US Forest Service - Sierra National Forest (CA)

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US Forests in California:

Angeles Inyo Lassen Modoc Sequoia Six Rivers
Cleveland Klamath Los Padres Plumas Shasta-Trinity Stanislaus
Eldorado Lake Tahoe BMU Mendocino San Bernardino Sierra Tahoe

Sierra National Forest (SNF - Forest #15) "Sierra" KME 2-6

National Forests were called "Forest Reserves" when they were first established by Presidential Proclamation under the Forest Reserve Act of 1891. The U.S. Forest Service was established in 1905 and in 1907, the "Forest Reserves" were all renamed "National Forests." The Sierra Forest Reserve was established in 1893 and was 6 million acres in size. It covered lands that are now part of Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park: and the Stanislaus, Toiyabe, Inyo and Sequoia National Forests. The large size of this reserve was too large to manage and the "Sierra South Forest Reserve" was established in 1910, covering the land south of the Kings River. Other portions of this original forest reserve were eventually split up between the Sierra, Toiyabe, Inyo and Sequoia National Forests. The remaining National Forest land became the present Sierra National Forest. Located on the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada, it is known for its spectacular mountain scenery and abundant natural resources. The Sierra National Forest encompasses more than 1.3 million acres between 900 and 13,986 feet in elevation. The terrain includes rolling, oak-covered foothills, heavily forested middle elevation slopes and the starkly beautiful alpine landscape of the High Sierra. Abundant fish and wildlife, varied mountain flora and fauna and numerous recreational opportunities make the Sierra National Forest an outdoor lover's paradise. The Forest's many rugged wilderness areas makes it one of the most popular National Forests in the United States.

Approximately 383,000 acres of the forest are old growth, containing Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), Red fir (Abies magnifica), White fir (Abies concolor), Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) and Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). The Sierra National Forest has two Giant Sequoia groves, the Nelder Grove and the McKinley Grove.

The Sierra National Forest is divided into the Bass Lake (District 1) (north of the San Joaquin River) and High Sierra (District 2) (south of the River) Ranger Districts. The Forest Supervisor's is in Clovis.

R5 Sierra NF RD Map 2014.jpg


The Sierra National Forest has an "Emergency Net" and an "Admin Net." The emergency net is used by fire management and law enforcement. The admin net is for all other functions. Channels have been provided to enable direct or simplex communications on each net. The installation of 5 of 11 of the NIFC command frequencies in the primary group of channel assignments is unusual. Another unusual feature of the forest's radio system is that the repeater input or access tone is not transmitted on the output frequency, instead a different set of tones is transmitted on the output. For example, the input tone for the Shuteye Peak repeater is Tone 5 - 146.2, but the tone transmitted on the output frequency is 82.5. The assignment of the output tones of the remaining repeaters has not been determined. They are all in the lower frequency range of CTCSS tones, such as 71.9 and 77.0. The linking system the forest uses is to be determined. The system's hub remote base is likely on Musick Mountain or Mt. Givens.


The Sierra uses the district number, function number, position number identifier system for ranger district non fire management personnel. The Forest Supervisor's Office uses the "function name" system position identifier system. The Bass Lake District Ranger uses "Ranger 1" and the High Sierra District Ranger uses "Ranger 2." Starting in 2015 the entire forest will be using the "function name" position identifier system. It is believed that the Bass Lake District will become "Distict 1" and the High Sierra District will become "District 2" when the function name system is established. A consolidation of the Mariposa Ranger District and the Minarets Ranger District into what is now called the "Bass Lake Ranger District"; and the consolidation of the Pineridge Ranger District and Kings River Ranger District into what is now called the "High Sierra Ranger District;" occurred in the late 1990s. The fire management function is organized into battalions based on the old ranger districts. Battalion 1 (the old Mariposa RD) is used for the Jerseydale, Midpines, Westfall and Batterson stations. Battalion 3 (old Pineridge RD) is used for the Mountain Rest and Big Creek stations. Battalion 4 (old Kings River RD) is used for the Trimmer, Blue Canyon and Dinkey stations. Finally, Battalion 5 (old Minarets RD) is used for the North Fork, Clearwater and Minarets stations. It is believed that non fire employees are assigned identifiers with the first number of 2 if they work on the Bass Lake RD and the number 3 if they work on the High Sierra District. Function numbers are: 2 administrative, 3 ecosystems, 4 timber, 5 lands and special uses, 6 recreation and wilderness, 9 silviculture (art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis).

San Luis National Refuge personnel identify in the 8100 series. 3 of their engines are assigned number in the 3100 series and one in the 8100 series.

The Sierra National Forest Emergency Command Center provides service to the Sierra National Forest and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex located adjacent to the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley. The San Luis NWR Complex includes the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), the Merced NWR, San Joaquin River NWR, and Grasslands Wildlife Management Area. The Complex office is in Los Banos. The Command Center is located at the Fresno Air Attack Base, an interagency Forest Service - Cal Fire facility at the Fresno Airport. The center is co located with Cal Fire's Fresno-Kings Unit Emergency Command Center. Each agency is included on the automatic initial attack dispatch plan of the other agency. The Forest Service dispatchers use the identifier "Sierra."

Channel Plan

Sierra National Forest Channel Lineup
Channel Tone(s) Rx Tx Alpha Tag Description Confirmation/ReConfirmatons
1 171.4750 171.4750 SNF1 Adm/LE Dir Sierra NF - Admin/Law Enforcement Net Direct
2 1-9,12 171.4750 163.6875 SNF2 Adm/LE Rpt Sierra NF - Admin/Law Enforcement Net Repeater (85.4 Hz), also 79.7, 82.5 & 77.0 2016.01 Inigo88/kma371
3 172.2250 172.2250 SNF3 Emer/Fire Dir Sierra NF - Emergency/Fire Net Direct
4 1-9 172.2250 164.7875 SNF4 Emer/Fire Rpt Sierra NF - Emergency/Fire Net Repeater
5 168.6625 168.6625 SNF5 R5 Proj R5 Project
6 168.2000 168.2000 SNF6 NIFC T2 NIFC Tac 2
7 166.5500 166.5500 SNF7 R5 T4 R5 Tac 4
8 167.1125 167.1125 SNF8 R5 T5 R5 Tac 5
9 167.4750 167.4750 SNF9 A/G 41 CA3 P National Air-Ground 41 CA Zone 3 Primary
10 168.6375 168.6375 SNF10 A/G 24 CA3 S National Air-Ground 24 CA Zone 3 Secondary
11 1-4 168.7000 170.9750 SNF11 NIFC C1 Rpt NIFC Command 1 Repeater
12 1-4 168.1000 170.4500 SNF12 NIFC C2 Rpt NIFC Command 2 Repeater
13 1-4 168.0750 170.4250 SNF13 NIFC C3 Rpt NIFC Command 3 Repeater
14 1-4 166.6125 168.4000 SNF14 NIFC C4 Rpt NIFC Command 4 Repeater
15 1-4 167.1000 169.7500 SNF15 NIFC C5 Rpt NIFC Command 5 Repeater
16 1 168.6250 168.6250 SNF16 Natl Air Grd National Air Guard - Tone 1 Rx & Tx Side


SNF Repeaters
Input Tone Location CTCSS Tone Output Tone Confirmation/ReConfirmations
1 Mt. Bullion 110.9
2 Signal Peak 123.0 85.4 2015.08 Inigo88
3 Musick Mtn. 131.8
4 Patterson Mtn. 136.5 85.4 2015.08 Inigo88
5 Shuteye Peak 146.2 85.4 2015.08 Inigo88
6 Black Mtn. 156.7
7 Mt. Tom 167.9
8 Delilah 103.5
9 Mt. Givens 100.0 - for use on Channel 2, Admin Net
9 Whitebark Vista 100.0 - for use on Channel 4, Emergency Net
10 Not Assigned 107.2
11 Not Assigned 114.8
12 Fence Meadow 127.3 - for use on Channel 2, Admin Net ONLY

The Sierra National Forest repeaters transmit a different and non-standard tone on the repeater output frequency. The tone for all repeaters is yet to be determined. These tones are in the lower CTCSS frequency range, i.e. 67.0 - 97.4.

Related Links

  • National Incident Radio Support Cache - These frequencies are used for large incidents, usually when a Type I or Type II Incident Management Team is assigned. This cache is used for fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, visits of high ranking officials, such the U.S. President and the presidents of other countries, large law enforcement incidents, special events and other incidents where the federal government is utilizing the Incident Command System.

Return to DB page: United States Forest Service (CA)

US Forests in California:

Angeles Inyo Lassen Modoc Sequoia Six Rivers
Cleveland Klamath Los Padres Plumas Shasta-Trinity Stanislaus
Eldorado Lake Tahoe BMU Mendocino San Bernardino Sierra Tahoe