California HCD Fuel Break Expansion
HELIX is currently providing Section 106 and CEQA/NEPA services, including preparation of the appropriate environmental review documents and supporting technical studies, in coordination with California Housing and Community Development (CA HCD), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as project partners. The proposed project, which is being administered by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, involves development of seven fuel breaks in Tuolumne County under the Forest and Watershed Health aspect of the Community and Watershed Resilience Program. The fuel breaks extend through both public and private lands, including USFS and BLM lands.
Cultural resources studies include Section 106 compliance with Stanislaus National Forest (SNF) as the lead agency, and CEQA compliance with CA HCD as the lead agency. Project activities under SNF oversight include developing a project Area of Potential Effect (APE); receiving an Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) permit; conducting intensive pedestrian surveys of fuel breaks totaling almost 2,000 acres; documenting resources on SNF forms; conducting National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) evaluations, developing avoidance and minimization strategies for at-risk cultural resources, and producing a comprehensive Cultural Resources Inventory Report.