Forest Service eyes plan for Incline Lake

The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) has issued a draft decision for management of 1,083 acres of National Forest System lands off the Mt. Rose Highway (SR 431) above Incline Village, Nev. The draft decision incorporates Alternative 2

“The Incline Plan is a huge step toward improving National Forest recreation opportunities and public access on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe,” said Jeff Marsolais, LTBMU Forest Supervisor, in a press release. “I am confident this plan provides for restoration of this important ecosystem as well as sustainable recreational benefits for current and futures generations in the Incline area.”

Project-specific activities in the draft decision includes a series of management actions related to roads and trails projects, hydrology and habitat restoration and vegetation management activities. The project also proposes a Forest Plan amendment to modify a portion of the project area from a general conservation management area to a back-country management area.

Project-specific roads and trails proposals include adopting and rerouting of existing trails; replacing and/or upgrading road and trail stream crossings; installing Best Management Practices (BMPs), interpretive and wayfinding signs; creating a new trail near the former Incline Lake bed and resource protection barriers.

Restoration activities would include removing the dam diversion ditch that connects Third Creek to the former Incline Lake bed; restoring stream channels and aquatic species habitat throughout the area; revegetating degraded areas with native vegetation species; restoring damaged wetlands, which resulted from previous water diversion activities; repairing erosion along the Franktown Ditch; developing a plan for future white bark pine management; and reducing tree density in meadow and wetland areas through forest thinning and restoration of aspen communities.

The purpose of the Forest Plan amendment is to change the management area designation of approximately 400 acres of the project area (west of Third Creek) from general conservation (general forest) to back country.

The draft Decision Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact is available at fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/InclineMgmt.