Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sierra Pacific Industries to clearcut log on steep and unstable slopes NE of Chico, CA

PANORAMIO Photo By ExButte Sheriff
THP 2-14-011 BUT (Spur THP) Sierra Pacific Industries; 484 acres; 63% clearcut, 27% seed tree, 10% selection, misc roadside logging.  Chippy Spur, Fish Creek (MD: T24N R4E Sec.1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16;  T25N R4E Sec.35;  T25N R5E Sec.19, 31).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 75%, 5 landslide terrain sites, 88 road drainage work sites, oversized units, impaired 303.d watershed, herbicides, 4 CA spotted owls within 1.3mi, 3 goshawk territories within 1.3 mi, 1 osprey territory within 1.3 mi, 3 sensitive plant species, scattered large trees.  Estimated public comment deadline: 05/01/14. VIEW

This THP is about 15 miles NE of Chico, CA and about 3 miles NE of Stirling City at an elevation of 3,400 to 6,200 feet.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a mostly clearcut tractor and cable logging operation on steep and unstable slopes in white fir, Douglas fir, sugar pine, ponderosa pine and incense cedar forests.  The THP area is near the headwaters of the West Branch Fork of the Feather River which is a popular recreation area with several small lakes and meadows. There are 5 landslide terrain sites including steep inner gorge areas and debris slides above Last Chance Creek and along the southern border of unit 1, a steep headwall along a class III watercourse, and over steepened unstable slopes that flank Last Chance Creek and a class III watercourse near unit 20.  Four oversized units are proposed, and SPI wants to use an existing landing near a seep in a watercourse area.  There are 88 road drainage sites planned for work including rocking, dip construction and culvert repair and replacement.  Mildred’s clarkia was found in section 11 and in forest openings in units 1 and 2, close throat beardtongue was found in sections 1 and 11, and obtuse starwort was found in section 1 and 2.  An osprey territory is located nearby at Philbrook Reservoir. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

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