Site CleanUp – Who’s Responsible – The Forest Service or Me?

Going up soon to do some defensible space work around the cabin? Here is a question we recently received in the outreach network:

Q: What about thinning and cleaning up around our cabin tracts? Is that the responsibility of the Forest Service? 

A: Yes and no.

Per our special use permits, each permit holder is responsible for removing brush and hazard trees on their cabin lot. This should be in your Forest Service approved Operating Plan. If a tree is deemed unsafe, the Forest Service will mark the tree, and you are required to take it down. In California, per the FS R5 Special Uses Handbook, permit holders are responsible for identification and removal of trees hazardous to their improvements, whether or not the trees are located on their lot. Beyond your lot and between lots, USFS has responsibility, but much depends on their priority thinning projects.

For more about Forest Service responsibilities, how to prepare your cabin tract for fire and other ideas for working with or monitoring upcoming fuel reduction projects, see Ask the Community for a discussion.

Desiree La Maggiore

Field Director, National Forest Homeowners
President, Salt Creek Summer Homesites, Shasta-Trinity NF