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The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board has awarded two grants totaling $1,006,207 to Placer County. These two grants, announced June 5, are part of $2.9 million awarded to 25 projects awarded throughout the Sierra Nevada and are intended to improve the environmental and economic well-being of the region.

A $500,000 grant was awarded to the Placer County Department of Public Works for slope stabilization and culvert upgrades on a section of Donner Pass Road at the headwaters of the South Yuba River and adjacent to Lake Van Norden. The slope stabilization will be conducted using both mechanical and biological methods. Donner Pass Road is also known as Historic U.S. Highway 40.

The second grant, ($506,207), was awarded to the Placer County Department of Facility Services to create shaded fuel breaks across Hidden Falls Regional Park. The fuel breaks will help protect the park and surrounding properties from catastrophic wildfire, and ensure the protection of the watershed associated with the park. The total area of fuel breaks created by this project will be about 94 acres. In addition, an 8-mile-long by 15-foot-wide cleared zone will be created around the park perimeter to provide firefighting access. This grant also provides for the purchase of an all-terrain mower for grassland clearing. Work is currently under way at the east end of the park using non-SNC funding.

‘As a member of the Placer County Board and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, it was especially rewarding to see Placer do so well in this round of grant awards,’ said Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt, who also serves as the vice-chair of the SNC Governing Board. ‘Placer’s staff did an excellent job of taking advantage of the partnership afforded by grants from the newly created SNC. It is very exciting to see good conservation investments on the ground here in Placer as well as throughout the Sierra.’

The SNC is headquartered in Auburn with area offices in Mariposa, Susanville and Bishop. It was created through bi-partisan legislation co-authored and was signed into law in September, 2004.

*Placer County