The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has proposed extensive post-fire logging under the guise of restoration within the August Complex Wildfire area. The August Phase 1 project includes over 3,500 acres of logging around the town of Forest Glen and east of South Fork Mountain within the Wild and Scenic South Fork Trinity River corridor and its tributaries of Collins, Rattlesnake, Smoky and Prospect Creeks and the East Fork South Fork Trinity River. The stated purpose of the project is for public safety along 33 miles of roads and other infrastructure, expedited restoration, and economics. Let the Shasta-Trinity National Forest know that logging after a fire harms water quality, wildlife and wild places. Real restoration allows for natural recovery. Take action today to support an ecologically sound alternative.
The public scoping notice claims that post-fire logging increases carbon sequestration. On the contrary, post-fire logging has negative implications for climate change. When a live tree burns in a wildfire, most of the carbon is not released into the atmosphere. In fact, roughly 95% of the carbon remains in the burned snag. As they naturally decompose and decay, much of the carbon is returned to the soil where it provides nutrients to plants as they re-grow the forest. However, when trees are removed, that carbon is erased from the ecosystem and the already depleted soil is left without the nutrients it needs to replenish and regenerate. Logging, trucking, milling and manufacturing also greatly contribute to carbon emissions.
Snags in a Post-Fire Landscape.
The August Fire Phase 1 project, which runs directly to the rivers edge in some places and throughout multiple stream systems, would negatively impact the National Wild & Scenic South Fork Trinity River. The river is designated as “wild” because of its outstanding fisheries and it is legendary for its chinook salmon and steelhead trout fishing by drift boat or walk-in riverside spots. Both of these species are threatened. Logging fire-affected forests is well known to cause sedimentation, which directly harms juvenile salmon and diminishes their aquatic habitat. The South Fork Trinity River is listed as 303(d) sediment impaired under the Clean Water Act. Additional sedimentation would further harm these fish populations and water quality.
The Shasta-Trinity August Complex Phase 1 planners want to hear from the public about what alternatives to consider in the environmental assessment. Let them know you support natural recovery and an alternative limited to imminent hazard trees on main roads and infrastructure.
Close of business on March 26th is the deadline to submit comments.
Click the button below for an effortless form to submit yours today!