Cemex forestry practices receive FSC recertification
Management problems identified
by Jodi Frediani
The Cemex Cement plant in Davenport underwent a re-certification assessment of its forestry practices in November 2007 by SmartWood on behalf of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The certification program is ostensibly to recognize conscientious land stewardship through an independent evaluation so that sustainably-harvested lumber can use the FSC label for marketing purposes.
Cemex owns and logs 8320 acres along San Vicente Creek above the intakes which provide drinking water to Davenport residents. As The Ventana has reported, Davenport residents have been under a "Boil Water" order from the County Health Department during the winter months because of excessive turbidity in the creek. In 2006 San Vicente Creek was listed as impaired for sediment under the Clean Water Act with the cause identified as silviculture (logging).
The independent auditors noted a number of concerns, despite recommending the re-certification. Additionally, they requested a number of corrective actions before the next audit in one year.
Specific concerns included lack of planning at the landscape level which should include a larger ecosystem view, lack of a comprehensive plan for the transportation system (roads and skid trails), excessive skid trails and skidding (tractor hauling of logs) adjacent to streams, no analysis of the cumulative effects of timber harvests, and the fact that the stream buffers and streamside management used by Cemex do not meet the FSC standards.
In addition SmartWood noted that the distribution of old growth and snags inventoried is not yet known, and therefore, there is no comprehensive management strategy to increase the number of large older trees, snags, and large woody debris all of which provide key wildlife habitat. Older trees were under-represented. Records of post-harvest monitoring were also lacking.
The FSC audit process requires stakeholder participation, however for this audit, there was input only from one academic, one non-governmental organization, four government representatives, and two local residents. Comments may still be submitted to Kara Wires at
. Comments may be made anonymously.
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