Eye on Green Diamond: Week 2

By
Friday, April 2nd, 2010

GDclearcut2Among the trends being borne out in Green Diamond’s 2010 Timber Harvest Plans so far, the use of the over sized clearcuts proves most glaring.  So far in 2010, Green Diamond has filed five THP’s containing seven oversized clearcut units.  The Forest Practice Rules restrict the size of clearcuts to 20 acres for ground-based yarding, and 30 acres for cable or other yarding system.  Green Diamond may however propose over-sized units if justified in the plan and approved by Cal Fire during  THP Review.

THP 1-10-001 in Maple Creek proposes Unit B as an oversized clearcut of 23 acres ground-based yarding.  This plan was approved on 3/26/2010 by CalFire with the oversized unit included as proposed.

THP 1-10-011 in the Headwaters of Little River proposes two oversized clearcut units.  Unit A proposes 22 acres of ground-based clearcut, while Unit D proposes 21 acres of ground-based clearcut.  Green Diamond justifies these oversized units by potentially utilizing the option of shovel yarding.  However, shovel yarding is still classified as a ground-based yarding operation in the rules, thus these units are oversized.  This plan is currently open for public comment.

THP 1-10-014 in the Headwaters of Little River proposes Unit B as a 33-acre ground-based yarding clearcut.  This giant ground-based clearcut unit constitutes over a third of the 88 total clearcut acres proposed in this plan.  This plan is still open to public comment.

THP 1-10-016 sits on Berry Ridge above the Mad River.  This plan contains two oversized clearcut units.  Unit A is a 22.5 acre tractor yarded clearcut.  Unit C is a 28 acre tractor yarded clearcut.  These units comprise 50 of the 59 total clearcut acres under this plan.  This plan is still open to public comment.

THP 1-10-017 in Maple Creek proposes Unit  C as  a 31.5 acre oversized clearcut to be yarded either by cable or shovel.  In either case, the unit is oversized.  This unit comprises more than a third of the total 77.7 acres of clearcutting proposed in this plan.  This plan is still open to public comment. 

These oversized, mostly ground-based clearcut units pose a threat not only to water quality in the various watersheds, but also threatend to continue the Green Diamond trend of voraciously fragmenting the landscape.  Also these oversized clearcuts act to wipe out larger swaths of actual and potential habitat for species of concern in those watersheds, including Northern Spotted Owls, Pacific Fisher, and others.

Please comment to Cal Fire on these THP’s.  Let Cal Fire kow that clearcutting, and particularly oversized clearcutting is the most potentially damaging logging alternative available to Green Diamond. Tell Cal Fire to enforce the clearcut unit size limitations on all Green Diamond THP’s.

For comments, please email CalFire at santarosapubliccomment@fire.ca.gov.