BLACK FOREST – On Monday two Cal Fire work crews arrived to begin clearing dead trees and limbs along Soda Bay Road between Golf and Little Borax Road in preparation for a Bureau of Land Management-sponsored community participation on Earth Day, Saturday, April 21.
According to Pat Beedle, a nearby resident, volunteer for the Kelseyville Kids garden, avid golfer, and general advocate of the environment, "It is a about time.”
Beedle, who doesn't mince words, is loaning her golf cart to help distribute water and supplies. "That is the least I can do," Beedle said.
Rich Burns of BLM's Ukiah field office, who lives in Upper Lake, said the activities in the Black Forest this week are part of a fire prevention project. Brush, fallen trees and low limbs will be removed along a one-mile section of the forest bordering Soda Bay Road. That, he said, is meant to reduce the fuel load, or materials likely to burn in the event of a forest fire.
Burns is bringing his family and some staff members to help on Saturday.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Carle High School students along with their principal, Bill MacDougall, will arrive to move the materials cut by Cal Fire to a staging area, prepared by volunteer Bob Braito, at Golf Road and Soda Bay.
Local pastor Wayne Scott will hook up a trailer and will help the Carle students bring branches to be chipped (and logs to be given away) to the Golf Road "staging area."
On Saturday Ray Mostin and Adam Nichols will bring their chippers to begin reducing the limbs to chips. The chips will be available to the public at the Golf Road staging area. Logs for next year's winter fires also will be stacked there for anyone interested.
Soda Bay Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, from Little Borax to Crystal. Volunteers will gather at 8 a.m. at Soda Bay and Little Borax Road or near Madrone and Soda Bay to clear fuel back 100 feet from the road. Small trees will be removed and limbs trimmed up to 10 feet high.
These materials will be placed next to Soda Bay Road for the chipper operators to collect. The chips will be stored at the Golf Road staging area for the community to use in their gardens. Students from both Kelseyville High, Clear Lake High as well as Kelseyville Kids Garden and Riviera Elementary plan to help.
When the volunteers are exhausted, they will be treated to a pizza, salad and dessert lunch, at the Buckingham Clubhouse organized by Julie Berry, Buckingham Homes Association manager. The pizzas are being donated by DJ's piazza and Bruno's Market is providing drinks and desserts. Alhambra water is donating bottled water.
The estimated participation is between 75 and 100 on Saturday.
Volunteers can still join by calling Julie Berry at 279-0829 or Joel Witherell at 279-1124.
Volunteer, the pay is great.