Lassen Volcanic National Park Undergoing Forest Restoration Over the Next Few Weeks

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images/John Elk)

The work on the Northwest Gateway Forest Restoration project is continuing at Lassen Volcanic National Park this fall. And, the area will be seeing even more improvements via the Forest Restoration project over the next couple of weeks.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Plans on Treating Hundreds of Acres Including Prescribed Burning in Some Areas

The Lassen Volcanic National Park’s forest restoration project has been part of an ongoing effort that began nearly a decade ago. And, this year, park officials plan on focusing on mechanical treatment plans for around 124 acres which are located around the Lost Creek area. Officials are also applying a prescribed burning technique for 225 acres in the Manzanita Lake area.

“Firefighters will complete prescribed burning on 225 acres west and south of Manzanita Lake Campground as conditions permit,” notes a statement from the Lassen Volcano National Park officials.

“Be prepared for temporary smoke impacts during burn periods,” the statement continues.

The Lassen park officials continue to note that reducing fuels in the area and restoring the forest’s overall health will help reduce wildfire risks in the developed part of the national park.

“This project addresses an immediate need to re-establish fire-adapted forests within the popular Northwest Gateway area,” notes the park’s Superintendent Jim Richardson.

“Areas treated by similar fuel reduction activities helped to moderate effects of the 2021 Dixie Fire within Lassen Volcanic,” Richardson explains. “While effects in untreated forests were notably more severe.”

The Restoration Equipment May Be Visible To Park-Goers During The Two-Park Process

Officials at the Lassen Volcanic National Park note that the equipment used for these restorations may be visible to parkgoers during the next few weeks. According to the website, this stage of the process “includes removing live understory and ladder fuels identified by a prescription for each unit. The contractor will rehabilitate all work areas once fuel removal is complete.”

However, it will all be worth it, officials note. This is simply part of the two-part process. Later, the officials and firefighters will be applying the prescribed fire to try and maintain forest health.

The overall goal of this prescribed fire treatment strategy is to “re-establish a [fire-adapted] forest landscape by restoring a more resilient, diverse forest structure,” the National Parks Service notes.

“Specifically, the treatment will maintain a multi-aged forest with significant old-growth elements, promote a more varied stand structure,” the explanation continues. “And stand species diversity, and restore and protect wildlife habitat.