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Fire fuel reduction project underway at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen

A major push is now underway to reduce fire fuels in Jack London State Historic Park. The plan is part of a multi-agency collaboration focusing on thinning and clearing dangerous ladder fuels in the historic groves of eucalyptus trees planted by Jack London in the early 20th century, when the renowned writer called Sonoma Mountain his home.

Staff and volunteers from California State Parks and Jack London Park Partners, the nonprofit operating the park in partnership with State Parks, are working alongside contracted forestry crews funded by a Cal Fire fire prevention grant awarded to the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative.

The collaborative is a group of six conservation organizations and land management agencies, led by California State Parks, which began working together after the 2017 Nuns Fire to address fire management in the Sonoma Valley from a regional perspective.

Cal Fire awarded just over $1 million to the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative for fire prevention work on protected lands in the region.

This winter’s work at Jack London State Historic Park, the first round of a multi-year effort, will focus on clearing fuels from the most critical areas of the park, near the historic buildings of Jack London’s Beauty Ranch, neighboring homes, and along key access routes.

It is also the first step in a project underway to protect and restore portions of the eucalyptus groves that Jack London himself planted, according to a press announcement from State Parks officials.

Kate Green, a California State Parks associate archaeologist, described the groves as “important cultural resources.”

“This is the perfect example of a multi-benefit project,” said Green. “The historical value of Jack London’s eucalyptus groves can be preserved while mitigating the fire hazard of all the ladder fuels in the groves.”

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