Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Timber Products Company to clearcut log between Etna, CA and the Russian Wilderness Area.


Google Earth Photo by Jason Reily
THP 2-19-219 SIS (Smith Lake THP) Timber Products Company, 595 acres; 64% clearcut, 15% selection, 12% commercial thin, 6% seed tree, 3% shelterwood, misc roadside logging.  Clark Creek, Meeks Meadow Creek, Paynes Lake Creek, Upper French Creek (MD: T41N R10W Sec 25, T41N R9W Sec 9, 17, 19, 21, 31).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes over 70%, 11 road drainage work sites, impaired 303.d watershed, herbicides, coho watershed, Russian roadless area, spotted owl, foothill yellow legged frog, cascade frog, squaw carpet, scattered large trees. Estimated public comment deadline: 02/04/20. SUBMIT COMMENTS, VIEW THP

This THP is 23 miles SW of Yreka, CA, and about 2.5 miles SW of Etna, CA by the community of French Creek and the Russian Wilderness Area (sections 19 and 25 are adjacent to the Russian Roadless Area) at an elevation of 3,300 to 6,600 feet.  The THP area is close (within .5 miles to 1 mile) of the popular trail system that links Smith, Meeks Meadow and Ruffey Lakes and contains regionally uncommon brewers spruce trees. Timber Products Company is planning a mostly clearcut tractor and cable logging operation on steep and erosive soils in Douglas fir, white fir, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, sugar pine, red fir, mountain hemlock and brewers spruce forests.  The THP area flows into the Scott River which is listed as an impaired watershed for sediment/siltation and temperature. Timber Products Company is planning to use roads, landings, and crossings during the winter period, and use ground based equipment on existing skid trails on slopes up to 65% in areas designated for cable logging.  11 road drainage sites are planned for work including rocking, dip construction, ditch cleaning, and culvert repair/replacement.  Foothill yellow legged frogs were reported at Hogan Lake 2 miles SW of the THP area, and cascade frogs were reported from .5 miles to 2 miles from the nearest THP units at Smith, Upper Ruffey, Albert and Payne Lakes. Squaw carpet was found in units 20T and 21T.  There are 3 spotted owl nesting territories within 1.3 miles of the THP area.

2 comments:

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  2. I can’t comment on this specific location, but on logging in general and wish there were a more sustainable yet still economically sensible solution instead of continuing to destroy old growth forests of high biological diversity. I wish everyone could leave Mother Nature well enough alone! Our planet is seriously hurting. I find the practice of spraying herbicides to manage forests especially asinine. Many species of frogs and birds are disappearing rapidly because of climate change and are especially vulnerable to chemical spraying. We need trees to keep our atmosphere pure and the hillsides stable while providing vital habitat for endangered birds and other species.

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