LACO Associates continues to support the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) with project coordination and implementation. In spring 2019 MCRCD retained LACO to provide project management support for the “Redwood Complex Fire: Hazardous Tree Removal Project,” funded through the CAL Fire Fire Prevention Grant Program. MCRCD, in partnership with the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, managed and implemented a project to remove dead or dying hazardous trees on private property within the 2017 Redwood Complex Fire footprint. On the post-fire landscape, many landowners found themselves with dead or dying trees threatening infrastructure or building pads and without resources to address the issue. MCRCD contracted LACO to provide additional coordination for this project, helping the District to prepare and evaluate bids, reach out to landowners,, and meet project reporting requirements.
In addition to a Proposition 1 planning grant for which LACO supported the County in its application and execution, LACO also aided the County in preparing an implementation grant that was facilitated by the MCRCD. This grant allowed for the repair of over 3 miles of unpaved roads on private property that were damaged during the fire and are located in important spawning habitat in the Russian River headlands. Twenty miles of roads were assessed via a 2018 planning grant; however, the private landowners were unable to make the repairs without financial support. LACO helped prepare a $650,000 implementation grant and oversaw the execution of a portion of the total project area comprising 4 miles of roadway and approximately $200,000 of the budget, which included replacing culverts that were burned out, crushed, or otherwise damaged during the fire and/or subsequent clean up. The new culverts allow better flow of water for fish passage and combine with roadway improvements to reduce the delivery of sediment to critical streams.
After staffing changes altered their capacity in 2021, MCRCD again engaged with LACO to provide project management support in fulfilling commitments on grant funded projects in FY 21-22. The LACO team provided general administrative support for projects such as the Navarro River and Outlet Creek Flow Enhancement Planning project, funded by the California Wildlife Conservation Board. This included project tracking, meeting coordination, and note taking and distribution. LACO also catalogued projects for upload to project tracking databases and supported project coordination and reporting for a Proposition 84 flow banking project in the Gualala River watershed.