Archive for September, 2010

Opponents of Richardson Grove Highway Project File Second Suit to Save Old-growth Redwoods

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
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For Immediate Release, September 30, 2010

Contact: Kerul Dyer, Richardson Grove Campaign Coordinator, EPIC, (707) 834-3358

Peter Galvin, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 986-2600

SAN FRANCISCO— On September 27, 2010, five individuals and three environmental advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the California Department of Transportation.  The Federal Action challenges a major construction project along Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park in Humboldt County.  The project will destroy prized old-growth redwoods to allow access for large commercial trucks.  The lawsuit — the second suit citizens have filed to stop the controversial project — was filed due to Caltrans’ failure to conduct a thorough environmental review of the project, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“We can see no other option than to seek help from the courts to protect this threatened grove,” said Kerul Dyer, Richardson Grove Campaign coordinator for the Environmental Protection Information Center.  “Caltrans not only failed to evaluate the harm this complex project would cause to these ancient trees, they railroaded this multi-million-dollar project through, disregarding the public’s concerns and grossly understating the impacts the project would have.” (more…)


Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Rare Forest Carnivore Once Believed Extinct

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
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ARCATA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Humboldt marten under the Endangered Species Act. The Humboldt marten is a cat-sized carnivore related to minks and otters that lives only in coastal, old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon. Because nearly all of its old-growth forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, the Humboldt marten is so rare that it was believed extinct for 50 years.

“The Humboldt marten was once common in old-growth, coastal forests in California and Oregon, but now fewer than 100 are known to exist,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center. “These martens are in dire need of Endangered Species Act protection if they’re going to have any chance at survival.”

“Logging of old-growth forests has driven the marten to extinction across 95 percent of its historic range,” said Scott Greacen, executive director of EPIC in Arcata. “To rebuild a viable marten population, we need to restore old forest conditions, which requires moving beyond short-rotation clearcut logging.”

The historic range of the marten extends from Sonoma County in coastal California north through the coastal mountains of Oregon. The Humboldt marten was rediscovered on the Six Rivers National Forest in 1996. Since that time, researchers have continued to detect martens using track plates and hair snares. In 2009 a marten was detected at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park by remote-sensing camera, the first to be photographed in recent times. Martens are 1.5 to two feet long and have large triangular ears and a long tail. They eat primarily small mammals, including voles and squirrels.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has 90 days to decide whether the petition presents substantial information indicating that protecting the marten under the Endangered Species Act may be warranted.


Eye on Green Diamond: Wildlife Gets Hit Hardest

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
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While Green Diamond’s forestlands are quickly being converted into evenaged, young, monoculture stands, threatened species and their critical habitat continue to suffer. Although much of Green Diamond’s wildlife protection measures are dictated by its Northern Spotted Owl and Aquatics Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), the species covered under these plans are subject to “incidental take”, while non-covered species are threatened with outright habitat destruction.

Green Diamond relies heavily on voluntary measures such as its terrestrial deadwood management plan, which is supposed to leave remnant habitat structural elements to support species such as NSO and Pacific Fisher. However there are no enforceable standards associated with this plan that the Department of Forestry can gauge and measure during site inspections.

Green Diamond does not actively survey for species such as Pacific Fisher, relying instead on track-plate detections, which is a poor method for determining location, status, and habitat use for this species. Other non-covered species such as the Red and Sonoma Tree vole, which are a regular part of the diet of NSO, are generally unprotected by Green Diamond during logging operations.

In terms of aquatic species, even though Green Diamond has an AHCP with prescribed mitigation measures to avoid impacts to aquatic wildlife, these measures are generally inadequate. Protections such as so-called “equipment exclusion zones”(EEZ) associated with watercourses are misleading and inadequate to prevent sediment and temperature impacts. In truth, the EEZs are not EEZs at all, but rather are more accurately “equipment limitation zones”, and there are barely any restrictions for which there are not exceptions. Green Diamond regularly conducts ground-based yarding operations in riparian management zones (RMZs), even where steep-streamside slopes exist.

The result is that incidental take of aquatic wildlife such as salmonids and amphibians does occur, and habitat for these species continues to be degraded. Green Diamonds aggressive logging approach, even where selection in RMZs occurs, can and does affect sediment levels and stream temperatures.

Finally, Green Diamond does not consider or address the potentially significant impacts of its intensive and wide-spread herbicide use, particularly on aquatic species. Green Diamond’s own research suggests that herbicides can and do persist on the landscape and in affected watercourses, and research suggests that herbicides can and do affect critical life history stages in some aquatic species. The impacts of herbicide use on terrestrial species is not really understood at all, and Green Diamond does not conduct research on the impacts of herbicides on terrestrial species.

In sum, while Green Diamond’s HCPs regulate to some extent the methods and manners of logging operations on its lands, covered as well as non-covered species remain subject to significant habitat destruction as a result of intensive clearcutting that continues virtually unabated.

In this regard, the California Forest Practice Rules are vastly inadequate to protect threatened species and species of concern as the emphasis in the rules is not on wildlife protection, but rather on cutting as much as possible, as fast as possible. The Department of Forestry largely ignores the paltry provisions of the FPRs that vaguely state that sufficient habitat for resident wildlife be preserved.

The rub is that this provision targets habitat retention for within watercourse zones, and provides no particular standards or targets for habitat retention as a general part of planning of logging operations. Thus Green Diamond and its liquidation of suitable habitat for threatened species and species of concern is enabled by a Department of Forestry that is driven by the charge to approve THPs, rather than protect wildlife.


Statewide Richardson Grove Campaign Gains Momentum

Friday, September 24th, 2010
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HUMBOLDT, CA––The campaign to protect the famous redwood curtain in Richardson Grove State Park from the Caltrans’ highway-widening project at the south end of Humboldt County continues to grow and diversify. Among the achievements gained in the effort, a city council passed a resolution opposing the project, a renowned photographer was cited for taking a provocative image in Richardson Grove, and Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim, chair of the International 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Council joined the campaign as a public spokesperson.

In addition, news outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle, High Country News, National Public Radio, and the California Report have produced stories on the subject, exponentially increasing public awareness outside of the Northcoast region. Thousands have registered their opposition to the project by either doing an online action or signing a postcard demanding that the project be rescinded by the governor. The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) has regular updates and opportunities for people to get involved in the Save Richardson Grove Campaign on their website at wildcalifornia.org.

The Lawsuit

In June, five individuals and three environmental organizations filed suit against Caltrans, citing fourteen points on why the Richardson Grove Highway Improvement Project should not go forward. The plaintiff group has excellent legal representation, including that of former US Congressman Pete McCloskey. EPIC’s long time staff attorney Sharon Duggan leads the team with expertise and passion.  The plaintiff group are now meeting with Caltrans representatives in the mandatory settlement process required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition, access has finally been granted for the parties to review the “administrative record.” The complex case was filed in San Francisco to address statewide concerns over the potential harm to public resources within a State Park.

“We are cautiously optimistic about our lawsuit, not only because of the merits of the case, but because of the exceptional representation we have,” said Kerul Dyer, EPIC’s Richardson Grove Campaign coordinator. “The priority for gaining support is to raise funds for Richardson Grove Legal Funds. CEQA lawsuits are pricey.” (more…)


Conservation Groups Will Seek Increased Protection for Tolowa Dunes State Park

Friday, September 24th, 2010
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Dune Ponds in TDSP, looking S. to Lake Earl, 2003

California Department of Parks and Recreation Director Ruth Coleman has abandoned her controversial plan to reclassify a portion of Tolowa Dunes State Park as a State Recreation Area. The unprecedented reclassification scheme was an attempt to allow waterfowl hunting in the State Park despite a legislative prohibition of such use. Coleman has now proposed to use a General Plan process as the means of pursuing hunting in the park.

The conservation groups who successfully fought both the reclassification proposal, and an earlier attempt to transfer 1200 acres of this Park to the Department of Fish and Game, say State Parks leadership continues to focus on perpetuating illegal uses, rather than protecting the irreplaceable resources of Tolowa Dunes. The groups vow to seek increased protection for Tolowa Dunes State Park under the General Plan process.

Joe Gillespie of Friends of Del Norte expressed a mixture of relief and puzzlement at the news. “Conservationists have been requesting a General Plan be prepared for Tolowa Dunes for years. Up to now, we’ve always been told there’s no money for a General Plan to ensure protection of the natural and cultural resources of Tolowa Dunes. Now suddenly, with the parks system in crisis, and when the Director wants to remove part of the Park, there’s money for a General Plan.” (more…)


SPI’s Shell game threatens Northern Spotted Owls

Friday, September 24th, 2010
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Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), California’s largest and most notorious timber company, is no stranger to conflicts with federal and state agencies over protection of wildlife like the threatened Northern Spotted Owl (NSO). SPI’s aggressive approach to logging owl habitat appears to have been a key factor in the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to stop helping timber companies design logging plans to minimize impacts on owls and their habitat. FWS’ withdrawal leaves only the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE) between the timber company and the NSO. So guess what giant timber company is now aggressively pushing CalFIRE to be allowed to log NSO habitat, using a shell game of mutually inconsistent standards as cover?

As it got out of the business of evaluating Timber Harvest Plans (THPs), FWS issued a set of “take avoidance guidelines,” to give foresters a road map to avoid harming owls in their logging plans. CalFIRE is specifically barred from approving THPs that would result in ‘take’ of listed species. FWS has stated that California’s current Forest Practice Rules – the rules CalFIRE enforces – are not strong enough to insure ‘no take’ of NSO.
By contrast to the nearly two decade-old state rules, the FWS guidelines provide clearer habitat definitions and stronger habitat retention standards, grounded in the current science, for THPs in either of two zones – the coastal redwood zone or the mixed-conifer forests of the interior. The problem is, while CalFIRE has told THP proponents that they can use the FWS guidelines, the state forest regulators have signaled that they’re only actually going to enforce their own inadequate rules.

Exploiting this confusion, SPI is mixing and matching the FWS’ interior and coastal guidance standards, but claiming to comply with the Forest Practice Rules. A recent SPI THP in Humboldt County, 1-10-048HUM, provides an example of the problems this approach can create. In this plan, the stand to be logged is primarily Douglas fir with a large hardwood component – forest that should be assessed as “interior” forest type. Nonetheless, SPI is using the FWS take avoidance guidelines for the coastal (redwood) region to define the available owl habitat. This leads to SPI mis-classifying the habitat, in a way that misrepresents the amount of habitat available for owls in the stand.
Then, SPI uses the habitat retention guidelines for interior stands mixing two entirely different standards.

The coastal and interior guidance differ not only in terms of habitat definition, but also in terms of habitat quantities to be retained and the size of the NSO core area home range to be used. Essentially, the two sets of guidance are meant to apply to two distinct ecosystems that owls use in different ways. FWS has made it clear there is no biological or scientific justification for mixing the two standards, and no justification is provided in SPI’s THP.

Finally, though the plan doesn’t comply with either the coastal or interior guidance, SPI expects to obtain a so-called “take avoidance determination” from CalFIRE and get the plan approved, simply because it conforms to the sub-standard Forest Practice Rules.

Confused yet? SPI’s shell game compounds the damage already done to owl habitat in the area. The NSO activity center in question has less nesting/roosting habitat than the guidelines require because of past logging. SPI acknowledges this in the THP, stating that there “is currently insufficient habitat within 1/2 mile of the detection to support NSO…if (the activity center) were indeed a valid NSO territory, the habitat conditions would be considered to be in an impaired state.”

SPI’s proposal to remove approximately 36 of 102 acres (35%) of the existing nesting/roosting habitat from within the 0.5-mile to 1.3-mile radius of the activity center could result in a significant impact to NSO, particularly when the activity center is already deficient in nesting/roosting habitat within that distance. But SPI is claiming that the activity center in question is not an owl territory, and thus logging within 1.3 miles of the activity center will not result in any further impacts to NSO. The owl site has not been surveyed in over a decade and SPI fails to provide data to substantiate its claim that the activity center is in fact invalid or unoccupied. So, SPI’s logic is that degrading owl habitat won’t harm owls because it’s not owl habitat because they’ve already degraded it?

CalFIRE, for its part, has recommended this plan for approval despite the morass of differing definitions and retention standards, and despite the fact that further habitat reduction could lead to unauthorized ‘take’ of NSO.

Please see the latest edition of Econews for the full length of this article.


Thanks Earthdance!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
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EPIC had a great time tabling this last weekend at Earthdance.  

EPIC had a successful weekend at Earthdance! People from all over the world showed their support for Richardson Grove.  A huge thank you goes out to Jeri Fergus for organizing Activist Alley, to the volunteers who tabled the event and to the 1,284 people who took the time to write a post card to the Governer requesting that he rescind the Richardson Grove highway widening project.   

EPIC’s Kerul Dyer had an opportunity to speak live on KMUD about Richardson Grove during the event.  Additionally, Grandmother Agnes, Chair of the International Council of 13 Indiginous Grandmothers and Prescilla Hunter, Chair of the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council spoke at Earthdance and further promoted the message to save Richardson Grove.

This was the last opportunity to experience Earthdance as a three day camp-out under the ancient oak trees of Black Oak Ranch.  Earthdance, the Global Dance Festival for Peace, is the world’s largest simultaneous music and dance event and is celebrated in over 350 cities in over 50 countries.  The defining moment of Earthdance was a sycronized link-up, led by Grandmother Agnes when people all over the world gathered for “The Prayer for Peace.”

If anyone took pictures of the EPIC booth or volunteers or people wearing “Save Richardson Grove” tshirts from the event, please email them to wildcalifornia@gmail.com.

Thanks Earthdance!

Click here to donate and help EPIC volunteers with the costs of the event

All donations are tax-deductible. Donations can remain anonymous or can come with a public thank you.


Eye On Green Diamond:Current Logging in Maple Creek Watershed

Monday, September 20th, 2010
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Green Diamond filed start-up (logging commencement notice) on two Timber Harvest Plans this week.  Both plans are in the greater Maple Creek watershed.

THP 1-08-098 lies in Maple Creek proper.  It covers 131 acres, 90.7 clearcutting, and 22.4 selection. The plan area contains suitable habitat for Northern Spotted Owls, and Pacific Fisher, both of which are known to occur in the THP area. This plan will conduct cable selection logging on steep streamside slopes on Class II (non-fish bearing, but amphibian bearing stream) watercourses.  As with most Green Diamond THPs, this plan has adjacency constraints. This means that operations were restricted from occurring before now because adjacent stands were not either five years old or five feet tall at the time of plan approval.  The forest to be clearcut is extremely young, 50-55yrs old. The plan area drains downslope into Maple Creek, a stream that provides habitat for threatened anadramous fish.

THP 1-09-059 lies in Pitcher Creek and Mc Donald Creek. THP area covers 96 acres, 71 acres clearcutting, and 25 selection. The THP area contains suitable habit for Northern Spotted Owl, Pacific Fisher, Osprey, Southern torrent salamander, tailed frog and red-legged frog, all of which are known to occur in the THP area.  The plan proposes potentially damaging ground based yarding in Class II Riparian Management Zones (RMZs) in some areas. Units A,B,C are oversized, meaning units greater than 20 acres for ground based yarding, or 30 acres for cable yarding.  This plan was also constrained from immediate logging due to adjacent previous clearcutting operations. The forest to be clearcut under this THP averages 60 years old, also representing a very young forest, subject to very fast and intensive rotation.

These THPs represent the Green Diamond pattern of clearcutting, burning, spraying herbicides, and then quickly re-entering stands before any true ecological value to species can accrue.  Species such as Northern Spotted Owl and Pacific Fisher are systematically being forced to abandon suitable habitats for younger and younger forests, forests that do not generally provide the kind of structure and ecological value that would facilitate the survival, and ultimate recovery of these species.


Tolowa Dunes Update

Friday, September 3rd, 2010
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California State Parks has released this image of the area proposed to be removed from Tolowa Dunes State Park.

Update 9/3/2010: A public notice has confirmed that on Friday, October 8th 2010, the California State Parks and Recreation Commission (CSPRC) will be holding a meeting to vote on a proposal to reclassify Tolowa Dunes to a “recreation area” which would allow hunting in what is now a State Park.  Activists are encouraged to attend the meeting at two locations: Elk Valley Rancheria at 2332 Howland Hill Road in Crescent City AND at the Beverly Hills City Hall, Room 280-B, 455 North Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills, CA (the location where CSPRC will be teleconferencing and making a decision).  EPIC’s review of the document has found that the action does not comply with CEQA or with the Coastal Act.  In fact, it is not entirely clear what State Parks is proposing with this document. 

State Parks Director Ruth Coleman appears determined to downgrade protection for this ecologically unique and culturally sensitive area at the behest of a few waterfowl hunters.  Director Coleman has indicated that it is her intent to open ponds and sloughs in the northern section of the Park to waterfowl hunting before the end of 2010, and is pursuing their reclassification from “Park” to “State Recreation Area.” To send a letter opposing the reclassification, click here

It seems unprecedented to rip out a piece of a Park that has already been designated. It will invite similar demands from small user groups for many units of California’s State Parks system. 

The Lake Earl Wildlife Area, adjacent to Tolowa Dunes, already provides nearly 5000 acres for waterfowl hunting including marshes and sloughs along some 60 miles of shoreline.  In other words, ample and diverse hunting opportunities are already available next door and there is no need for additional hunting areas.  It isn’t fair either, because it upsets the balance intended by the legislature between the Wildlife Area and the State Park. The Park’s dune ponds and sloughs in fact provide the only refuge on this coast for birds during the hunting season. 

The hunting area is proposed next to Yontocket where 450 men, women and children of the Tolowa tribe were slaughtered by militias in 1853, the second largest single massacre of native people in U.S. history. Hunting is proposed in Yontocket slough, where Tolowa tried to hide underwater and which “was just red with blood, with people floating around all over.” (Gould 1966b:33)  Most of the northern section of the Park, including the areas proposed for hunting, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 by the Tolowa people because of the many places of cultural, religious and ritual importance.  Some tribal members now view carrying or shooting guns in this area as an act of desecration.

Dune Ponds in TDSP, looking S. to Lake Earl, 2003

The State Park was established not only for its cultural significance but also its ecological importance.  The Tolowa Coast is a hot spot of biodiversity deserving greatly increased protection — and not less. It provides refuge for 315 bird, 500 plant, 400 mushroom and fungi, 21 fish, and 50 land mammal species as well as many threatened and sensitive species, including the threatened Western snowy plover and Oregon Silverspot butterfly and endangered Tidewater goby.  It is a globally designated “Important Bird Area.”

State Parks officials have said that this proposal poses no user conflicts and no environmental impacts. If you feel differently and would like to help, please write a short letter.  State your opposition to any reclassification or giveaway of Tolowa Dunes State Park for hunting, and describe how hunting will interfere with your enjoyment of this Park.  For example, hunting can scare people away from the dunes, displace birds and animals from their homes, conflict with bird and wildlife watching, disrupt peaceful enjoyment of nature, and show disrespect to the Tolowa and their ancestors.

Please take the time to express your concerns to the following officials before September 10th generalplan@parks.ca.gov, and cc: ruth@parks.ca.gov; LNastro@parks.ca.gov; elizabeth@calparks.org; traci@calparks.org; assemblymember.chesbro@assembly.ca.gov 

 OR  Take a one click action here to send a form letter requesting the protection of Tolowa Dunes State Park.

The email contact links have been updated since the last blogpost, so if you already sent a letter, please do so again, as additional lawmakers have been added to the list. 

Thank you. 

 


Judge Orders revisons to Spotted Owl Recovery Plan

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
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A new court decision requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to base their actions on best available science.  This legal requirement will help the government to fully utilize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and rely on transparent and scientifically credible implementation measures.  The following press release was distributed on September 2, 2010.  We expect for the developments on the recovery plan next week.

Judge Orders U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Revise 2008 Spotted Owl Recovery Plan and Critical Habitat Designation

Northern Spotted Owl in Wildcare Rehab Aviary. Rehabilitated and released.

Washington, DC — A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., ruled yesterday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must revise a recovery plan and critical habitat designation for northern spotted owls.

In May 2008, the Bush Administration issued a spotted owl recovery plan that failed numerous scientific peer reviews and was also influenced by a Bush administration official who later left government service after a government report publicly criticized her politicized meddling. Despite those flaws, in August 2008 the Bush administration cited the flawed recovery plan in slashing the amount of forest designated as owl critical habitat by about 1.6 million acres, or 23 percent. 

Conservation groups challenged those decisions in federal court, alleging that the Bush administration violated the Endangered Species Act by reducing habitat protections for spotted owls in spite of clear warnings from scientists that spotted owl populations have been declining by 4 percent a year for the past 15 years. Habitat loss due to the logging of mature and old-growth forests needed by owls to survive is a primary cause of those population declines. After the government investigation found political meddling, the Fish and Wildlife Service confessed it had committed legal error.

Yesterday’s ruling requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to revise the spotted owl recovery plan within nine months, and requires revisions to the owl’s critical habitat on a schedule to be determined by the court.

“This ruling is a win for spotted owls, old growth forests, and those who believe federal agencies should use sound science—not politics—to manage imperiled species,” said Paul Kampmeier, an attorney at the Washington Forest Law Center, one of the law firms representing the national and regional conservation organizations in the legal action.

“The critical habitat reduction and recovery plan ignored years of scientific study finding that our old-growth forests need to be protected,” said Mr. Kampmeier. “The Court’s ruling reverses these decisions and is a strong step toward restoring scientifically based protection for Pacific Northwest wildlife and natural areas.”

“Protecting mature and old-growth forests is about owls and more — it is key to protecting rivers and streams, drinking water, and outdoor recreation, a major economic contributor for local communities across the region,” said Shawn Cantrell, Executive Director with Seattle Audubon.

The Fish and Wildlife Service listed northern spotted owls as a threatened species in 1990 and originally protected its critical habitat in 1992. Only 15-20 percent of the original old-growth forests remain throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to providing critical habitat for spotted owls, salmon, steelhead and other species, mature and old growth forests are important sources of clean water and help reduce global warming.


Green Diamond Update

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
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Green Diamond cearcuts over the last ten years around the Maple Creek and Little River watersheds.

Cal Fire recently approved three Green Diamond THPs that were filed for 2010.  This brings the number of approved THPs to 25 out of a total of 42 that Green Diamond has applied for in 2010.  THP 1-10-017 lies in Pitcher Creek, a tributary to the Maple Creek watershed.  The plan covers 93.5 acres, of which 77.5 is slated for clearcutting.  Three of the THP units are constrained from immediate logging due to the adjacent clearcut units that currently do not meet Cal Fire age and stocking standard requirements.  Unit C of this plan is an oversized clearcut, i.e. greater than 20 acres for ground based yarding, or over 30 acres for cable yarding. 

The stands to be clearcut are just 60 years old, further evidence of Green Diamond’s short, intensive evenaged management regime.  Green Diamond has conducted extensive logging operations in this watershed over the last ten years and plans to log nearly 12,500 acres in this watershed assessment within the next ten years, over half of which will be clearcut.  The plan contains extremely steep slopes in some clearcut units.

Clearcut in Van Duzen watershed

THP 1-10-054 lies in Wolverton Gulch in the Van Duzen River watershed.  This plan covers a total of 81 acres, 64.5 of which is slated for clearcutting.  This plan lies on the boundary of several residential properties.  One of the clearcut units is also constrained by an adjacent clearcut that does not meet Cal Fire age or stocking standards. In addition, there is another unit that represents an oversized clearcut.  The plan contains suitable habitat for Northern Spotted Owls and NSO are known to occur in the THP area.

THP 1-10-066 lies in Lower Cannon Creek, a tributary to the Mad River.  The plan covers 178 total acres, the vast majority of this is slated to be logged via an ‘alternative prescription’ that resembling selection. The average stand age in this THP is a paltry 35 years old. Once again, this is a prime example of Green Diamond’s intensive evenaged management strategy.  The stands proposed for harvest under this THP are very young, and will most certainly be re-entered for clearcutting in the near future.  Green Diamond has already logged over 700 acres in the Lower Cannon Creek watershed in the last 10 years, and plans to log approximately 1000 more acres, 900 via clearcut, over the next ten years.  This THP contains suitable habitat for Northern Spotted Owl and Pacific Fisher, and both species are known to occur in the plan area.

Both the Van Duzen and Mad River watersheds are listed under the federal Clean Water Act Section 303(d) as being impaired in critical water quality objectives such as sediment and temperature.  Both watersheds support fledgling salmon and trout populations.  The Maple Creek watershed also supports salmon and steelhead downstream of the project area. These THPs represent a small fraction of the destructive clearcut logging proposed by Green Diamond in 2010.  Meanwhile, Cal Fire continues to approve THPs that are already constrained by recent adjacent clearcuts, and approve THPs that contain clearcut units larger than the Forest Practice Rules allow. This is business as usual for Green Diamond.