Fight over Gualala River logging plan heads to federal court

Author  GUY KOVNER

A five-year battle over plans to log in the remote Gualala River flood plain has taken a big step up with a powerhouse environmental group’s declaration to take the case to federal court, alleging the commercial tree harvest would harm protected fish, frogs and birds.

Friends of Gualala River, a grassroots group with an email list of about 600 people, now has the legal muscle of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental organization with a global reach and a $20 million annual budget, on its side.

“It is a welcome turn of events,” said Charles Ivor, president of the Gualala-based group that has stalled a 342-acre state-approved timber harvest plan since 2016.

The local group secured a state appeals court order in April temporarily halting the Dogwood project pursued by Gualala Redwood Timber LLC, which owns the land

“We’ve stopped it every year,” Ivor said.

Read More

Online presentation on the Wilds of the Upper Watershed

Tomorrow! – Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) presents naturalist and Annapolis artist, Liam Ericson, in an online talk and slide show, “Preservation Ranch: A first look at the unseen interior of the Gualala River” on Sunday, June 7th at 4 pm via Zoom.

Liam has explored the wilds of Preservation Ranch (now known as “Buckeye Forest“), where 19,645 acres of forest, grassland, and riparian corridor combine to host countless species of plants and wildlife and provide critical habitat for the recovery of northern spotted owls and steelhead trout. These lands, shaped by a series of creeks, including the largest, Buckeye Creek, form a major part of the eastern Gualala River watershed, a remote area that few have seen.

Read More

‘Blatant manipulation’: Trump administration exploited wildfire science to promote logging

Political appointees at the interior department have sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The messaging plan was crafted in support of Donald Trump’s pro-industry arguments for harvesting more timber in California, which he says would thin forests and prevent fires – a point experts refute.

The emails show officials seeking to estimate the carbon emissions from devastating 2018 fires in California so they could compare them to the carbon footprint of the state’s electricity sector and then publish statements encouraging cutting down trees.

Read More

Test your trees for free!

Monitor disease spread, be on the lookout for new dangerous strains, and send in your California bay laurel or tanoak leaves for testing

You *MUST* register to participate in this year’s blitzes:

ucanr.edu/2020SODblitz

Participants will review training materials online due to COVID-19. This training is required, as it covers COVID-19 safety instructions and new scientific information.

We will host Zoom drop-in meetings for participants to ask questions.

Participants may receive collection materials in packets in one of the following two ways:

1.      *PREFERRED* Submit your address and we will mail them to you; For this, registration must be submitted by Friday, April 24, OR

2.     Pick them up at a table outside our office during times listed below on Saturday, May 2 or Sunday May 3

Participants will return samples by mail using pre-addressed postage paid envelopes that are included in the packets. Sample envelopes must be postmarked to UC Berkeley before or on Tuesday, May 5.

UCCE Sonoma Office packet pick-up times:

  • Saturday, May 2 from 10:30AM-12:30PM
  • Sunday, May 3 from 10:30AM-12:30PM

The UCCE Sonoma office is located at 133 Aviation Blvd Suite 109, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Zoom Q&A meeting times:

  • Saturday, May 2 from 9-10AM with SSU’s Galbreath Preserve Coordinator
  • Sunday, May 3 from 9-10AM with SSU’s Osborn Outreach Coordinator and UCCE SOD Program Coordinator
  • Sunday, May 3 from 1-2PM with a SOD Specialist Master Gardener

Rick Coates    707-632-6070 or rcoates@sonic.net

Reply-To: kwininger@ucanr.edu

 

Forest Service favors reducing public input to fast-track projects

Clearcuts and dead and dying trees pepper the landscape on the Lolo National Forest in western Montana.

By Laura Lundquist

The U.S. Forest Service is creating more ways to approve logging projects without providing environmental analysis or public oversight.

A recent analysis conducted by WildEarth Guardians shows the Forest Service is bypassing much of the public process in order to push through an increasing number of large forest projects throughout the West.

“The acres are just staggering. We’re seeing millions of acres excluded from sufficient analysis,” said WildEarth Guardians Missoula spokesman Adam Rissien.

Rissien used Forest Service postings to tally all the logging and/or burning projects proposed for the past quarter – January through March – where forest managers had applied a “categorical exclusion” to avoid the public process normally required by law.

Read More