Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mendocino Redwood Company planning new THP in Gualala River Watershed

PANORAMIO Photo By Elliot Kallen
THP 1-13-020 SON (East Tobacco Creek THP) Mendocino Redwood Company, 231 acres; 52% rehab, 48% variable retention logging.  Tobacco Creek (MD: T10N R13W Sec.35).  Wet weather operations, moderate erosion hazard, landslide terrain, steep slopes up to 65%, steep roads, 8 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, coho watershed, herbicides, 3 spotted owls within .7mi, long beard lichen, trees up to 34" dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 05/09/13.

This THP is about 5 miles SE of the town of Annapolis in Sonoma County.  Mendocino Redwood Company is planning a tractor logging operation on very steep slopes above the Gualala River at an elevation of 380 - 1,360 feet.  The Gualala River watershed is an important Coho salmon and steelhead fishery, and is listed as “impaired” for sediment and temperature.  119 acres of rehab logging is planned which is similar to clearcutting but in this case will be done to remove excess diseased tan oaks from a prior burn, and re-establish conifers.  They are also planning to build a short segment of steep road to access a ridge line around some rock bluffs.  A cluster of Douglas fir host trees were found containing Long Beard Lichen, and will be protected.  There were also 4 unstable areas reported within the THP area. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Mendocino Redwood Company planning new THP near Albion River

PANORAMIO Photo By freebern
THP 1-13-019 MEN (J Road THP) Mendocino Redwood Company, 586 acres; 100% selection logging.  Lower Albion River (MD: T16N R17W Sec.14, 15, 22, 23). Wet weather operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 65%, 16 landslide terrain sites, road failure sites, 16 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, coho watershed, 5 spotted owls within 1.3mi, 6 osprey nest trees, bald eagle sightings, marbled murrelet habitat within .55mi, long bearded lichen, old growth trees present.  Estimated public comment deadline: 05/09/13.

This THP is a few miles NW of the town of Albion and Highway 1, on the Mendocino Coast.  Mendocino Redwood Company is planning a tractor, cable & helicopter logging operation on steep slopes adjacent to the Albion River.  The Albion River is listed as impaired for excessive sediment levels, and is an important Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead fishery. There are 16 landslide terrain and bank failure sites mostly related to watercourses and roads in and around the THP area.  Mendocino Redwood Company wants to use 2 existing skid trails within a class II spring, and there are 16 road related drainage work sites scheduled including culvert repair/replacement and dip construction & rocking.  The THP contains some nice scattered stands of old growth, 6 osprey nest sites and a few stands of Bolander’s Pine & Pygmy Cypress. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Redwood Empire Sawmills to log in steep terrain near Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

PANORAMIO Photo By Tamara Gedgafov
THP 1-13-017 SMO (Gazos Middle Fork THP) Redwood Empire Sawmills, 366 acres; 99% selection, 1% no-harvest, misc roadside logging.  Gazos Creek (MD: T8S R4W Sec.26, 34, 35, 36).  Winter operations, extreme erosion hazard, road failure sites, landslide terrain, steep slopes up to 75%, 51 road drainage work sites, coho watershed, CA red legged frog within .5mi, 2 occupied marbled murrelet stands within 300 feet, great blue heron and common owl sightings, scattered trees over 48" dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 05/06/13.

Redwood Empire Sawmills is planning a tractor and cable logging operation in the Gazos Creek Watershed, adjacent to Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  At an elevation of 680 - 1,880 feet, the terrain is very steep and includes 28 unstable areas mostly related to steep head walls, seeps, cut banks, fill failures, debris slides and bank sloughing features.  There are 51 road related work sites including road re-alignment of fill failures, cut bank seeps, culvert repair/replacement and dip construction planned.  Redwood Empire Sawmills plans to use tractors on steep slopes designed for cable logging, to work on steep unstable roads and on steep slopes with a high/extreme erosion hazard rating.  They also plan to use skid roads and haul roads in and around class II watercourses.  Two occupied marbled murrelet stands known as the Middle Fork Gazos and Bryan Grove are within 300 feet of the THP, and marbled murrelets have been seen flying over the THP area in the past.  The THP includes a 27.7 acre special treatment area adjacent to the park boundary to minimize visual effects, and scattered large redwood trees over 48” dbh. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tell SPI: We want to know what is happening to our forests and watersheds!

By Sarah Matsumoto
Sierra Club - Sierra Nevada Campaign

Did you know that, here in California, 75% of our water comes from our forests? But right now, big timber companies like Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) are allowed to threaten this precious resource to line their pockets.

SPI is able to hide behind paperwork and bureaucracy while threatening our precious watersheds with destructive clearcutting.

From beginning to end, cleacutting is a devastating process. After the vast majority of trees are chopped down, the same area is usually aggressively doused in herbicides and pesticides -- chemicals that can potentially seep into our drinking water. At the same time, soil no longer held in place by trees flows into rivers and streams, clogging the waterways with sediment.

23 million Californians get their water from the Sierra Nevada alone, but nearly all watersheds in the region are designated as either polluted or impaired.

An open and clear accounting of what is happening to California's forests will be the first step towards the true accountability and public oversight necessary to protect our forests and watersheds.

Unfortunately, SPI doesn't make it easy for us to know what is happening. Just last week, after a torrent of critical public questions on its Facebook page, SPI blocked all public comments. We know they are listening but we have to keep up the drumbeat.

The water that flows from California's forests is invaluable to our way of life -- communities rely on it for clean drinking water, it sustains our agriculture economy and provides crucial habitat for much of our beloved and threatened wildlife. Will you stand with us to protect our forests, water and way of life?

Sign the petition and show SPI we won’t be silenced -- we demand to know what is happening to California's forests and water!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Fruit Growers Supply Company THP threatens Sierra Nevada Red Fox

THP 2-13-010 LAS (Campbell Mountain THP) Fruit Growers Supply Company, 1530 acres; 39% sanitation salvage, 25% shelterwood, 19% selection, 17% clearcut, misc roadside logging.  Bridges Creek, Pine Creek Valley, Pine Creek Valley (MD: T31N R9E Sec.5, 6, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19).  Winter operations, low erosion hazard, slopes up to 45%, impaired 303.d watershed, herbicides, 1 CA spotted owl within 1.3mi, red fox camera sightings, goshawk sightings within .25 mi, greater sandhill crane sightings within .25 mi, osprey and badger sightings, scattered large trees. Estimated public comment deadline: 05/02/13.

This THP is about 13 miles north of the town of Westwood, CA in the Lassen area near Highway 44.  Fruit Growers Supply Company is planning a large 100% tractor logging operation at an elevation of 5,640 to 6,440 feet that contains some nice high elevation Lodgepole pine and red fir stands. The THP area is close to one of the few areas in California that contains the elusive Sierra Nevada Red Fox.  There were bated camera sightings reported of red foxes in the THP area, and near county road 105.  OR 7, California’s only grey wolf was also reported to have traveled through the area.  Since most of the THP is sanitation - salvage and shelterwood removal, large trees will be removed destroying habitat used by the California Spotted Owl, Northern goshawk, Sierra Nevada Red Fox and Pine marten which have all been seen in the area.  The THP area also contains some beautiful seasonal meadows and lakes used by Greater sandhill cranes, osprey and American badgers. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Sierra Pacific Industries clearcut THP near North Fork American River

PANORAMIO Photo by PaddleFish
THP 2-13-009 PLA (Square Root THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 233 acres; 73% clearcut, 18% commercial thin, 5% shelterwood, 4% selection, misc roadside logging.  Long Canyon, Brushy Canyon (MD: T13N R12E Sec.3, 4, 6, 8, 10).  Winter operations, moderate erosion hazard, 3 unstable areas, road failure site, steep slopes up to 60%, steep roads, 3 oversized units, herbicides, 5 CA spotted owl territories within 1.3 mi, 4 goshawk territories within 2.8 mi, CA red legged frog within 1.25 mi, foothill yellow legged frog sightings, trees up to 103 years old.  Estimated public comment deadline: 04/29/13.

This THP is generally east of Sacramento and I-80, about 14 miles east of the community of Foresthill near the North Fork of the American River at an elevation of 3,400 to 4,500 feet.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a tractor and cable logging operation that will mostly clearcut and thin mixed conifer stands up to 103 years old.  The THP area contains some steep slopes and 3 unstable areas mostly from legacy mining impacts.  SPI is planning to build a temporary road around one of the unstable areas, and use ground based equipment on steep slopes over 65% in cable unit 101.  They are also requesting an exception to be able to construct and use temporary roads during the winter period, and to be able to use a skid road near a class II watercourse.  There were 4 goshawk territories reported in the area ranging from .1 mi up to 2.8 mi away, and 11 CA spotted owl territories reported in the area from .25 mi to 5.5 mi away. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Video: Clearcutting in California's Forests

March 14, 2013

California's forests are under attack. An average of 65,000 acres per year are logged using clear cut methods. This video details the impacts from clear-cutting on the plants, wildlife, and watersheds of the Sierra Nevada and all of California. Learn how you can do your part to protect California's forests from the harmful, outdated practice of clear-cutting that occurs on private lands all over the state. Email the governor and TAKE ACTION

Friday, March 15, 2013

Green Diamond and SPI Team Up to Log Old Growth Redwood and Harm Spotted Owls

By Rob DiPerna, EPIC
March 13, 2013

Photo By Marily Woodhouse
It is said that politics makes for strange bedfellows.  However, in the instance of the timber industry on the North Coast of California, it is not surprising to our team at EPIC to find Green Diamond Resource Company and Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), two of the state’s worst industrial timber sector actors, joining forces to destroy old growth redwoods and harm native species.  Despite all the green-washing rhetoric spewing from the public relations and perception management departments of each company, both are revealing their true nature as they hold hands conspiring to violate the law and harm spotted owls and native forests in the recently filed “Nacho Libre” THP.

Timber Harvest Plan (THP) 1-12-114HUM “Nacho Libre” was recently filed jointly by SPI and Green Diamond.  The property is located in the Cannon Creek state planning watersheds high up in the Mad River basin.  SPI owns the land, but Green Diamond recently bought the timber rights.  The THP covers 87.4 total acres, including 58.8 acres of proposed clearcutting.

Of particular concern is Unit A of the plan, a proposed 38.1-acre clearcut threatening to eliminate a Northern Spotted Owl activity center.  Spotted owl activity center HUM0301 “Freeman” is contained within this unit.  This owl site has been active since the early 90’s with several nesting trees located in the clearcut unit. While the individual nest trees will be left, the rest of the unit is to be clearcut, which will result in “take” of spotted owls as admitted in the THP itself. READ MORE

Sierra Club Launches Campaign Demanding Disclosure of California Clearcutting

By Sarah Matsumoto
Sierra Club California

Club Activists to Demand Sierra Pacific Industries Reveal Publicly Acreage Destroyed by Clearcutting

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, the Sierra Club sent a letter to Sierra Pacific Industries asking for the disclosure of specific details on the extent to which that company has engaged in the clearcutting of California forests. In conjunction with that letter, a corresponding online campaign was launched encouraging Sierra Club activists to demand the same details from Sierra Pacific via email, Twitter and Facebook.

“Sierra Pacific has made a lot of claims about how they are committed to sustainable and responsible forest management. We're asking them to prove it,” said Sarah Matsumoto, Sierra Club Senior Representative. “Clearcutting devastates California forests and wildlife habitat, threatens clean water for Californians and makes wildfires more dangerous for local communities. No company can claim to be 'sustainable' and widely engage in this practice, and Californians deserve to know the truth about whether Sierra Pacific's actions meet their rhetoric.”

The letter from Matsumoto and Kathryn Phillips, the Executive Director of Sierra Club California, requests that Sierra Pacific Industries disclose the acreage of harvesting by clearcutting over the previous five years and the acreage expected to be clearcut in the coming year. The request also asks that clearcutting be reported by county and watershed.

“Collecting and openly and clearly reporting this information on your company's website will not present an undue burden to you or your company,” write Phillips and Matsumoto. “Rather, it will add one more class of information to help consumers judge the sustainability of your harvest practices and help them determine from whom they will purchase their wood products.”

In addition, Sierra Club activists will be encouraged to ask the same questions of Sierra Pacific Industries via the company's internet presence, posting on Facebook and Twitter. TAKE ACTION

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Green Diamond Resource Company clearcut THP north of Arcata, CA

THP 1-13-015 HUM (BL 2610 14 THP) Green Diamond Resource Company, 65 acres; 87% clearcut, 11% selection, 2% no-harvest logging.  Pitcher Creek (HUM: T9N R1E Sec.33, 34).  Wet weather operations, moderate erosion hazard, slopes up to 40%, oversized units, coho watershed, herbicides, 4 spotted owls within 1.3mi, bald eagle nest within .6mi, osprey nest within .25 mi of unit a, trees up to 48" dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 04/16/13.

This THP is about 15 miles north of Arcata, CA on GDRC lands at an elevation of 680 - 860 feet.  Green Diamond Resource Company is planning a mostly clearcut THP in an area that has seen lots of clearcut logging in the past.  The THP is about 1,200 feet from the North Fork of Maple Creek, which is an important fishery for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout.  Tractor and cable logging is planned in second growth redwood and Douglas fir. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Campbell Timberlands plan to log on steep unstable slopes in Ten Mile Basin

THP 1-13-014 MEN (7 Mile Red) Campbell Timberlands, 157 acres; 45% group selection, 43% transition, 12% selection logging.  Bald Hill Creek (MD: T20N R16W Sec.9, 15, 16).  Wet weather operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 80%, landslide terrain, debris flows, road failure sites, 17 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, coho watershed, herbicides, 4 spotted owls within 1.3mi, marbled murrelet habitat near haul road, osprey sightings, scattered large trees.  Estimated public comment deadline:  04/15/13.

This THP is about 10 miles NE of Fort Bragg, CA near the North Fork of the Ten Mile River at an elevation of 220 - 1,000 feet.  The Ten Mile River Basin is an important steelhead and coho fishery and is listed as impaired for sediment and temperature due to excessive logging impacts.  Campbell Timberlands is planning a tractor and cable logging operation on some very steep and unstable slopes; including tractor logging on landslide terrain in units A & C, and tractor logging on steep slopes over 65%.  There are also 6 locations within and around the THP area that contain deep seated landslide terrain and debris slides. Campbell Timberlands is also planning to use roads inside and around streamside areas that are prone to erosion.  More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.