Mountain is designated as a community at 'hi risk' from wildfire. Past logging practices and the resulting changes in the forest system have lead to extremely high fuel loading including surface, ladder, and crown fuels, all of which contribute to the likelihood of catastrophic stand-replacing wildfires. Stand density is also leading to a general decline in forest health, including disease and insect related tree mortality. Residential home development has been increasing steadily in the area compounding fire risks. In 2001, community leaders began working with the Trinity County Fire Safe Council and the
Center to start planning and implementing an initial wildfire protection plan. A number of federal grants have been received for work on both public (USFS) and private lands establishing nearly 100 acres of shaded fuel break along the northern edge of the community. The Post Mountain Stewardship Collaborative was established in 2004 to build off of the momentum and engage the broader community in planning a comprehensive project with the USFS using newly authorized stewardship contracting. Stewardship contracting utilizes a collaborative planning process to work with communities to achieve community and federal land management objectives. Some unique features of these contracts is the ability to use goods for services (trading timber value for service work to reinvest what is removed from the watershed back into the watershed), and best-value contracting (that allows the community to help define the criteria by which the contract will be rewarded, focusing on factors like community benefits and past experience). Group meetings are hosted by the Post Mountain VFD and facilitated and staffed by the
Center , while the USFS provides technical expertise to project design and contract development. The collaborative group has driven this project from day one by establishing project goals and objectives, identifying key locations for strategic forest treatments, road improvements, and wildlife habitat enhancement activities, and establishing a detailed monitoring plan that will evaluate the projects successes and failures and prescribes strategies for adaptive management in the future.