Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nacho Libre THP Withdrawn

By Rob DiPerna, EPIC

Life can be precarious for imperiled species and old trees on an industrial forestry landscape, particularly on lands managed by Green Diamond Resource Company (GDRC) and Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI).  Even though these gigantic, privately-held companies spend massive amounts of capital on marketing schemes and public perception management, they are still teaming up to log old-growth redwoods and harm the few remaining imperiled denizens of the redwood temperate rainforest.

GDRC and SPI plotted, joined forces and filed the “Nacho Libre” timber harvest plan (THP) in late 2012, curiously choosing a name from a Jack Black movie without any explanation or due credit.  Unlike the movie, however, the “Nacho Libre” THP was a cynical attempt at humor that fell flat in the face of ecological reality and clear legal precedent.  The plan proposed to target old-growth trees for removal and to directly harm a breeding pair of Northern Spotted Owls by destroying important habitat within their immediate nesting territory.  EPIC sounded the alarm over the “Nacho Libre” THP earlier this year and mobilized available resources to contest the plan.

The public trust agencies tasked with reviewing this timber harvest plan (the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife) all recognized the rare and unique values of this remnant stand of old-growth in a watershed that has been severely and repeatedly logged.  The Department of Forestry and Department of Fish and Wildlife were in agreement that the forest stand was likely “late successional forest” habitat with a substantial old growth component within the meaning of the California Forest Practice Rules.   According to the Water Quality inspection report, old growth redwoods of six to ten feet in diameter were observed in the stand and threatened with felling.  Due to these facts, not only were Northern Spotted Owls in harm’s way, but the structural components of the forest stand are also suitable for the extremely imperiled Marbled Murrelet, a seabird that only nests in old-growth forests. READ MORE on EPIC's BLOG

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