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Court upholds Los Padres National Forest's Tecuya project

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Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-11 15:00:00-05

The Tecuya Ridge Shaded Fuelbreak project in Los Padres National Forest’s, Mt. Pinos Ranger District was cleared to proceed after U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips on Dec. 5 ruled against a lawsuit.

The lawsuit was brought by Los Padres ForestWatch, Earth Island Institute, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

The court affirmed that the proposed thinning and fuels reduction work was consistent with the Forest Service’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule and issued a decision in favor of the Forest Service and the defendant-intervenors.

Tied up in federal litigation for the last three years, USDA officials say the Tecuya Ridge Shaded Fuelbreak Project will create safe and effective locations for wildland firefighters to safely perform fire suppression operations and reduce the potential for the loss of life and property.

Shaded fuel breaks help to slow the spread of a wildfire and provide a buffer between developed areas and wildlands. The project includes timber stand improvements such as thinning that reduces unhealthy stand densities and increases the forest’s resilience to insects, disease, and drought.

The project consists of 1,626 acres along Tecuya Mountain above the communities of Lebec, Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods, Pine Mountain Club, and Pinon Pine Estates. This project was developed to be consistent with the Mt. Pinos Community Wildfire Protection Plan and was identified in Forest’s Strategic Fuelbreak Assessment analysis as a priority for wildfire mitigation treatments.

The implementation of this project will begin in 2023.

For more information about Los Padres National Forest, please click here.