Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
by Jodi Frediani
1. SDSF Management Plan Under Review
Assembly Bill 1965, authored by Assemblymember Sam Farr, established the Soquel Demonstration State Forest and mandated that a General Plan be prepared. The General Forest Management Plan (GFMP) would, among other things, "provide watershed protection for local communities and base-line monitoring and studies of the hazards, risks, and benefits of forest operations and watersheds to urban areas."
The GFMP for the Soquel Demonstration Forest was developed with assistance from a Citizens Advisory Committee and approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) March 4, 1998. A portion of the GFMP outlines a series of action items for the Forest and dates for their completion. These include inventories, assessments, monitoring projects, biological surveys, and mapping. Most were to have been completed by the end of 1999, nearly eleven years ago, although some are identified in the GMP as on-going, or to recur at 10 year intervals.
In early May, Sierra Club and CCFW submitted a request letter to SDSF Forest Manager, Ed Orre, asking for copies of reports that should have been generated for thirteen of those projects. At the May Management Committee meeting of the Board of Forestry, Helge Eng, head of the State Forests, advised us that reports were not always generated, but that Cal Fire would attempt to provide summaries of those activities which had been conducted.
We wonder how many of the various studies, etc. were actually undertaken and/or completed. They include fish population surveys, aquatic habitat surveys, monitoring of sediment levels in pools along Soquel Creek, an inventory and risk rating for each segment of forest road, an assessment of constructed skid rails, and prioritization of all sediment-discharge projects identified and designed to remediate high or extreme risk conditions.
We asked for copies of these reports in 2004, but did not receive a response to that request.
Every five years, the Soquel Demonstration State Forest General Forest Management Plan (GFMP) is to be revised and reapproved. The last such update was 2003, so CAL FIRE is behind schedule. However, the Management Committee of the Board of Forestry has recently begun the revision process. In committee it was noted that the original Citizen's Advisory Committee will need to be reconstituted to assist with the revision. Noticeable absent from the Management Committee meeting was Mr. Orre.
A lawsuit that was filed over the Jackson Demonstration State Forest led to a court decision that the Board of Forestry, not CAL FIRE, was required to be the Lead Agency for the State Forest GFMPs. The SDSF existing GFMP was approved by CAL FIRE. The discussion at the May 3 BoF Committee meeting concluded that the revision must comply with CEQA, but it was not clear whether an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would be needed, or if the changes could be deemed insignificant enough to be approved under a Negative Declaration.
Changes anticipated include updated information re coho salmon, California red-legged frogs, Sudden Oak Death and Green House Gas Analysis, and research priorities.
The Board of Forestry will continue to review the GFMP revisions at its monthly Management Committee meetings with a current deadline for release of the draft CEQA document for public review by September 7.
The Rim THP, 1-09-107 SCR was re-circulated for 30 days and Close of Public Comment is May 19. Sierra Club and CCFW have conducted an extensive review of the plan and will be submitting comments. In our opinion, the plan continues to be deficient. It does not include the recently adopted Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rules, has an incorrect logging area boundary, references an Option A plan which has not yet been approved, but is not included with the THP along with other issues.
The plan can be viewed at: ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/THPs2009/1-09-107SCR/
Comments can be emailed to CAL FIRE:
The deadline to comment on NMFS' Draft Coho Recovery Plan for the Central Coast has been extended 60 days. Comments must now be received by July 6, 2010. Written comments can be submitted to Charlotte Ambrose, National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Comments may also be emailed to: . Include in the subject line: Comments on Draft Central California Coast coho salmon Recovery Plan (Draft Plan).
The Plan is available on-line at http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/recovery.
The Lockheed Fire burned 6755 acres in the Scott Creek and San Vicente Creek watersheds in August 2010. Of that total, 2420 acres were redwood forest and 1951 acres of mixed conifer forest. 136 of those acres were deemed to have burned at very high burn severity and 1293 at high severity. (Data from Cal Fire's Lockheed Fire Post Fire Risk Assessment.)
Much of that acreage is currently being logged via helicopter under Emergency Notices. Such logging activities are supposed to follow all regulations pertaining to timber operations however, they are exempt from environmental review. To date Cal Fire has received nine notices for a total of 877 acres or just over 20% of the conifer forested area affected by the fire. The latest were received by Cal Fire on May 7. They are 'accepted' within days of receipt as long as they contain all the info deemed pertinent. The Exemptions are valid for one year.
Thanks to Stan Stevens, Librarian Emeritus, UCSC:
San Francisco Urban Forest Map:
According to Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF):
San Francisco is the first city with an Urban Forest Map thanks to a collaboration between FUF, the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the City of San Francisco. It's an online database of San Francisco's trees, including location, species, size, and health, with a cool map interface. Anyone can add trees, or browse for information.
The Bohemian Club's public relations firm has recently launched a website - www.protectbohemiangrove.org - to justify its logging plan now being fought in court: Sierra Club v. CA Dept of Forestry.
Take a look. The website is one-sided and self-serving.
For accurate information, please visit the environmental website designed to serve the public and explain the important issues at stake: www.savebohemiangrove.org
The website is Lee MacDonald's, a professor of watershed management at Colorado University. Below is a link to various publications sorted by topic and all of the publications include MacDonald.
Counting forest loss due either to human disturbance or natural causes, a new study finds that North America lost the most forest of the world's six forest-containing continents. By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, April 26, 2010.
"Forests continue to decline worldwide, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Employing satellite imagery researchers found that over a million square kilometers of forest were lost around the world between 2000 and 2005. This represents a 3.1 percent loss of total forest as estimated from 2000. While the study did not look at forest gains during the same time period, it reveals some surprises about where and how much forest was lost: including the fact that from 2000 to 2005 both the United States and Canada had higher percentages of forest loss than even Brazil."
Thanks to the Loma Prieta Forest Protection Committee, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club.
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