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.
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.
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.