen Volcanic will implement a mechanical treatment strategy to remove unhealthy fuel loads. The process will reduce old growth mortality rates, promote a more varied stand structure, and restore and protect wildlife habitat.
4/14/14 The contractors are finishing up in unit 4 and will begin work in units 5, 6 and 7 (adjacent to the Manzanita Lake Campground) the week of April 14. The contractor will be accessing the units through loop B in the campground, requiring a temporary area closure of the campground area for the safety of visitors and employees. Manzanita Creek Trail will be closed while the contractors are working.
1/31/14 Due to mild winter conditions, Lassen is implementing the initial phase of the Northwest Gateway Forest Restoration (NWG) Project. Mechanical thinning will began on approximately 500 acres on two of the six proposed areas in early February.
2/23/14 The contractor has completed thinning on approximately 123 acres and has begun restoration work in the treated area. Left over slash and woody debris is being hand piled by the contractor and will be burned by park fire staff in the future. Frozen ground and dry conditions have helped to reduce soil impacts. This year's low snowpack has allowed for mechanical treatment at a time when the park is usually covered in snow. Conversely, the dry conditions could also contribute to increased fire danger earlier in the year and the potential for a longer fire season. The 123-acre treatment area is expected to be completed by mid-March at which point work may begin on 65 acres east of the Manzanita Lake area if conditions allow.
3/5/14 Due to the wet weather, work has temporarily stopped on the project. Contractors will likely resume work early next week, weather dependent. The contractor will start hauling logs via the park road next week and will be working in areas near the road to the Manzanita Lake campground.
4/11/14 Work continues on the NW Gateway Project with the contractors moving into the area adjacent to the Manzanita Lake campground. To ensure the safety of visitors, a temporary area closure is in effect for the area around Manzanita Lake campground and will remain closed while heavy equipment is working in the area. The Manzanita Creek trail is closed for the duration of the work as well.
Mechanical Treatment Strategy
Mechanical Thinning Process
Did You Know?
The reddish color sometimes observed on top of snow at Lassen Volcanic NP snow is a living organism called snow algae. When snow begins to thaw, these microscopic organisms spring to life. They function as a primary food source and are being studied for their cancer-fighting properties.