Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mendocino Redwood Company to log on steep and unstable slopes SW of Willits, CA.

PANORAMIC Photo By Kurt Minard
THP 1-17-051 MEN (Upper Ranch THP) Mendocino Redwood Company, 621 acres; 52% transition, 26% variable retention, 22% group selection logging.  Russell Brook, East Branch North Fork Big River (MD: T17N R14W Sec.19, 20, 30; T17N R15W Sec.13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 75%, steep roads, landslide terrain, road failure sites, wet areas, 74 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, herbicides, coho watershed, spotted owl, marbled murrelet, trees up to 42" dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 07/06/17. VIEW

This THP is about 8.5 miles SW of Willits, CA and Highway 20 at an elevation of 320 to 960 feet.  Mendocino Redwood Company is planning a tractor and cable logging operation on steep and unstable slopes in redwood and Douglas fir forests.  The THP area flows into the East Branch of the North Fork of the Big River which is listed as an impaired watershed for sediment and temperature.  There are 22 landslide terrain sites including earth flows, debris slides, disrupted ground, steep stream side slopes, steep inner gorges, swales, rock slides, and 16 road failure sites including fill failures, road gullying, bank sloughing, bank seeping, debris piling and cut bank failures.  Mendocino Redwood Company is planning to use ground based equipment on existing skid trails in areas designated for cable logging, use 4 landings inside class I (year round) watercourses, and use ground based equipment on existing skid trails across unstable areas and on slopes over 50% grade with a high erosion hazard.  They also are planning to construct a road within an unstable area, re-construct 200 feet of an existing seasonal road within a class II (mid sized) watercourse, and construct a road on steep slopes over 65% grade.  74 road drainage sites are planned for work including rocking, dip construction, ditch cleaning, culvert repair/replacement and restoration of washed out crossings.  There are 5 spotted owl nesting territories within .7 miles of the THP area, and a large tree stand just south of the THP area that could contain marbled murrelet habitat.

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