Friday, August 9, 2013

Sierra Pacific Industries to clearcut log near Big Bend, CA and the Pit River.

PANORAMIO Photo By Grayson Hartman
THP 2-13-034 SHA (JB Kosk THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 272 acres; 77% clearcut, 22% shelterwood, 1% roadside logging.  Stump Creek, Bush Bar (MD: T36N R1W Sec.3, 9; MD: T37N R1W Sec.23, 35).  Winter operations, moderate erosion hazard, unstable areas, steep slopes up to 60%, steep roads, impaired 303.d watershed, 3 spotted owls within 1.3mi, 2 bald eagle nests within .5mi, goshawk nest within 2,800 ft, trees up to 130 years old.  Estimated public comment deadline: 09/14/13.

This THP is a few miles north and west of the town of Big Bend, CA at an elevation of 1,800 to 2,600 feet.  Some of the units are close to the Pit River and portions of the 2012 Bagley Fire, which burned near Iron Canyon Reservoir.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a tractor and cable based mostly clearcut THP and overstory removal (shelterwood) logging operation in mixed conifer forests.  There are several unstable areas (shown only on maps) that include limited operational areas (LOAs) with some planned logging.  Tractors will be used on skid trails that exceed 65% slope in units 9A and 23E, and on slopes that exceed 50% without flattening before reaching a watercourse in units 9A, 23D, and 23K.  SPI has requested an exception to not pre-flag all steep skid roads prior to agency pre-harvest inspection.  There will be some use of skid trails within limited operational areas (LOAs), and watercourses in Units 9 and 23K.  200 feet of new road construction on slopes exceeding 65% is planned.  A goshawk nest site was reported within 2,800 feet of the THP, and there are Bald Eagle nest sites at Iron Canyon Creek (>1 mi.), and Bush Bar (<.5 mi.) from THP area.  There were Tailed frog sightings nearby, and both Northern Clarkia and English Peak Greenbriar were reported to be just outside of the THP area.  SPI reported 1 Northern Spotted Owl within 3,578 feet of the THP, although I found 3 territories within 1.3 miles using my database (SHA0037, SHA0078, SHA0066). More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

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