Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
by Jodi Frediani
1. Board of Forestry Members Depart
Industry Board member Tom Walz' term is up as is Industry member, Lloyd Bradshaw. Both have declined to apply for additional terms. Public member Doug Piirto, whose term also expires this year, is no longer available to serve, and Public member Gary Nakamura's term is also up, so Governor Brown will be making filling the four seats.
After six plus years, the Fern Gulch THP nears the finish line, at least for approval. Originally submitted in 2004, the plan hit a number of road-blocks. Some had to do with the THP document itself, but other problems arose after trees were illegally felled within the plan area.
The THP was resubmitted in 2009 and has undergone extensive review since them. This plan may hold the record for number of pre-harvest inspections and most review team members present. Although the San Jose Water Company NTMP gives it a run for the money.
NMFS and DFG have had problems with the wet-ford crossing of Soquel Creek used by SDSF staff, the lack of a permanent bridge proposal and the on-going problem of a bank failure along the main haul road and access road adjacent to Soquel Creek. DFG has gotten agreement that the wet-ford crossing will not be used except in the case of emergency during the life of the plan.
NMFS has gotten an agreement that large wood will be included as part of the bank failure repair. The THP requires that plans for a permanent fix must be prepared for the bank failure and approved by DFG before the commencement of operations. (Actually, the plan does not specify that the fix must be permanent, but DFG is insistent that they will not approve anything else.) However, there is no final date given for fixing the problem. We think this is a serious failure, but CAL FIRE is hiding behind the economic woes of the state. Never mind that SDSF had received a federal grant award in 2007 to repair the road/bank failure, but returned the award because it would have required the state to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed. Shame on them!
Close of comment for this 500 + page plan is February 22. The re-circulated documents can be found at:
Cemex has submitted a new 211 acre THP for the North Fork of Little Creek in the Scotts Creek Watershed. Cemex had agreed not to log in this area while Cal Poly conducted their baseline monitoring studies downstream on Little Creek. Joe Culver is the RPF and First Review is slated for February 3, 2011.
A petition to delist coho south of San Francisco was submitted by Big Creek Lumber and accepted by NMFS "on April 2, 2010, triggering a formal review of the petition and a status review of the listed ESU. A biological review team (BRT) was convened to assist in reviewing the petition and the status of the species. Based upon our review of the petitioned action and the status of the species, we conclude that the petitioned action is not warranted and that coho salmon populations south of San Francisco Bay are part of the endangered CCC coho salmon ESU."
"We further conclude that the southern boundary of the CCC coho ESU should be extended southward from its current boundary at the San Lorenzo River to include Soquel and Aptos Creeks in Santa Cruz County, California, and are proposing this change in the ESU boundary." From the Federal Register 50 CFR Part 224 [Docket No. 100323162–0595–02]
Contact: Jim Milbury FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
562-980-4006 February 3, 2011
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – NOAA’s Fisheries Service has today filed with the Federal Register a proposal to extend the southern range of federally protected Central California Coast Coho salmon from San Lorenzo River to Aptos Creek. The new information supporting an expansion of the range was found while reviewing a public petition to reduce the animal’s southern boundary.
The current boundary for the evolutionary significant unit (ESU) of Central California
Coast Coho salmon extends from Punta Gorda in northern California south to and including the San Lorenzo River near Santa Cruz, Calif. This ESU was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act on October 31, 1996, and reclassified as an endangered species on June 28, 2005.
On April 2, 2010, NOAA Fisheries Service accepted a petition from a private landowner to review whether coho salmon found in streams south of San Francisco Bay should be taken off the federal list of endangered species. In July, a biological review team was formed by scientists and fishery experts from NOAA, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service to analyze the request.
The biological review team concluded that coho south of San Francisco Bay are part of the listed population and that the range should be increased approximately seven miles south to include Soquel and Aptos Creeks. Some of the reasons for including these waterways include the recent observation and genetic material of coho salmon in Soquel Creek, and the similarity of habitat and watershed conditions that support the spawning and rearing of coho salmon in both watersheds.
NOAA’s Fisheries Service is requesting public comment for the proposed range extension. Specific information on Soquel and Aptos Creeks would be especially helpful, including: recent or historical knowledge, including photographs, illustrating the presence and run size of coho; information on the current suitability of habitat to support salmon spawning, rearing and migration; biological or other relevant information
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed range extension, identified by the RIN 0648–XV30, by any of the following methods:
• Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change.
Currently the law only allows Non-industrial Timber Management Plans for timberland ownerships of 2500 acres of timberland or less. Non-industrial timberland owners must not own a sawmill to qualify, hence the term 'non-industrial'. However, 'small' timberland owners of up to 15,000 acres are chomping at the bit to be allowed to utilize this vehicle for timber harvest.
While NTMPs require uneven-age management (the only silvicultural method allowed in the southern sub-district for all THPs and NTMPs) and a long-term management plan, once approved, they are good forever. They transfer with ownership. A Notice of Operations is required to be filed each time logging commences and CAL FIRE is supposed to do inspections for each entry.
The topic of larger NTMPs is now being reviewed by the Management Committee of the Board of Forestry, but any change will require a vote of the legislature. Industry reps are hoping to get the Board of Forestry to support their efforts. Lobbying of legislators has begun.
The lack of noticing for each entry is a particular issue in our urbanized rural areas. Additionally, we've seen problems on several NTMPs, where approved mitigations have been forgotten. Institutional memory is short and NTMPs are long. How to make sure they are properly implemented is a big concern. Some environmental organizations would like to see changes in the 'beast' before agreeing to acreage increases.
The Management Committee will be attempting to gather more info on successes and failures of already approved NTMPs.
AB 2376 will affect the future management of California’s wildlife.
This bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to convene a committee, with membership as prescribed, to develop and submit to the Governor and Legislature, before July 1, 2012, a strategic vision for the California Department of Fish & Game and the Fish & Game Commission that addresses specified matters relating to state fish and wildlife resource management. Note; the bill includes the mandate that:
(c) The strategic vision shall address all of the following matters:
(1) Improving and enhancing capacity of the department and the commission to fulfill their public trust responsibilities to protect and manage the state's fish and wildlife for their ecological values and for the use and benefit of the people of the state.
(2) Comprehensive biodiversity management, including conservation planning and monitoring.
(3) Sustainable ecosystem functions, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitat.
(8) Reforms necessary to take on the challenges of the 21st century, including, but not necessarily limited to:
(A) Climate change and adaptation.
The bill was penned by Assemblyman Jared Huffman from Marin County and it appears to be pretty visionary in redefining the mission for CDF&G and the Fish & Game Commission.
Open the link below to read the entire bill.
Job Description: PROGRAM DIRECTOR (FULL-TIME)
Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Arcata, California
Closes: February 11, 2011
The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) is a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, based in Arcata, California, that focuses on the protection and restoration of forests, watersheds, fish and wildlife in northern California. EPIC seeks an energetic, focused, and experienced conservation advocate to join our team as Program Director. The Program Director is principally responsible for developing, implementing and managing the policy agenda for EPIC’s four intersecting Program areas: Public Lands, Industrial Forest Lands, Biodiversity, and Clean Water. The Program Director is part of the EPIC leadership team, and serves as the anchor for EPIC’s conservation advocacy for the North Coast and Klamath-Siskiyou bioregions in northwestern California.
The successful candidate will have several years experience in environmental advocacy and litigation, and substantial knowledge of both federal and California natural resource law and policy, in particular NEPA, CEQA, the Northwest Forest Plan, ESA, and clean water law. Excellent written and oral communication skills, and public speaking skills are a must. The ability to dialogue and work effectively with a variety of stakeholders is critical. Tolerance, flexibility, and humor are also vital qualities.
A complete position description is available at www.wildcalifornia.org.
To apply please send cover letter, resume, references and a writing sample by February 11th to: Search Committee at . No phone calls please.
Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW) will host a free showing of the German documentary "Water Makes Money" on Tuesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. at Satellite Telework Centers in Felton.
Filmmakers Leslie Franke and Herdolor Lorenz featured Felton's water battle in their 2005 documentary "H20 Up for Sale." Their new film examines public-private partnerships in which communities retain ownership of their water systems, but pay private companies like French firm Veolia to operate them.
The film has been shown more than 200 times around the world and the DVD has sold more than 1,000 copies. Veolia has filed a defamation lawsuit against the film in Paris, but the judge overseeing the case is allowing showings to continue until the time of the trial.
The showing is free and any donations will be sent to the filmmakers, who financed the documentary's production cost with donations from sponsors and DVD sales. FLOW members will also provide an update on Felton's water system before the film starts.
For more information, visit http://www.feltonflow.org or call 831.234.4337.
"The advisory group appointed to make recommendations for long-term management of our public redwood forest, Jackson State Forest, has come to consensus!
"The consensus recommendations contain the core elements of the proposals of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest. This is great news for those of us who have struggled for a decade or more to bring management of our public forest into the 21st Century." - Vince Taylor
The report is available at this site:
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