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Joint Chiefs’ for Trinity County Watersheds

Overview

The United States Forest Service (USFS) and the NRCS have entered into a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and USFS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds. Reducing forest fuels will provide additional protection for community safety, wildlife habitat, watershed health, recreation opportunities and cultural resources.

The conservation goals and funding priorities for the Joint Chiefs’ for Trinity County Watersheds, also referred to as the “2019 Rural Fire Protection and Forest Management in Trinity County,” is to provide technical and financial assistance for conservation practices that will increase community wildfire protection and assist in the restoration of ecological process on non-industrial private forestland within the identified focus areas. Funding is made available for a 3-year period, fiscal year 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The project area for the “2019 Rural Fire Protection and Forest Management in Trinity County” represents a continuation and expansion of the 2016 Joint Chiefs’ funded “Trinity Community Protection and Landscape Restoration” project and is inclusive of areas in and around new communities including Weaverville, Zenia, Del Loma, Big Bar and Denny, along with the prior focus on the at-risk communities of Hayfork, Hyampom, Wildwood, Ruth and Mad River.

Conservation practices implemented with technical and financial assistance through this Joint Chiefs’ can help to establish a sustainable system of shaded fuelbreaks and strategic fuel treatments across the landscape that would reduce the potential for large, high severity fires. The system of fuelbreaks and fuel management will also benefit habitats, sensitive populations, and watersheds by reducing severe fire disturbances, replacing them with higher frequency, yet lower intensity disturbances. 

The California NRCS State Conservationist has determined that the geographic scope of a Forest Management Plan and nonindustrial private forest land does not include areas within 100 feet from a permitted structure or a greater distance if required by state law, or local ordinance, rule or regulation.

The following sections include the applicable land uses, resource concerns, and conservation practices for the ranking pool.

Land Uses

The descriptions below are the general NRCS land use definitions - applications should fit within, but do not need to exactly match, these descriptions. Below are the applicable land uses for the ranking pool.

  • Forest: Land on which the primary vegetation is tree cover (climax, natural or introduced plant community) and use is primarily for production of wood products or non-timber forest products.
  • Associated Agricultural Lands: Land associated with farms and ranches that are not purposefully managed for food, forage, or fiber and are typically associated with nearby production or conservation lands. This could include incidental areas, such as odd areas, ditches and watercourses, riparian areas, field edges, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and other similar areas.

Resource Concerns

The goal of conservation planning is to help each client attain sustainable use and sound management of soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources, based on related human considerations (SWAPAE+H).  Below is a list of priority resource concerns for the ranking pool.

SWAPAE+H
Resource Concern Category
Resource Concern
Soil
Concentrated Erosion
Bank erosion from streams, shorelines or water conveyance channels
Classic gully erosion
Ephemeral erosion
Wind and Water Erosion
Sheet and rill erosion
Field, Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen Loss
Sediment transported to surface water
Plants
Degraded Plant Condition
Plant productivity and health
Plant structure and composition
Fire Management
Wildfire hazard from biomass accumulation
Animals
Aquatic Habitat
Aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms
Elevated water temperature

Conservation Practices

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through this ranking pool are listed in the below table. For more information about NRCS conservation practices visit the following website link: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/?cid=NRCSDEV11_001020.

Practice Code
Conservation Practice Name
Practice Units
Lifespan (Years)
106
Forest Management Plan – Written
no
1
112
Prescribed Burning Plan – Written
No
1
314
Brush Management
ac
10
315
Herbaceous Weed Treatment
ac
5
327
Conversation Cover
ac
5
338
Prescribed Burning
ac
1
342
Critical Area Planting
ac
10
383
Fuel Break
ac
10
384
Woody Residue Treatment
ac
10
391
Riparian Forest Buffer
ac
15
484
Mulching
ac
1
490
Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
ac
1
612
Tree/Shrub Establishment
ac
15
654
Road/Trail/Landing Closure and Treatment
ft
10
655
Forest Trails and Landings
ft
5
660
Tree/Shrub Pruning
ac
10
666
Forest Stand Improvement
ac
10

Interested Applicants

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation.

Visit https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/  to find the NRCS representative for your county.