Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sierra Pacific Industries forced to drop logging plan to clearcut 22 acres of old growth at Hiker's Parade THP

PANORAMIO Photo by yooperjb
Thanks to public outcry and comments submitted by the THP Tracking Center, EPIC and the Center For Biological Diversity, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) has been forced to drop the clear cutting of 22 acres of 130+ year old old growth. The Hiker's Parade (THP 1-12-042 HUM) is located in the upper Redwood Creek drainage, an important coho and steelhead watershed that lies just to the east of Eureka, CA.  After reviewing the proposed old growth clearcutting plan within a known Northern Spotted Owl nesting and roosting core area, CAL FIRE biologists determined that harvesting the unit as proposed would result in direct harm to owls.  SPI failed to identify that old growth would be harvested in the original Timber Harvest Plan (THP) document. Only after a Pre-harvest Inspection in which California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) field staff identified the stand as old growth, did the public learn of the real qualities of the stand.  In addition to this, SPI originally typed the old growth stand as ‘foraging’ habitat for Northern Spotted Owls.  Once the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) inspected the project site and found that the stand was actually core nesting and roosting habitat for owls, SPI changed the habitat designation of the stand to reflect its true importance to the owl.

THP 1-12-042 HUM (Hiker’s Parade THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 241 acres; 58% clearcut, 31% rehab, 8% selection, 2% no-harvest, 1% roadside logging.  Cloney Gulch, High Prarie Creek (HUM: T5N R3E Sec.11, 12, 13; T5N R4E Sec.6, 7).  Winter operations, moderate erosion hazard, unstable area, impaired 303.d watershed, road failure site, steep slopes over 65%, coho watershed, 7 spotted owls within 1.3mi, white flowered rein orchid in unit 100, trees over 40” dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 06/16/12. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

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