Forest Improvement Program

During the Comstock mining era in the 1800s, people clear-cut much of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s forestland to provide wood for settlements and mining operations. Among the trees cut were a majority of the old growth stands in the Basin, many as old as 300-400 years. The removal of so many trees in a short period of time resulted in the re-growth of forests into dense, even-aged stands. Subsequently, fire suppression, intended to protect development in the Basin and throughout the Sierra Nevada, further increased forest density and compromised natural forest processes. Today, forests at Lake Tahoe are less structurally-diverse, less resilient to stress, more prone to catastrophic fire, and support a more narrow range of plant and wildlife species than forests of the past.

The Conservancy’s Forest Improvement Program is guided by the following objectives, as adopted by the Conservancy Board in 2015:

a. Sustain adaptive and resilient forests
b. Restore forest species mixture and structure
c. Reduce hazardous fuels
d. Protect wildlife, wetlands, and sensitive areas
e. Reduce insect and disease outbreaks
f. Accelerate restoration following catastrophic events
g. Remove hazard trees

View the Conservancy’s Forest Improvement Guidelines (PDF)

View the 2019 Lake Tahoe Basin Forest Action Plan (PDF)

2021 Update to the Lake Tahoe Basin Forest Action Plan (PDF)

Managing Forest Health and Wildfire Risk on Conservancy Lands (PDF)