US Forest Service - Tahoe 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

Tahoe National Forest (TNF - Forest #17) "Grass Valley" KMB 7-6-0

The Tahoe National Forest was originally established as the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve on April 13, 1899. The name was changed to Tahoe Forest Reserve on October 3, 1905 and then to the Tahoe National Forest in 1907 when all Forest Reserves were redesignated "National Forests." .The Tahoe National Forest is found in the north central Sierra Nevada. It stretches from the foothills overlooking the Sacramento Valley on the west across the Sierra crest to the state line. Of the 1,208,993 acres within the boundary, 811,740 acres, or 67%, are National Forest System lands. The other 397,253 acres are owned by private individuals, corporations, or other governmental agencies. In most cases, these lands were privately held prior to the creation of the National Forest. The landownership of the Tahoe appears as a checkerboard on maps and is a result of early railroad grants.

One of the incentives that the Federal Government gave to railroads in the 19th century to spur development and construction of rail routes was to grant land titles to the railroads of some public domain lands along the right of way. When the transcontinental railroad was built over Donner Pass in the 1860s, the Central Pacific Railroad received alternate sections of land for each mile of track laid, and much of this land is still owned by the successors in interest of the original railroad. Much of the acreage is privately managed timberland. The Tahoe has an active land exchange program. These land exchanges are generally made to consolidate ownership of watersheds or other natural areas to facilitate better integrated resource management.

The Tahoe National Forest is the home to the Placer Big Trees grove, the most northerly stand of naturally occurring Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The Tahoe has 84,000 acres of old growth forest. It includes Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), White fir (Abies concolor), Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), California Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii), Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and Red fir (Abies magnifica).

With breathtaking mountain peaks, lush meadows filled with wildflowers, historic mining towns, destination vacation spots at Goodyears Bar, Downieville, Sierra City, Truckee, Yuba River, the Lakes Basin Area and the Jackson Meadows Region, the Tahoe National Forest is one of the most popular recreation forests in the US.

The Tahoe National Forest is divided into the Yuba River (District 3), American River (District 4), Sierraville (District 6) and Truckee (District 7) Ranger Districts with the Forest Supervisor's Office in Nevada City.

R5 2014 Tahoe NF RD Map.jpg


The Tahoe National Forest has a Forest Net, a Fire Net and a Service Net. Radios have channels enabling direct or simplex communications the Forest Net and Fire Net, but only repeater operation on Service Net. At one time this forest used a combination of UHF and VHF - Low to link remote bases. Yes, lowband for links. The remote bases were located at White Cloud, Grouse Ridge, Ruby Bluff, Sardine Peak, Verdi Peak, Squaw Peak and Duncan Peak. White Cloud was the hub of the system and it was linked to the Supervisor's Office and dispatch by phone lines. It is not known if microwave is being used now, but the use of lowband for links has probably ended. If microwave is being used it is in combination with UHF linking as several people have reported receiving UHF being used for links.


The Tahoe uses the district number, function number, position number identifier system for non-fire personnel. Dispatching for the forest is co-located with Cal Fire in a building at the Grass Valley Airport air attack base. The Grass Valley Interagency Command Center provides dispatch services not only for the Tahoe National Forest and CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit's 12 fire stations, but also for 26 other Fire Departments, emergency medical services and air ambulance helicopters. The center identifies as "Grass Valley."

Channel Plan

Tahoe National Forest Channel Lineup
Channel Tone(s) Rx Tx Alpha Tag Description
1 169.9000 169.9000 TNF1 Admin Dir Tahoe NF - Admin Net Direct
2 1-10 169.9000 168.7750 TNF2 Admin Rpt Tahoe NF - Admin Net Repeater
3 168.1750 168.1750 TNF3 Fire Dir Tahoe NF - Fire Net Direct
4 1-10 168.1750 170.6000 TNF4 Fire Rpt Tahoe NF - Fire Net Repeater
5 167.5000 167.5000 A/G14 CA2 P National Air-Ground 14 - CA Zone 2 Primary
6 169.1125 169.1125 A/G59 CA2 S National Air-Ground 59 - CA Zone 2 Secondary
7 168.2000 168.2000 TNF7 NIFC T2 NIFC Tac 2
8 166.5500 166.5500 TNF8 R5 T4 Region 5 Tac 4
9 167.1125 167.1125 TNF9 R5 T5 Region 5 Tac 5
10 168.2375 168.2375 TNF10 R5 T6 Region 5 Tac 6
11 168.6625 168.6625 TNF11 R5 Prjct R5 Project
12 ?? 172.4000 164.1250 TNF12 Serv Rpt Tahoe NF - Service Net Repeater

Service Net has fewer repeater sites. The tones used at those sites differ from those of Forest and Fire Nets.


TNF Repeaters
Tone Location CTCSS Tone
1 Mt. Rose 110.9
2 Oregon Peak 123.0
3 Sierra Buttes 131.8
4 Duncan Peak 136.5
5 Grouse Ridge 146.2
6 Babbitt Peak 156.7
7 Squaw Peak 167.9
8 Banner Mtn. 103.5
9 Ruby Bluff 100.0
10 Cal-Ida 107.2

It is unknown what tones are transmitted on the output frequencies.

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