Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sierra Pacific Industries planning a large fuel break THP near Arnold.

PANORAMIO Photo By slakis
THP 4-14-026 CAL (Love Creek Fuels Reduction THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 1,408 acres; 96% fuelbreak, 2% rehab, 1% sanitation salvage, 1% selection, 1% roadside logging.  Douds Landing, Moran Creek (MD: T4N R15E Sec.4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 18; T5N R15E Sec.33, 34).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, slopes up to 50%, 36 road drainage work sites, herbicides, 6 CA spotted owls within 1.3 mi, goshawk within .5 mi, osprey within 1.5 mi, foothill yellow legged frog sightings nearby, pansy monkeyflower, Humboldt’s lily, scattered large trees.  Estimated public comment deadline: 01/05/15. VIEW

This THP lies between the communities of Arnold and Avery just south of Highway 4 and SW of Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  The THP area is adjacent to a large number of residential homes, and adjacent to Hunter Reservoir and McKay's Reservoir which provide drinking water for the Ebbett’s Pass area, and close to the North Fork of the Stanislaus River which provides drinking water for Arnold.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a large mostly fuel break tractor based logging operation in ponderosa pine, sugar pine, white fir, Douglas fir and incense cedar forests at an elevation of 3,200 to 4,500 feet.  2,700 feet of new road construction, 8,750 feet of road re-construction, and 11,350 feet of temporary road construction is planned.  SPI is proposing an exception to be able to use tracked excavators on slopes over 40%, and on slopes over 30% that do not flatten before reaching a watercourse for site preparation.  They also want to use a portion of the Segale Road within a class I watercourse (year round), and 2 landings inside class III (intermittent) watercourses.  36 road drainage sites are planned for work including rocking, dip construction, culvert repair/replacement and crossing re-construction.  There is a goshawk territory within .5 mi of the THP area in section 27, an osprey territory within 1.5 mi of the THP area in section 25, and 2 foothill yellow legged frogs were spotted nearby in section 7.  Pansy monkeyflower was found on a lava cap in section 33, and Humboldt’s lily was found along a road cut of the Love Creek Road in section 8.  The Doud Hill CA spotted owl nesting territory is within .5 mi of the THP area. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

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