The Lakeface-Lamb Forest Stewardship Project was centered in a wildland/urban interface on the southwest shore of PriestLake in north Idaho. Forest Restoration activities took place on federal lands that surround residential and commercial properties. The project area covered approximately 7200 acres with restoration activities taking place on over 1600 of those acres. Intermingled in this area are 2000 acres of private land.
The Project sought to address the problems typically encountered in our western forests where there is increasing development on nearby land: declining forest health leading to fuels buildup that increases the chances of catastrophic wildfires, a decrease in availability of wildlife habitat, and the introduction of non-native, invasive and sometimes noxious plant species.
In February of 2002, Priest River Development Corporation (PRDC) and their Stewardship Advisory Committee were awarded the Lakeface-Lamb Stewardship Project. The 7 person advisory committee implemented this project since the beginning. PRDC and the Stewardship Committee became the first non-profit organization to work on a federal land Stewardship contract in the nation. In 2005 the Stewardship Committee formally formed as a 501 (c) 3 group called the Priest Community Forest Connection.
As the Lakeface-Lamb project progressed, pride in the community, an improvement in our economy, and a deeper understanding of the surrounding forests all greatly increased. Local businesses and contractors, the localSchool District, several government agencies and many individuals have become involved in this unique collaborative partnership.
Of special mention is the all-volunteer citizen group called the Lakeface-Lamb Monitoring Committee. This group spent 5 ½ years monitoring all aspects of the project and giving their feedback to the Forest Service and to PCFC.
Specific restoration efforts have improved the environmental health of our forests, rivers and lakes. The “mandatory” contract activities of the Lakeface-Lamb project included:
- Mechanical Piling
- Fire Line Construction
- Burning ( slash and hand piles and underburning)
- Leave Tree Protection (2700 trees
There were also number of “optional” contract activities. That means that they may be achieved (depending on time, money, etc.) but were not required. These activities included:
ATV Trail Obliteration
White Pine Pruning
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES were added to the contract due to restoration needs and the continued collaboration between the Forest Service, PCFC and the public at large:
Additional Road Obliterations
Hazard Tree Removal
Roadside Brush/Slash Removal
Lakeshore Road Realignment
CE harvest and fuel reduction units
- Contract Awarded to PRDC – February 2002
- On-the-ground Implementation began in May 2002 (Priest River Development Corporation w/ Stewardship Advisory Committee)
- Priest Community Forest Connection created in December 2005
- PCFC gains 501 (c) 3 status in February 2006
- PCFC opens office in April 2006
- The Lakeface-Lamb contract is legally transferred to PCFC in January 2007
- Completed Activities:
- Harvesting: nearly 1300 acres
- Handpiling of fuels: over 250 acres
- Slashing and grapple piling of fuels: nearly 1300 acres
- Slashing for broadcast burning = 100 acres
- Burning of harvest and fuel reduction debris!!
- Fireline Construction: 560 chains
- Road Maintenance: hundreds of thousands of $’s (12 miles of brushing, clearing and grubbing and just under 20 miles of reconditioning and rebuilding)
- White Pine Pruning: 64 acres
- Tree planting: 47,064 trees
- Road obliterations: approximately 4.5 miles
- Recreation shelter and toilet at historic CCC camp
- Road realignment and trail construction on old roadbed
- Road Maintenance package: erosion control
- Windstorm damage ~ tree and slash debris removal
(Also, please refer to the list of additional activities (above) that have been completed.)
SLIDE SHOW …
The following link lead to a 21-minute video, filmed in 2003 and 2004, depicting the beginning activities of the Lakeface-Lamb Land Stewardship Project. Choose the link based on your internet connection speed.