LOGGING PLAN STATUS REPORT NOVEMBER 2015
1-20-00084-SON “Silver Estates”
Approval of the Silver Estate logging plan adjacent to the Russian River and near the town of Guerneville and home to the tallest redwood in Sonoma County has been postponed again. Cal Fire has approved this plan and the Guerneville Forest Coalition has filed suit against Cal Fire for abuse of discretion. No logging is taking place and negotiations on a potential sale of the property to the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District are ongoing. Learn more about this plan here.
1-15NTMP-007 SON “Kidd Creek”
This is a Non Industrial Management Plan (NTMP) is adjacent to the Jenner Headlands plan described below. The plan includes a haul road along Kidd Creek near CazSonoma Inn that is literally falling into the creek thanks to its use in a previous logging operation. In May, Fisheries Biologist Patrick Higgins did a site survey of Kidd Creekand found coho slamon in Kidd Creek. Patrick’s site survey was submitted to CalFire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB). CDFW responded by sending a memo to CalFire that “As a result of the survey, additional protection measures may be needed.” Cal Fire still approved the defective plan. But, thanks to a group of citizens, the plan was sued and the suit was successful. As a result, CDFW, is not monitoring and stocking Kidd Creek with
1-15-065SON Jenner Headlands
This logging plan covers 106 acres, 89 acres of which is clear cut! Seventeen acres is selection silviculture and 15 acres will be left uncut.
1-15-042SON “Doogwood” and -033 and -042
This logging plan is 402 acres total, with 320 acres using selection, 12 acres using Special Treatment, and 70 acres left uncut.
033 and 042 will be treated together since they in many ways similar. Both are in the Gualala River watershed. This is a particularly beautiful part of the river as anyone knows who has seen it. Both plans are submitted by the same landowner (Gualala Redwoods Inc.), both were prepared by the same forester and both have the same issues.
The 033 plan is particularly objectionable because it involves 89 acres of clear-cut. This is the most destructive logging technique.
Both plans will introduce sediment into the Gualala River which is a Class I stream with salmonids and is listed by the EPA as degraded for both sediment and temperature. Forest Unlimited has highlighted this in the comments submitted because failing to improve the water quality of the stream is in violation of Federal Law. Both plans have numerous other legal flaws which Forest Unlimited has identified in detail including failure to analyze feasible alternatives properly, failure to address greenhouse gas emissions properly, failure to justify their claim of â€œno environmental impactâ€ with data based analysis and failure to include critical information to permit public review in addition to conducting the logging in a way contrary to details of the Forest Practice Rules.
Forest Unlimited’s comments on these two plans follow:
Forest Unlimited has teamed with California Native Plant Society, Madrone Audobon Society, FoGr, and Northern California River Watch to comment further on these plans:
Second Review for this plan was held and the review committee recommended approval. The public comments, including those from Forest Unlimited were not addressed at the time of the second review. The comments submitted by Forest Unlimited and others create a basis for a potential lawsuit to block or alter this plan.
NTMPs like this one are problematic because once approved they allow cutting trees indefinitely without additional review or approvals. This plan is designated 1-15NTMP-001SON (the â€œBrowderâ€ plan) and is for group selection on a total of 320 Acres 2.6 miles west of Occidental. Group selection can do a lot of harm to the forest ecology and can be very much like a series of clearcuts. This is in the drainage for Coleman Valley Creek on Coleman Valley Road. Although this part of Coleman Valley is not fish bearing due to a downstream blockage, it feeds Salmon Creek which has endangered salmonids. The salmonids downstream will be negatively impacted by sediment flowing downstream from the logging, herbicides and pumping water from the stream for dust abatement. These will be exacerbated in the current drought conditions.
The south end of the property proposed for logging extends to Fitzpatrick Lane close to the Grove of the Old Trees. It is possible some logged areas will be visible from Fitzpatrick Ln. on the way to the Grove. The NTMP claims only 2nd and 3rd growth trees are on the property but the tree survey provided by the forester has trees over 100â€ in diameter, larger than expected for any but old growth. There is no commitment to protect these large, ancient trees that provide wonderful valuable habitat for wildlife. Some of these large old trees will be cut. Forest Unlimited has reviewed the details of this plan and submitted extensive public comments on the aspects of the plan that are in violation of state law and contrary to the Forest Practice Rules.
Note: Calfire Website
Early in 2015 Calfire improved their website. Old links to Timber Harvest Plans (THPs) and Non-Industrial Timber Management Plans (NTMPs) may no longer work. The Calfire website can be hard to navigate so the best source for current links to California logging plans is via this website. Public interest and participation in the review process by offering comments is always the best way everyone can protect our California forests. For more information view Logging Plan Resources.