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Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Forestry Updates

by Jodi Frediani
July 2008

1. Grizzly Flat NTMP submitted
2. CAL FIRE THP delay letter
3. PGE tree clearing Graham Hill Road
4. Google Earth Outreach Showcase
5. Trees grow at exactly 21C / 70F
6. Other THPs and NTMPs

1. Grizzly Flat NTMP submitted

The City of Watsonville has finally submitted their NTMP for 184 acres in the Rattlesnake and Shingle Mill Gulch drainages (Pajaro River Watershed). The NTMP goes to First Review tomorrow. Perhaps it will get returned. Gary Paul is the RPF.

AND it has a new name!!! Grizzly Flat is no more. Now it’s the Eureka Canyon Forest.

The plan is posted at: ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/NTMPs2008/1-08NTMP-010SCR

A portion of the plan area burned in the Summit Fire. It will be tractor and cable yarded. No winter ops are proposed. All roads will be limited (?) to 16’ in width. Should be good for fire truck access. The plan should be a good read. If you like that sort of thing.

2. CAL FIRE THP delay letter

From a June 23, 2008 letter to Plan Submitters: “On June 20th and 21st, California experienced an unprecedented series of lightning cause fires. In total, more than 700 fires have been started and CAL FIRE firefighting resources have been heavily engaged in suppression efforts.

“PRC, Section 713, provides that CAL FIRE is responsible for the protection of the state’s forest, range and brushland resources, contract fire protection, with associated emergency services and assistance in civil disasters. In order to comply with its emergency and statutory responsibilities in wildland fire disasters, Resource Management staff has been ordered to respond to the disaster proclamation in many capacities. This response may create a delay in the day to day operations, such as plan filling, preharvest inspections and review team functions in Santa Rosa, Redding and Fresno. CAL FIRE recognizes that these delays may impact projected timber operations, and therefore will make ever (sic) attempt to restore normal business processes as soon as possible. CAL FIRE appreciates your patience as staff performs its essential emergency obligations under the State of Emergency Proclamation.”

3. PGE tree clearing Graham Hill Road

Maybe there was no uproar because people thought the tree clearing was part of the Graham Hill Road Widening project. Or maybe no one cares anymore. Too busy driving madly to and from town.

In the meantime, PGE has once again shown it’s total disregard for trees. Maybe they should underground their wires, if the threat of falling trees is so high. The current tree trimming crew from Lotus, CA has cut down 90 trees along a stretch of Graham Hill Road. I was told they were all leaning. Many of those trees were 30 or more years old and have been leaning a long time. A good trim would have done wonders in protecting the power lines from interference. In fact, one 30+ in Douglas fir was actually growing on the opposite side of the road from the power lines. Go figure. In addition, the crews are now finishing up limbing conifers, some 120’ up one side of the tree. Why branches must be trimmed below the wires is a mystery. Why clearance to within 15’ of the top is also a mystery, though more understandable. The out-of-town trimmers are brought in to do major tree climbing. I guess PGE doesn’t want to pay for them to come back. No limbs, no limbs to fall. Minimum clearance required by law is 10’. Property owner permission must be gotten in writing to cut down trees for line clearance.

I only learned of the chain-saw massacre when my horses were evacuated to the Graham Hill Fairgrounds as a result of the Martin Fire in Bonny Doon.

4. Google Earth Outreach Showcase

“An excellent set of 3D visualizations has been added to the Google Earth Outreach Showcase. The visualizations show the state of forests around the world by country. The world has lost close to half of its forests already today, and the continued high pace of deforestation contributes greatly to climate change and the loss of biodiversity. When you first load the Disappearing Forests KML, you will see deforestation rate by area. Red indicates a decline in forests, and the scale indicates the number of hectares changed in the last year. Each country has a placemark which provides very interesting details on the state of the forests. You can also choose from a list of other forest maps in the Places pane under the folder called "Country deforestation data". The KML was developed by David Tryse who also was involved with the Edge of Existence collections highlighted earlier this year in an Outreach Case Study. David used data from the World Resources Institute (WRI): The Last Frontier Forests: Ecosystems and Economies on the Edge (1997), Greenpeace: The Worlds Last Intact Forest Landscapes (2006), and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization: Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005). David used the following tools: PHP(+Ming for flash counter) & MySQL: XAMPP, World Borders Dataset (+chartAPI-icon idea): thematicmapping. This deforestation visualization is really an excellent example of putting Google Earth KML to work. The graph type used is called a prism map and has been used in many KML files (see list below). Recently a tool Thematic Mapping Engine has been developed by Bjorn Sandvik to make it easy to create your own prism maps for Google Earth. “ http://earth.google.com/outreach/showcase.html - http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2008/06/disappearing_forests_google_earth_v.html

From Earth Tree News

5. Trees grow at exactly 21C / 70F

“Tree leaves and needles keep the same internal temperature on summer days -- close to 21 Celsius -- whether they’re black spruce in northern Canada or palms in Puerto Rico, new research has found. Like the human body, trees have built-in thermostats to cool or warm themselves when necessary, biologist Brent Helliker of the University of Pennsylvania found. How they manage it remains a partial mystery, but the goal is clear: Leaves and needles need to maintain a temperature where photosynthesis can happen easily, which happens to be about 21 C. The pattern holds true for 39 species of trees, measured from the subtropics to Inuvik. Until now, it had been assumed a leaf would be the same temperature as surrounding air. They’re thin, and trees aren’t warm-blooded. Besides, who wanted to take a bunch of ladders and climb all those trees, carrying hundreds of tiny thermometers? So they found another way, by measuring the "isotope," or specific type, of oxygen produced by each tree. Different temperatures produce different mixes of oxygen isotopes. The results showed trees stayed within two degrees of the average temperature of 21.4. To check their findings, the group found a study of Swiss forests using infrared photographs that show temperature. The canopy (treetop) temperature was four to five degrees higher than the cool, background air temperature of Switzerland The finding applies only during daytime, in the spring and summer when photosynthesis is happening. Leaves do cool off at night and in the fall. ” http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=29b7635e-128f-4eaf-aeeb-f04021e2ef36

From Earth Tree News

6. Other THPs and NTMPs

1-08NTMP-008SCR Podratz 68 acres Corralitos Creek Vaughan
1-08-091SCR Holmes Lumber Co. 135 acres Boulder Creek Hildreth
1-08-079SCR Land Bountiful, Inc. 222 acres Scott Creek Hildreth
1-08-073SCR Bushnell 230 acres Two Bar Creek Hildreth
1-08-063SMO Lagarmarsino 35 acres Tunitas Creek Webster (returned a second time)
1-08-062SCR Big Creek Lumber 92 acres Corralitos Creek Dias
1-08-045SCR Redtree Properties 60 acres San Vicente Creek Bissell

There are a few more including the Young THP along Starr Creek/Deer Creek, still under review.

ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/


Jodi Frediani
Director
Central Coast Forest Watch
ph/fax 831-426-1697

Jodi Frediani
Chair, Forestry Task Force
Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club
ph/fax 831-426-1697




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