Tahoe Donner Association Named Firewise Community® of the Year
Earlier this month, Tahoe Donner Association was named Firewise Community® of the Year by the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County. The recognition was awarded to those who have dedicated their time and energy to help make their communities safer from wildfire.
The Tahoe Donner Forestry Department is dedicated to maintaining the health of the forest within the association’s 7,300-plus acres while minimizing the threat of forest fires. Forester Bill Houdyschell and his team are nationally regarded as leaders in their field. The department manages 477 acres of reforestation and fuel breaks, 618 acres of fuel reduction zones, and 1,344 acres of common area maintaining two thirds for fuel reduction.
With more than 150 fires near Tahoe Donner in the past 40 years, fire safety is a top concern. Tahoe Donner’s Forestry department has implemented forest health education and defensible space inspections on all properties since the South Lake Tahoe Angora Fire in 2007. They continue to provide educational outreach and physical vegetation management services to enable homeowners to achieve and maintain a Firewise condition around their homes.
“A forest is not a static environment,” explains Houdyschell. “We can look at your property and its trees and see what will happen to those trees in 10 to 20 years.”
To help offset costs of fire safety programs, Houdyschell has secured more than $700,000 in federal and state grants since 1990, helping fund management efforts of Tahoe Donner’s forested common areas for community protection and forest health.