Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Dog Forest Thinning Project - Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows

Editor's Note:  One of my office neighbors is Kevin Whitlock (a registered professional forester). Being that my wife's congressional job has her endlessly dealing with the forest service and with recent catastrophic fires in California, Kevin and I talk regularly about forest health and forest management. For over 25 years and a Nevada County native, Kevin has been providing natural resource consulting, training, and project management to domestic and international clients in areas of ecological, economical and socially responsible forest management, agro-forestry and agriculture.

Examples of Kevin's projects completed:
*Forest Management - Squaw Valley Resort, Olympic Valley, CA
*Agriculture Economist - Forestry Concessions - USAID GEMS - Monrovia, Liberia
*Timberland Acquisition Pro-forma Analysis – The Nature Conservancy
*Benchmarking Timberland REIT Forest Manager - Poyry Management Consulting (NZ) Limited
*Vendor Due Diligence Support for IPO - Poyry Management Consulting (NZ) Limited
*18 MM Ac. GIS Biomass Analysis - North Sierra Biomass Initiative, Sierra Business Council
*Technical Expert - Biomass, United Nations Development Project, Tbilisis, Georgia
*Natural Resource Poverty Reduction Project – Management and Marketing Advisor, World Bank, Republic of Armenia
*Forest Management – Independence Lake Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Reno, NV
*Carbon Inventory - The North Fork Association, The Cedars, CA
*Bio-fuels Wood Pellet Manufacturing Business Plan, SEDCorp. Loyalton, CA
*Smallholder Timber Production & Marking Specialist – Winrock International – Technical Assistance Program - ICRAF, World Agroforestry Center, Bogor, Indonesia
*Secondary Wood Processing Feasibility Analysis - Farmer to Farmer - USAID Project, Guinea West Africa
*Advisor - Natural Resource Management, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Forestales (ESNACIFOR) – Farmer to Farmer - USAID Project, Siguatepeque, Comayagua Region - Honduras, Central America
*Japanese Lumber Market Analysis – USAID Project, Forest Line, Onor, Sakhalin Region, Russia

Kevin has been a wonderful source of information about our California forests. Because we have both worked extensively in Russia, we have some wonderful times discussing the backwardness of Russia too!

Below is a video from Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows detailing the Red Dog Forest Thinning Project which Kevin managed. While the video describes the Red Dog Forest Project, Kevin describes the problem that we, as Californians, face between stopping forest fires and consequently as a result taking on the responsibility of properly managing our forests. The Red Dog Forest Thinning Project is a wonderful example of proper forest management.

"Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows conducted a month-long, ecological forest thinning project at Squaw Valley in November 2014. More than 5,000 dead or diseased trees were removed from the Red Dog region of the lower mountain in an effort to improve the natural habitat, reduce the risk of wildfire, and provide unprecedented access to tree skiing and riding in the targeted area."

As a result of the project, skiers and riders can expect nearly 100 acres of enhanced skiable terrain this season in the Red Dog region. The terrain, rated upper-intermediate to expert, will include three newly designated glade areas - Red Dog Glades, Paris Glades and Heidi’s Glades- as well as a new connector trail on Champs Elysees that will eliminate the current lengthy traverse."

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