SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities (Tahoe Network) continues to educate and empower Tahoe residents in its second year of operation. The omnipresence of wildfire in California and Nevada has led to a general awareness of wildfire risk, but knowledge of fire behavior is less widespread. Helping people understand embers – how they ignite materials which can lead to home destruction, and how to prevent such events, is a priority for the program.
Embers are the greatest catalyst to home ignition during wildfire. They can be lofted to the sky and travel miles from the front of a fire, igniting the plants, debris, and trees they land on. These fuel sources can spread fire to homes if not managed properly. Managing the defensible space on properties out to 100 feet is one way to reduce your risk to embers. Because many properties in Tahoe don’t typically extend 100 feet out from a house, talking to your neighbors about defensible space is imperative. The Tahoe Network seeks to connect neighbors and bring defensible space to the community level, creating neighborhood-wide defensible space and wildfire preparedness.
“Even with the best efforts of fire resources; numerous homes are lost within the wildland urban interface due to catastrophic wildfire,” –Michael Schwartz, North Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Chief “Having defensible space should be a priority for homeowners and renters for several reasons. Defensible space not only keeps your home safe from wildfire, but also your neighbor’s home safe. Additionally, defensible space is significant for the protection of firefighters defending your home.”
Involved Tahoe residents are a key component to the success of the Tahoe Network. All residents of the Lake Tahoe Basin are encouraged to step up, become leaders, and help prepare their neighborhoods for wildfire. Neighborhood leaders work with community coordinators and fire district personnel, sharing information with neighbors about ember vulnerabilities and defensible space, hosting workshops, and celebrating the work being done. Empowering Tahoe residents to stand with confidence in the face of wildland fire is one of the fundamental outcomes of the program.
The Tahoe Network has myriad landscaping resources to help you incorporate defensible space into your property, as well as vetted lists of contractors who can do the work. Additionally, local fire protection districts provide free defensible space evaluations and chipping services. Please contact your local fire protection district or our community coordinator for more information.
The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities program is part of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team, and aims to raise wildfire awareness and empower residents to take action to reduce their wildfire risk. For more information on Fire Adapted Communities and how you can help protect your home and community from wildfire, please contact our community coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org 530.543.1501 ext. 114
The early storm event that began on January 7 with over 5 inches of rain in some regions of the Lake Tahoe Basin before turning to snow, delivered a massive amount of runoff to the Lake in a short period of time. During this storm event the Tahoe RCD Stormwater Monitoring Program measured the highest flows ever recorded at all eight monitoring locations since monitoring began in 2013. Our Tahoe Valley site, located off Tahoe Keys Blvd, measured 1.5 million cubic feet of flow, nearly 90% of the flow that was observed throughout the whole 2016 water year!
The Tahoe RCD monitors urban stormwater runoff around the Lake Tahoe Basin, providing the science that helps guide stormwater managers in environmental improvement project design and informs them if projects and management strategies have been successful in reducing pollutant loading to Lake Tahoe. Each stormwater sample is analyzed for fine sediment particles (FSP), nitrogen, and phosphorus to estimate nutrient and sediment loading from urban stormwater runoff. This last storm produced over 18 million gallons of runoff just from the sites we monitor alone. All data collected throughout a “water year”, October to September, is compiled into an annual monitoring report, given to stormwater managers and posted on the Tahoe RCD website. With successful implementation of environmental improvement projects that promote infiltration of runoff before it gets discharged to the lake, we have had the pleasure of retiring two of our urban stormwater monitoring sites as we saw significant reductions in pollutant loading from these locations.
The Stormwater Monitoring Program is continuously looking for ways to improve stormwater monitoring efforts. New for the 2017 monitoring season, the majority of our sites were outfitted with remote monitoring equipment, allowing us to monitor these sites with smartphones. The new remotely accessible equipment effectively allows our team to view what is happening at our monitoring sites in real time, and determine the best way to manage each individual site during storm events. Our scientific monitoring team is deployed in the most inclement of weather, because good science doesn’t take a break. The severity of this recent storm brought downed trees, dangerous road conditions, and a wealth of water. However, with these remote monitoring systems in place, our team was able to monitor all of our sites without making extensive trips into the field from the safety and comfort of our homes. This new remote technology allows for more reliable data management and easier data reporting.
The Landscape Conservation Program is seeking input from past participants of the program in order to continue to serve the community with high quality services into the future.
If you have received services through the the Landscape Conservation Program in the past, we please ask that you take 5 minutes of your time to fill out the online survey at the link below.
Your feedback is highly valued and is integral to the continued development of the program. We thank all that participated this summer for for another great field season.
Homeowners, contractors, and consultants can submit plans for small BMP Retrofit proposals that disturb less than 7 cubic yards and get an approval online.
If any of the following conditions apply to the proposed BMP installation then a BMP Retrofit Permit applicationor another TRPA application may be necessary and the project will NOT be eligible for a Small BMP Retrofit Plan approval.
• Engineered structures, such as retaining walls over 3 feet
• Extensive grade alterations
• Infiltration systems capturing runoff from areas greater than 2,500 square feet
• Excavation of over 5 feet
• Subsurface conveyance systems (piping) and drop inlets
• More than 7 cubic yards of grading
Applicants should be prepared to submit 3 items through the TRPA Citizen Access Database for a quick and easy paperless process. No trips to the TRPA offices!
Required Three Items
1. Site Plan that includes:
• Parcel Boundaries
• Map scale (if applicable) and north arrow
• Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) and property address
• Location and label for all BMPs to be implemented
• Existing coverage (building footprint, driveway, walkways) and stormwater flow lines
• Locations of stream environment zones (SEZ), if present
2. BMP Treatments Form
Standard Conditions for applicants using the Small BMP Retrofit plan
- Approval of the type, sizing, and location of BMPs is based upon the reviewer’s assumption that the applicant has accurately and completely measured impervious areas contributing to infiltration systems.
- All areas displaying erosion or bare soil must be noted on the site plan and re-vegetated or otherwise stabilized. Vehicular access must be limited to paved areas in order for a parcel to be eligible for Certificate of Completion of BMPs. Parking barriers may be necessary in order to be compliant with this requirement.
- Small BMP Retrofit plans are not a verification of land coverage, land capability, or use, nor are they a conceptual approval of any future project. Land coverage cannot be verified, transferred or banked through a Small BMP Retrofit plans. These verifications require the submittal of a separate application to TRPA for review and approval.
How to Design and Install BMPs for Residences and Small Businesses
Choose from two workshops:
Half-Day Refresher Workshop on April 29 at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market Street, Stateline, Nevada for those who have completed the Basic or Refresher Workshop within the past two years. Registration fee includes the 2012 NRCS Standard Drawings Booklet, workshop materials and refreshments.
Full-day Basic Best Management Practices (BMP) Workshop on April 24 at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences on the campus of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada. Registration fee includes the 2012 NRCS Standard Drawings Booklet, workshop materials and refreshments. Lunch is on your own.
Whether you attend on April 24 or April 29, you will:
Find out how construction and landscaping activities can contribute to water pollution in Lake Tahoe and how to interpret a BMP Site Evaluation to install BMPs as required by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Become familiar with new developments in the BMP Retrofit Program at Lake Tahoe.
BMP Workshop Topics for 2015:
- How to use TRPA’s online resources.
- New electronic approval for small BMP retrofit design.
- Commercial and multi-family residential BMP permits and maintenance.
- How to qualify your business for the 2015 BMP Installation Service Providers List. Attendance by at least one supervisor per business is required.
Space is limited, so register early. For specific workshop questions, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 775-336-0244.
After you register, please visit Pre-class reading. Much of the content of the BMP workshops involves interpretation of a BMP Site Evaluation given to homeowners. Please familiarize yourself with the general content of all four components of this site evaluation: Recommended treatments, Site plan, Attachment 1 and BMP Treatment Descriptions. See also the new forms for electronic approval of your design.
Register by Mail:
Send registration form and check payable to “Board of Regents” to University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 4955 Energy Way, Reno, NV 89502. Call 775-336-0244 if you have questions.
To ensure adequate seating, class materials and refreshments, please register in advance online or by mail. Walk-in registrants will be assessed a higher class fee of $55 for the Basic Workshop and $45 for the Refresher Workshop.
Cancellations after April 13, 2015, may receive a partial refund (minus the cost of refreshments). Registrants who do not cancel and do not attend will not be eligible for a refund. Persons in need of special accomodations or assistance must contact Ashley Andrews, email@example.com, at least three days prior to the scheduled workshop. Cooperative Extension is an EEO/AA institution.
BMP Workshop Quick Links:
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