Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report (VTPEIR)


Additional Public Review Period for Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report (VTPEIR)

The Board received significant interest during the December 3, 2012 to February 25, 2013 public review period.   The Board will provide an extended opportunity for the public to provide the Board comments on the Draft VTPEIR. The extended comment public comment period will run from March 8, 2013 to April 8, 2013. Comments should continue to be sent to either the email address provided below, or by mail to the contact person and address also provided below.




The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has completed the Draft Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report (VTPEIR). The Draft VTPEIR is being provided for public review and comment from December 3, 2012 to February 25, 2013. If you wish to submit written comments please send them to VegetationTreatment@fire.ca.gov

The purpose of an EIR is to provide the public with information about whether a specific project (or in this case a Program of projects) might cause a significant effect to the environment. Describing the environmental consequences of a program across a landscape of the scale being proposed is neither an easy task nor is it possible to describe in a few pages. The authors have strived to balance completeness with brevity so as not to overwhelm the reader with a product so imposing that few will bother to review the document. Nonetheless, this Programmatic EIR is over 1,000 pages not counting the appendices.

Because of the challenge to reviewing a document of this size, we provide the following guide to using the document.

A “quick” summary of the proposed program, the alternatives to the program and the environmental consequences of both the program and the alternatives can be gained by reviewing the Executive Summary. If the reader is interested in the purpose and need for the program as well as the regulatory framework under which the program would operate you should read Chapter 1. Most readers will want to review Chapters 2 and 3, which provide a detailed description of the program and detailed descriptions of the alternatives. Chapter 4 describes the 38,000,000 acres of mostly private land that might be treated across the 100,000,000 acres of the State of California. Generally all non-federal forest, range and grasslands might be treated.

Chapters 5 and 6 are the analytical portion of the document. Chapter 5 describes the environmental consequences that result directly from the implementation of the Cal-Fire Vegetation Treatment Program. Chapter 5 is the longest chapter and is broken into seventeen subchapters, generally one subchapter per resource area such as air quality, water quality, noise, etc. Subchapters for Chapters 4 and 5 have identical sections for each resource area addressed in the EIR.

Readers interested in the cumulative effects of treatment programs being implemented by all land managers should definitely review Chapter 6.

Chapter 7 describes how the program would be monitored. Chapter 7 is particularly important for readers wishing to understand how the project proponents would ensure that the mitigation measures described in chapter 5 are tracked through time. Chapter 8 describes the environmental checklist that will be filled out before a project could be approved and implemented. Chapter 9 describes how public concerns were incorporated into program and alternative design. Chapter 10 provides a list of those who worked on preparation of the VTPEIR.

If you need further information on the Draft VTPEIR the Contact Person is:

Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
George Gentry, Executive Officer
Phone: (916) 653-8007
Email: george.gentry@fire.ca.gov

Below is the list of files that can be downloaded from the site.  On this list the Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report is referred to as the VTPEIR.

GENERAL:

INDIVIDUAL CHAPTERS AND SUBCHAPTER:

  • Chapters 1-3
    • Chapter 1 - Introduction
    • Chapter 2 - Proposed Program
    • Chapter 3 – Alternatives
  • Chapter 4 – Environmental Setting
      • Subchapter 4.1 – Regional Setting – Bioregion Overview
        • 4.1.1 – Introduction
        • 4.1.2 – Land Management on Forest and Rangelands
        • 4.1.3 – Range Settings
        • 4.1.4 – Environmental Factors on Rangeland
        • 4.1.5 -  Economic Importance
        • 4.1.6 -  Forest Setting
        • 4.1.7 – Bioregion Overview
      • Subchapter 4.2 – Wildfire Trends
        • 4.2.1 -  Introduction
        • 4.2.2. - Wildfire Trends
        • 4.2.3 – Wildland Fire Economics
        • 4.2.4 – Characterizing Wildfire
        • 4.2.5 – Environmental Trends
        • 4.2.6 – Assets at Risk
        • 4.2.7 – Regulatory Environment
        • 4.2.8 - Highly Sensitive Ecological and Urban Interface Area
        • 4.2.9 - California Fire Plan and possible VTP emphasis
      • Subchapter 4.3 – (Reserved for Future Use)
      • Subchapter 4.4 – Climate Change
        • 4.4.1 – Introduction
        • 4.4.2 – Sources of Co2 Emissions in California
        • 4.4.3 – Environmental Effects from Climate Change
        • 4.4.4 - California’s Regulatory Framework in Response to the Challenge of Climate Change
        • 4.4.4 – Forest Conservation, Forest Conservation and Restoration
        • 4.4.6 – Summary
      • Subchapter 4.5 Biological Resources – Bioregional Summary
      • Subchapter 4.6 Air Quality Setting
        • 4.6.1 – Introduction
        • 4.6.2 – Regulatory Framework
        • 4.6.3 – Pollutants of Concern
        • 4.6.4 – Sources of Pollutants
        • 4.6.5 – Management
        • 4.6.6 – Visibility
        • 4.6.7 – Emission Reduction
        • 4.6.8 – Smoke Management
        • 4.6.9 - California Climate and Meteorology 
      • Subchapter 4.7 Water Resources and Water Quality
        • 4.7.1 – Introduction
        • 4.7.2 – Regulatory Framework
        • 4.7.3 – Background on Watershed Condition and Geomorphology
        • 4.7.4 – Setting for Water Resources and Water Quality
        • 4.7.5 – Impaired Water Bodies
        • 4.7.6 – Hydrologic Regions
      • Subchapter 4.8 Archaeological, Cultural, and Historic Resources
        • 4.8.1 – Introduction
        • 4.8.2 – Regulatory Framework
        • 4.8.3 – Prehistoric Background
        • 4.8.4 – Ethnographic Background
        • 4.8.5 – Historic Background
      • Subchapter 4.9 Population, Employment and Housing
        • 4.9.1 – Introduction
        • 4.9.2 – Population Growth and Extent
        • 4.9.3 – Population Projections
        • 4.9.4 – Housing Issues and Trends
        • 4.9.5 – Employment
      • Subchapter 4.10 Transportation and Traffic
        • 4.10.1 - Introduction
        • 4.10.2 - Responsible Agencies
        • 4.10.3 - Transportation Setting
        • 4.10.4 - Environmental Issues
      • Subchapter 4.11 Utilities and Energy
        • 4.11.1 – Introduction
        • 4.11.2 – Regulatory Framework
        • 4.11.3 – Electricity – Transmission Lines
        • 4.11.4 – Water Infrastructure
        • 4.11.5 – Energy Production and Use
        • 4.11.6 - Forest and Range Related Energy Industry Structure
      • Subchapter 4.12 Noise
        • 4.12.1 – Introduction
        • 4.12.2 – Background on Environmental Noise
        • 4.12.3 – Regulatory Setting
        • 4.12.4 – Regulatory Settin4.12.4 - Regional Setting and Existing Conditions
      • Subchapter 4.13 Visual Resources
        • 4.13.1 – Introduction
        • 4.13.2 – Background
        • 4.13.3 – Setting
      • Subchapter 4.14 Recreation
        • 4.14.1 – Introduction
        • 4.14.2 – Extent of Area Available for Recreation
        • 4.14.3 – Use of Recreational Areas
        • 4.14.4 – Description of Recreation Provided by Land Ownership
      • Subchapter 4.15 Geologic Hazards and Soils
        • 4.15.1 – Introduction
        • 4.15.2 – Geology
        • 4.15.3 – Landslide Hazards
        • 4.15.4 – California Paleontology
        • 4.15.5 – Soils
        • 4.15.6 – Soil Loss
      • Subchapter 4.16 Hazardous Materials and Other Concerns
        • 4.16.1 – Introduction
        • 4.16.2 – Hazardous Materials
        • 4.16.3 - Worker Safety and Environmental Toxicity of Hazardous Materials
        • 4.16.4 – Other Concerns
      • Subchapter 4.17 Herbicides
        • 4.17.1. – Introduction
        • 4.17.2 – Regulatory Framework
        • 4.17.3 – Forest and Rangeland Herbicide Use
        • 4.17.4 - Prevalent Public Issues Relating to Herbicide Application
        • 4.17.5 - Adjuvants, Diluents, Marker Dyes, and Other Colorants
        • 4.17.6 - Forestry and Rangeland Herbicides in Native Plants – Drift
        • 4.17.7 - Current Forestry and Rangeland Vegetation Management Herbicide Use
        • 4.17.8 – Bioregion Summary
        • 4.17.9 - Herbicide Use on Federal Forest and Range Lands
  • Chapter 5 Environmental Analysis and Mitigation
      • Subchapter 5.2 -  Effects of Program/Alternatives on Wildfire Severity and Extent
        • 5.2.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.2.2 – Determination of Threshold
        • 5.2.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.2.4 -  Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions From Implementing the Program/Alternative
        • 5.2.5 - Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.2.6 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.2.7 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
      • Subchapter 5.3 ( Hold for Future Use)
      • Subchapter 5.4 Response of Program/Alternatives to Climate Change
        • 5.4.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.4.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.4.3.- Data and Assumption
        • 5.4.4 - Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions From Implementing the Program and Alternatives
        • 5.4.5 – Indirect Effect of Implementing Program Alternatives
        • 5.4.6 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.4.7 – Similar Effect Described Elsewhere
      • Subchapter 5.5 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Biologic Resources
      • Subchapter 5.6 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Air Quality
        • 5.6.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.6.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.6.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.6.4 - Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions From Implementing the Program/ Alternatives 
        • 5.6.5 - Bioregion Specific Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/ Alternatives
        • 5.6.6 -  Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.6.7 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.6.8 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.6.9 – Mitigation Measures for the Described Program
      • Subchapter 5.7 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Water Resources
        • 5.7.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.7.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.7.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.7.4 - Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.7.5 - Bioregion Specific Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/ Alternatives on Water Quality
        • 5.7.6 - Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives on Water Quality
        • 5.7.7 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.7.8 – Determination Regarding Water Quality
        • 5.7.9 – Mitigation Measures for the Proposed Program
      • Subchapter 5.8 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Prehistoric, Historic, Ethnographic, & Paleontological Resources
        • 5.8.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.8.2 – Determination of Threshold
        • 5.8.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.8.4 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions From Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.8.5 – Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.8.6 – Determination of Significance
      • Subchapter 5.9 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Population & Housing
        • 5.9.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.9.2 – Determination of Threshold
        • 5.9.3 – Data and Assumption
        • 5.9.4 – Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.9.5 – Determination Regarding Population & Housing
      • Subchapter 5.10 Effects of Program/Alternative Implementation on Transportation – Traffic
        • 5.10.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.10.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.10.3 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.10.4 – Bioregion Specific Direct Effects of Implement the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.10.5 – Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.10.6 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.10.7 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.10.8 – Mitigation Measures for the Project
      • Subchapter 5.11 Effects of Implementing Program/Alternative on Utilities – Energy
        • 5.11.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.11.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.11.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.11.4 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.11.5 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.11.6 – Mitigation Measures for the Project
      • Subchapter 5.12 Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives on Noise
        • 5.12.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.12.2 – Determination of Threshold
        • 5.12.3 – Data and Assumption
        • 5.12.4 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternative
        • 5.12.5 – Bioregion – Specific Effects from Implementing the Program Alternatives
        • 5.12.6 – Indirect Effects of Implementing Program/Alternative
        • 5.12.7 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.12.8 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.12.9 – Mitigation Measures for the Proposed Project
      • Subchapter 5.13 Effect of Implementing the Program/Alternatives on Visual/Aesthetics
        • 5.13.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.13.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.13.3 – Data and Assumption
        • 5.13.4 – Direct and Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.13.5 – Effects of Alternative
        • 5.13.6 – Determinations Regarding Visual/Aesthetics
      • Subchapter 5.14 Effects of Program/Alternative on Recreation
        • 5.14.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.14.2 – Methodology
        • 5.14.3 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.14.4 -  Data and Assumptions
        • 5.14.5 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.14.6 – Bioregion- Specific Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.14.7 – Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.14.8 -  Bioregion – Specific Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.14.9 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.14.10 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.14.11 – Mitigation Measures for the Proposed Project
      • Subchapter 5.15 Effect of Program/Alternatives on Geology & Soils
        • 5.15.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.15.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.15.3 – Methodology
        • 5.15.4 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.15.5 – Bioregion Specific Direct Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternative
        • 5.15.6 – Indirect Effects of Implementing the Program/Alternative
        • 5.15.7 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.15.8 – Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.15.9 – Mitigation Measures for the Proposed Project
      • Subchapter 5.16 Effects of Program/Alternatives Related to Hazardous Materials
        • 5.16.1 – Significance Criteria
        • 5.16.2 – Determination Threshold
        • 5.16.3 – Data and Assumptions
        • 5.16.4 – Direct Effects Common to all Bioregions from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.16.5 – Bioregion Specific – Direct Effects from Implementing the Program/Alternatives
        • 5.16.6 – Determination of Significance
        • 5.16.7- Similar Effects Described Elsewhere
        • 5.16.8 – Mitigation Measures for the Proposed Project
      • Subchapter 5.17 Effects of Programs/Alternatives Associated with Herbicides
        • 5.17.1 – Chemical Use Considerations for the Proposed Program/Alternatives.
        • 5.17.2 – Direct Effects of Implementing the Proposed Program/Alternative
        • 5.17.3 – Indirect Effects of Implementing the Proposed Program/Alternative
        • 5.17.4 – Uncertainties and Unknowns
        • 5.17.5 – Effects in Relation to Proposed Program
        • 5.17.6 – Effects from Off-Program Herbicide Application
        • 5.17.7 – Disposal of Chemicals
        • 5.17.8 – Approval Process for Future Chemicals
        • 5.17.9 – Summary of Effects
        • 5.17.10 – Significance Determination
        • 5.17.11-  Mitigation Measures for Proposed Project
      • Subchapter 5.18 - 5.20  Significant Effects that Cannot be Avoided (CCR 15126.2(b))
        • Subchapter 5.19  Significant Irreversible Environmental Changes (CCR 15126.2(c))
        • Subchapter 5.20  Growth Inducing Impacts (CCR 15126.2(d))
      • Literature Cited

Appendices

 Glossary