An area of land that has been thinned to reduce combustible materials and manage potential wildfires off of Buffalo Springs Road in Cle Elum in September 2019. The Nature Conservancy is continuing a forestry project to reduce wildfire risk on Cle Elum Ridge during the coronavirus shutdown.

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Despite the closure of Nature Conservancy lands during the COVID-19 emergency, some essential forestry work is moving forward on Cle Elum Ridge above the towns of Roslyn and Ronald.

A project to reduce fuels and restore forests by masticating, or chewing up underbrush and small trees, is proceeding on approximately 90 acres of TNC-managed property. The conservancy hired Peshastin-based Wildland Home Protection to carry out the project, which is considered “essential business” under state emergency guidelines. The project is designed to create fuel breaks and reduce the threat of wildfire to the communities of Roslyn and Ronald.

The project is a continuation of work that began last fall on Cle Elum Ridge. The overall project is spearheaded by the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition and their many partners with a federal grant to the state Department of Natural Resources for work on private and state land. The work is designed to complement other forest health work on federal land to create a holistic response to the growing threat of fire to communities.

Conservancy-managed forestlands in the Central Cascades region remain closed to public use during the shutdown.


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