Summit Road-Highland Way Corridor Project
The Fire Safe County Roads (FSCR) project involves 138 property owners whose parcels have frontage on Summit Road & Highland Way, from Highway 17 to the Mt. Bache junction (as shown on the map above). The goal of the program is to create a shaded fuel break along this corridor to provide escape routes in case of a fire or other natural disaster, as well as providing access for emergency vehicles. Grants are available to cover the cost of this work, providing a high percentage of property owners agree to work with CAL FIRE and other agencies to reduce the fuel load adjacent to the road. The Santa Cruz Mountain Alliance and other volunteers are working with the 138 property owners to gather support for this critical program. Details of the FSCR project can be found in the Progress Reports.
Updates on Funding and on the Timeline
The COVID 19 virus has disrupted federal and state funding for fire protection grants. The FSCR project expected the grant application deadline for this project to be in the fall of 2020, with work to begin in 2021. Now, all funding is on hold. However we are told that there is a chance that funding could become available relatively soon and with little notice. With this in mind, FSCR and our partners continue to work on all aspects of the preparation process so that we are ready when funding does become available. However, to be clear, there is no information on when or how much funding will be authorized for fuel reduction work in 2021.
Scope of Work
The level of funding will determine the scope of work, that is, how much fuel reduction work occurs on each property and whether the entire length of the proposed project can be included with the initial funding. Ideally, the work will include basic clearing for a shaded fuel break such as removing brush and thinning dense stands of trees, as well as removing hazard trees and low-hanging tree canopies over the county road
Andy Hubbs, a CAL FIRE forester, has been developing the scope of work document. The evolving scope document when completed will be the basis of the agreement and permission slip which landowners are being asked to sign. More details describing a shaded fuel break can be found here. The project goal is to obtain funding for all of this work as soon as possible.
Links to information on Home Hardening, on Defensible Space and Organizing your Neighborhood into a FireWise Council
The County Road Resource was developed in 2017 to answer the question presented to our community, How do we prioritize the repair of our county roads? It shows the number of households and their locations on all of the county roads in the First district of Santa Cruz County. All traffic flows are to Summit Road or to San Jose- Soquel Road where the repairs are funded by a different process.
Click here to read the Summit Ridge Community Roads
The Soquel Demonstration State Forest Resource is an exploration of a special forest in our community. The report explores critical aspects of forest management as well as the ongoing work taking place.
Click here to read the Soquel Demonstration State Forest Report