California's Stanislaus National Forest to sell 2.15 mmbf of salvage timber from Rim Fire burn area under Raker Act to expedite salvage sales, announces plans to modify existing timber and stewardship contracts by adding hazard trees

SONORA, California , September 26, 2013 (press release) – The Stanislaus NF announces the sale of 2.15 million board feet of salvage timber from the Rim Fire burn area authorized under the Raker Act which will help expedite emergency hazard tree salvage sales. The sale area contains hazard trees cut in road and utility rights of way to provide for safety of the personnel working on rehabilitation efforts, including the Burned Area Emergency Response team and the employees of the County and City of San Francisco working with the Hetch Hetchy water and power system.

Next steps will be to work with other cooperators such as PG&E and CalTrans to remove hazard trees from their facilities. The Forest will then start to remove hazard trees along main forest roads within the fire area. The Forest also plans to modify existing timber and stewardship contracts to add hazard trees to those contracts.

The Rim Fire burned about 154,000 acres on the Stanislaus NF. Moving beyond hazard tree removal, site specific analysis, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, is now beginning to identify burned areas that are accessible by logging equipment and have enough merchantable volume to make salvage operations feasible. Dead standing trees must be harvested within 18 to 24 months of the fire to be useful for lumber. Trees less than 16 inches in diameter and those left standing longer than 18 to 24 months usually deteriorate quickly in value.

As of September 25, the Rim Fire has burned a total of 257,134 acres and is 84 percent contained. The rain that occurred over the fire Saturday did not cause any erosion problems in the burned area.

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