Eye on Green Diamond: Week 4

By
Friday, April 16th, 2010

GDRClittleriverEvery week, I receive what CalFire calls Start-up Notifications, through email. While I have  become accustomed to the ups and downs of environmental advocacy work, these “notifications” provoke a particularly unsettled feeling for me. Do people in the community understand that this timber company is continuing to liquidate the redwoods, at an increasingly unsustainable rate?

This week in our Eye on Green Diamond,  Rob Diperna has outdone himself again. He has identified patterns in their planning and listed out the vital statistics for the five Green Diamond plans announced through the Startup Notification I received Monday, April 12.   Now, as I publish this carefully edited (for accuracy) dispatch, I just received yet another Startup Notification from CalFire.  Green Diamond has announced that they plan to begin logging operations on two additional THPs. That’s seven,  just this week.

We will update the information in our post when time allows. To get involved in the Green Diamond Stop Clearcutting campaign, please contact us!

For the wilds,

Kerul Dyer

Green Diamond Stop Clearcutting Campaign

Eye on Green Diamond: Week 4

by Rob Diperna

This week Green Diamond filed for start-up on five THP’s on its property.  These plans are primarily set in drainages of the North Fork Mad River and Maple Creek.  These plans are characterized by the usual Green Diamond trademark of large, and in many cases oversized, clearcuts.

THP 1-08-052 comprises 161 total acres, of which 118 is clearcut.  Unit B alone of this plan comprises a whopping 34 acres of clearcutting, which exceeds the even-aged unit limitations by three acres for cable yarding. This THP lies in Canyon Creek, a fish-bearing tributary to the North Fork Mad River.  The plan acknowledges that both Steelhead and Cutthroat occur in the biological assessment area.  The plan also contains potential habitat for Pacific Fisher, but Green Diamond has stated that no ‘incidental’ sightings have occurred, so no assessment for the Pacific fisher is necessary.

THP 1-08-173 comprises 131 total acres, of which 107 will be clearcut.  Here too, Green Diamond proposes an oversized clearcut unit.  Unit B of the plan total 34 acres, again larger than the FPR’s allows for cable-based yarding.  Plan area contains rare plants and Pacific Giant Salamanders.  This plan lies in the Maple Creek watershed. The biological assessment area contains Northern Spotted Owls, Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead.  The plan also contains potential habitat for Pacific Fisher, but Green Diamond has stated that no ’incidental’ sightings have occurred, so no assessment for the Pacific Fisher is necessary.

THP 1-09-005 comprises 111.9 acres, of which 67.5 are slated for clearcut. These clearcuts pose a direct threat to Cutthroat trout populations immediately adjacent to the THP area.  Furthermore, these clearcuts may also threaten Coho and Chinook populations that occur downstream in the North Fork Maple Creek Watershed.  The plan area also provides potential habitat for Pacific Fisher and Northern Spotted Owl, both known to occur within the biological assessment area.

THP 1-09-011 comprises 134 total acres, of which 108 acres are to be clearcut.  The plan lies in the North Fork Mad River tributaries of Jiggs Creek, Bald Mountain Creek, and Pollack Creek.  The plan states that Cutthroat Trout and Steelhead Trout, as well as Pacific Fisher in the plan area.  Access for Chinook and Coho in these reaches is already blocked due to a land failure.

THP 1-09-065 lies in Denman Creek and Canyon Creek in the North Fork Mad River watershed.  The plan proposes to log 114 acres, 98 by clearcut, and 26.3 of these acres will be logged as one giant over-sized ground-based clearcut. These clearcuts pose a direct threat to Pacific fisher, which are known to occur in the THP area, as well as posing a threat to downstream populations of trout and salmonids.

These plans and the plans currently under review which propose more of the same will clearcut vast acreages, and threaten to destroy potential or actual habitat for numerous species.  Much of this destruction and actual take has been rubber-stamped under Green Diamond’s Aquatics and Spotted Owl HCP’s. However for species like the Pacific Fisher, a candidate for listing in California, the habitat destruction proposed under these THP’s will incrementally reduce the species’ range and impair essential life behaviors.  Unfortunately, a glance at potential future projects in these and other watersheds paints the same old picture of endless clearcuts, and endless habitat destruction.