$100K Grant helps canyon clearing continue

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The state of California recently awarded the city of Auburn a $100,000 grant to continue a shaded fuel break project in the Aeolia Heights neighborhood. The fuel break is part of the Project Canyon Safe program started in May at Robie Point. Since then, several neighborhoods have gathered together and performed similar projects with volunteers and representatives from various agencies. The program’s goal is to reduce fuel so a fire sweeping through the American River Canyon and into the city is less likely. At 9 a.m. on Monday representatives from the Bureau of Reclamation, the California Conservation Corps, the Greater Auburn Area Fire Safe Council, State Parks, the Auburn Fire Department and Aeolia Heights neighbors are scheduled to meet on Lincoln Way at a road bend just north of Foresthill Avenue before Electric Street to discuss the project. Workers then plan to continue clearing fuel below the Aeolia Heights neighborhood on the canyon rim. According to Auburn Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi, a meeting with representatives from all listed agencies concerning the fuel break has never happened before. D’Ambrogi said while volunteers have raised their own money for the project, the grant money allows them to get work done now and save their money for future maintenance. “It doesn’t do much good if we do the initial treatment and we don’t follow up in the years ahead,” D’Ambrogi said. “These (types of funding) really help. It’s accelerated the work that needs to be done. We need these one-time big amounts of grant funding or other funding sources to be sure of doing a really good job of getting the fuels where we want them to be so in the future it will be much easier to maintain. We don’t entirely rely on the grant funding for the project, but any bit we get is an extra and it puts us that much further ahead.” The grant was awarded through Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act. Reach Bridget Jones at