Due to the dense vegetation and dry brush throughout much of the landscape, the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding forested areas face a higher risk of wildfires. Vegetation management is a critical part of Liberty’s wildfire mitigation efforts in the Tahoe region.
Liberty is proud to work with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to implement a resiliency corridor project. This project involves identifying and removing trees and other vegetation that may pose a risk to electrical infrastructure on USFS land. “The importance of removing trees from forested stands and removing ground fuels is to mitigate the risk of wildland fires,” said Victor Lyon of the Vegetation Management Staff Office for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the USFS.
In addition to identifying and removing vegetation that may pose a risk to infrastructure, efforts were expanded to focus on forest and habitat health. “In addition to reducing fuels, we are helping to maintain forest health along the power lines that exist on US Forest Service land,” said Mila Bock, Program Coordinator for the NFF in the Tahoe area. “We’re reducing the overcrowding components of the forest in proximity to the power lines.”
As a part of Liberty’s year-round vegetation management program, crews inspect, prune, and remove trees and other vegetation to maintain power line clearance. This is essential to providing safe and reliable electric service to Liberty’s customers in the Tahoe region. But by working with the USFS and the NFF, Liberty is also able to consider the more widespread benefits of this work. “The collaboration between Liberty, the US Forest Service, and NFF is really unique because we’re able to do our regular utility maintenance work and, instead of only focusing on that corridor, we’re able to also incorporate the bigger picture and think about forest health and fire risk reduction in and around our power lines,” said Dawnne Hirt, System Arborist for Liberty.
Liberty is grateful to work with the USFS and the NFF on this project to reduce the risk of wildfire by maintaining clearance around electrical infrastructure, reducing fuels, and increasing forest health. To learn more about Liberty’s vegetation management efforts, please visit libertyenergyandwater.com.