Posts Tagged ‘Timber Harvest Plan’

EPIC in Review

Friday, June 13th, 2014


Over the past few weeks, EPIC has worked to protect wolves in California, stood up to big timber companies, advocated for the Wild and Scenic rivers and endangered species, protected Northern Spotted Owls, opposed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, requested amendments to groundwater legislation, and worked to protect water quality on timber lands. The documents below are a sample of our efforts to protect the wildlife, forests and watersheds of the North Coast. Several of these documents are the product of larger groups that we work with to develop coalition letters, and other documents are original works produced by EPIC staff. We hope that sharing these works with our readers will bring an awareness of some of the issues that we are addressing to protect the environment that we are rooted in.

EPIC Comments Regarding “Scorpion King” and “Boomer.” These two THPs are proposed by Sierra Pacific Industries and would result in take of Northern Spotted Owls as a result of the cumulative effects of multiple harvest entries over a short time.

Environmental Water Caucus Comment Letter on the 40,000 page Bay Delta Conservation Plan and EIR/EIS. This 259 page comment letter was developed by a coalition of water and conservation advocacy groups including EPIC. The letter outlines environmental impacts to endangered species populations, rivers, the San Joaquin Delta and to the state’s overall water supply.

EPIC Motion for Stay filed with the State Water Resources Control Board. The motion requests a stay of the effect of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s approval of a property-wide forest operations Waste Discharge Requirement permit (WDR) order for Green Diamond property back in 2012. The motion for stay is in response to the State Board’s failure to address a petition to review the Regional Board’s approval of the order that EPIC filed in 2012.

HR 4272 Opposition Letter. The Forest Access in Rural Communities Act would modify motor vehicle use on public lands, which would tie the hands of Forest Service managers across the country who work to protect public safety, recreational experiences, and endangers protections for drinking water resources, wildlife and forest resources.

Northern California Prescribed Fire Council letter of support for AB2465. The bill would officially recognize the benefits of prescribed fire in California’s fire-adapted landscapes and facilitate new levels of professionalism for private lands burners throughout the state.

Letters to Senator Pavley and Assemblyman Anthony Rendon requesting amendments to ground water legislation to address the impact that groundwater extraction can have on California’s streams.

Letter of opposition for four House of Representatives bills that would damage the Endangered Species Act. These bills “would undermine the essential protections of the Endangered Species Act by obstructing the development and use of scientific research, squandering agency resources and chilling citizen enforcement.”

Tour of Mattole Timber Harvest Plans

Friday, June 13th, 2014
group mattole

The group discussing forest policy.

This week, EPIC staff and interns visited active and proposed timber operations on Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) lands in the Mattole Valley. Logging operations on HRC lands along the north fork the Mattole River have been at the center of recent protests and public scrutiny.

The controversy over HRC’s timber harvest operations on Long Ridge in the Mattole Valley has arisen out of concerns that the company is logging old growth and harvesting in unentered forest stands. HRC, for its part, insists that it is not logging old growth trees, and that harvesting in previously unentered stands will not alter the ecological function of those stands.

HRC agreed to a tour inviting EPIC, concerned members of the public and forest activists. Activists guided the tour, taking the group to the harvest areas of concern spending the entire day in the field viewing the active Long Ridge Cable and proposed Long Reach Timber Harvest Plans.

decadent fir

Unique and decadent trees such as this fir are marked Leave.

The group unanimously confirmed that the Long Reach THP intends to harvest in unentered stands of mixed age-class with varied types of hardwood and fir trees on steep and unstable slopes; however we saw no evidence that the company intends to log individual old growth trees or in old growth stands. The most unique, interesting and largest trees were marked with an “L” for leave and the late successional characteristics of the stand are to be preserved after harvest.

The question of whether or not previously unentered forest stands should automatically qualify as old growth or otherwise be protected is at the crux of the issues surrounding HRC timber harvest operations in the Mattole.

While HRC has a voluntary policy against the logging of individual old growth trees or in old growth stands, the company currently has no policy prohibiting the harvest of previously unentered stands if they do not meet the criteria of an old growth stand (age, size, structural component and density requirement of 6 or more per acre).

While large, these trees were between 100-120 years old.

While large, these trees were between 100-120 years old.

Also of great concern is the safety of forest activists while protesting in active logging areas. HRC has offered that forest defenders can observe timber operations from a safe distance and with appropriate safety gear.

EPIC commends Humboldt Redwood Company’s old growth protection, and efforts to continue working toward building positive community relationships. We are immensely grateful to the forest activists for their watchful monitoring, dedication to the protection of nature, and their ability to keep all parties honest and accountable.

We are committed to continuing to work with community members and Humboldt Redwood Company. Given the unique characteristics of the Mattole Valley, and especially Long Ridge, EPIC would like to see additional protection measures developed in the future for unentered forest stands.

For more information on this topic, tune into KMUD’s Environment Show on Tuesday, June 24th, from 7-8pm. We will be talking about the Mattole, Humboldt Redwood Company and taking calls from listeners.

Looking at the 200-acre High Conservation Value Forest on the north-slope of Long Ridge, immediately adjacent to the THPs in question.

Looking at the 200-acre High Conservation Value Forest on the north-slope of Long Ridge, immediately adjacent to the THPs in question.