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.

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