Readers had questions for the feds in this month’s YATA. One queried about the fate for piles of woody material in Tahoe National Forest. And another in how to ensure smooth delivery of packages via the U.S. Postal Service. We appreciate the local employees who took the time to answer the below inquiries.

~ Mayumi Elegado/Moonshine Ink

Forest Piles

I greatly appreciate the thinning and cleaning up of the Tahoe National Forest behind my neighborhood … between Old County to Ridgewood. However, in many areas, there are piles after piles of forest debris that have been left behind. I am curious to know if there are plans to control burn or chip these piles and if so when might that be scheduled for? I certainly understand the past few years have been challenging for fire and forestry organizations.


The answer to the question is “Yes.” We are working to eliminate the backlog of unburned piles on the Lake Tahoe Basin primarily through the use of prescribed fire. We look for opportunities to complete the work safely and in a way that minimizes air quality impacts using established best practices. Prescribed fire targeting these piles typically occurs in the winter months but can include the late fall or early spring as well if conditions are favorable. We provide public notifications in advance of beginning the work and coordinate our efforts with all local fire protection districts and cooperators. If you would like to receive notifications of prescribed fire implementation in your area, please contact me at

~ Tod Flowers, fire management specialist, U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

GET YOUR PACKAGES: U.S. Postal Service workers have their hands full with package deliveries, with an increased volume due to online shopping. You can make sure yours arrive by following a few steps. Photo by Wade Snider/Moonshine Ink

Special Delivery

I’ve heard that companies like UPS and FedEx have a “last-mile” agreement with the U.S. Postal Service where USPS handles packages shipped via the private companies for the final leg of their journey. During the past year’s holiday season there were a lot of issues with undeliverable packages in the Tahoe/Truckee area. Now that holidays are here again, I’m wondering what we should know about the last mile to make sure our packages get delivered.

The last mile is an agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and UPS/FedEx where in exchange for using their planes to transport our packages across the country, we do the final step of their delivery process in certain places.

Since Tahoe/Truckee is a rural area, a lot of UPS/FedEx packages are dropped at our local post offices for final delivery. This can cause a ton of issues for people who don’t receive mail service from the USPS. Basically, a package addressed to a non-USPS address gets stuck in limbo as we cannot deliver it.

There are a few options for people to use to make sure you get your packages:

First, if you use your physical address, make sure it is registered and able to receive mail from the USPS.

If you can’t get mail at your physical address, then get a P.O. Box and have packages delivered there.

If you don’t have a P.O. Box or a USPS physical address, you’re more than welcome to use general delivery service. You can put your name/general delivery then your physical address, and your carrier should leave the package at the post office hub, but things do sometimes slip through. The best way to use general delivery is to ship it directly to your local post office (use to get the address of one near you). Come in and give us your name along with photo ID and we’ll go find your package.

The last option, which is probably the only surefire way, is to select UPS or FedEx Ground shipping when you place your orders.

~ Rachael Lathrop, lead clerk, Truckee post office


  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

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