Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sierra Pacific Industries to clearcut at Butte Meadows NE of Chico, CA.

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THP 2-16-014 BUT (Bolts THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 891 acres; 41% clearcut, 30% commercial thin, 29% selection, 1% roadside logging.  Coon Hollow, Cascade Creek, Bolt Creek, Bull Creek (MD: T26N R4E Sec.14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 36).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, slopes up to 50%, unstable area, 41 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, wet areas, meadow, oversized units, herbicides, chinook watershed, CA spotted owl, goshawk, osprey, cascade frog, 5 sensitive plant species, scattered large trees.  Estimated public comment deadline: 06/23/16. VIEW

This THP is at Butte Meadows about 25 miles NE of Chico, CA and about 18 miles SW of Chester, CA.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a tractor based clearcut and commercial thin logging operation in ponderosa pine, sugar pine, white fir and incense cedar forests at an elevation of 4,200 to 5,600 feet.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning 12,014 feet of new road construction, and 7,250 feet of road re-construction.  Existing road 120E2 is proposed for use inside a class I (year round) watercourse, and seasonal road 140E1 is proposed for use adjacent to a wet area.  There is a debris slide outside of the THP area near several haul roads in section 29.  41 road drainage sites are planned for work including rocking, dip construction, ditch cleaning, culvert repair/replacement and restoration of washed out crossings.  Three goshawk sightings were reported; including a sighting in section 15 (within .25 mi of units 4, 5 and haul roads 180E, 350G13), a sighting in section 11, and a sighting in section 36.  Other wildlife sightings include: an historical (1978) sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox within 1 mile of the THP area in section 30, an osprey sighting in section 30 (within .25 mi of haul roads 190A and the A Line Road), and a cascade frog sighting in section 29.  There are CA spotted owl nesting territories in section 10, and within .25 miles of unit 10 in sections 31 and 32.  Upswept moonwort was found in unit 15B, scalloped moonwort was found in units 3, 25B and haul road 180E, Mingan moonwort was found in unit 15B, Nightblooming false bindweed was found in units 1, 3 and haul road 180E, and Jonesville Springbeaugy was found in unit 15B.

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