Monday, April 7, 2014

Fruit Growers Supply Company resurrects the Dutch Bear clearcut THP.

PANORAMIO Photo By Donald M Hall
THP 2-14-021 SIS (Dutch Bear THP) Fruit Growers Supply Company, 561 acres; 71% clearcut, 28% selection, 1% roadside logging.  Dutch Creek (MD: T47N R7W Sec.16, 17, 20, 21, 28).  Winter operations, moderate erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 75%, 41 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, herbicides, coho watershed, 3 spotted owls within 1.3mi, trees over 105 years old.  Estimated public comment deadline: 05/21/14.VIEW

This THP is 12 miles north of Yreka, CA, and about 4 miles north of Highway 96 and the Klamath River at an elevation of 3,600 to 5,680 feet.  It is a re-submit of THP 2-13-087 SIS (Dutch Bear THP) which was withdrawn by Fruit Growers Supply Company on 11/13/13. FGS is planning a mostly clearcut tractor and cable logging operation on steep slopes in Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, white fir, incense cedar and sugar pine forests.  The THP area flows down Dutch Creek into the Klamath River which is listed as impaired for temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, organic matter and microcystin.  Dutch Creek supports steelhead, while the Klamath River supports chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead.  Fruit Growers Supply Company is planning to use ground based equipment in areas designated for cable yarding for swing yarding, where deflection is poor, to construct firebreaks and to provide tail holds.  Excavators are also proposed for site preparation in units designated for cable yarding.  An exception to the HCP is being proposed to allow for road construction and/or re-construction in the period from October 15th to November 1st and from April 15th to May 15th under limited circumstances.  There are 41 road drainage sites planned for work including rocking, dip construction, culvert repair and replacement, and road bed reconstruction.  159 acres of “Alternative Prescription” similar to selection logging is being proposed to allow for logging inside spotted owl nesting habitat.  For spotted owl site SK362: this THP will create 253 acres of non-habitat within 1.3mi; reduce foraging habitat by 1 acre within 1.3mi; and reduce nesting habitat by 23 acres within 1.3mi (this owl area already has no nesting habitat within .5 mi).  For spotted owl site SK363: this THP will create 162 acres on non-habitat within .5 mi; reduce foraging habitat by 29 acres within .5 mi; and reduce nesting habitat by 33 acres within .5mi.  For spotted owl site SK467: this THP will create 129 acres of non-habitat within 1.3mi; reduce foraging habitat by 58 acres within 1.3mi; reduce nesting habitat by 14 acres within 1.3mi; and reduce high quality nesting habitat by 5 acres within 1.3mi (this owl area has only 1 acre of nesting habitat within .5 mi).  Potential habitat exists for Townsend's big eared bat in an abandoned mine shaft in Section 17. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

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