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Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Forestry Updates

by Jodi Frediani
February 2010

1. Fight Back! Forest Defenders Handbook Updated
2. Lagomarsino THP will be re-circulated
3. Feb 11 Public Hearings, Memory Lane THP, Olive Springs THP
4. Young THP Waiver Hearing, March 18, 8:30am, Watsonville
5. Mike Fay, RBDA Speaker, Tuesday, March 2
6. From RAN to Sierra Club - Michael Brune, new E.D.
7. Coho Salmon on the Brink
8. Rewilding the World

1. Fight Back! Forest Defenders Handbook Updated

The Fight Back! Forest Defenders Handbook, A Citizen's Guide to Timber Regulation has been revised and fully updated. Originally prepared by Betsy Herbert (now Betsy Herbert, Ph.D), the new version has been prepared by Jodi Frediani for the Santa Cruz Group, Sierra Club and Central Coast Forest Watch.

The Handbook describes in detail the THP review process for the southern subdistrict (San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties) and how the public can participate in THP and NTMP review. The updated Handbook includes a current list of agencies, environmental organizations, references, websites, sample letters, and a successful case study.

It can be found at: ;

2. Lagomarsino THP will be re-circulated

CAL FIRE continues to ask the RPF for the Lagomarsino THP to provide further clarification of the plan's proposal to cut old growth redwoods. The latest response from the RPF continues to be unclear to me. The number of ' large, old trees' identified on the 35-acre property is an estimate. As a property owner with 32 acres of timberland, I can say from first hand experience, it is not difficult to actually walk that amount of acreage and count the actual trees meeting certain criteria. In addition, the RPF says in one paragraph, ""all trees over 48 inches in diameter having......large basal hollows.....: will be retained. Elsewhere in the same paragraph (and elsewhere in the plan) we read, "However, no trees with basal hollows of any size will be harvested." I'm confused.

It is unclear when the plan will be recirculated for 30 days, but it will be after CAL FIRE is satisfied with the RPF's responses.

To check out the latest go to:



3. Feb 11 Public Hearings, Memory Lane THP, Olive Springs THP

CAL FIRE will be holding a Public Hearing on two THPs, starting at 6:30 pm, in the Board of Supervisors chambers, 5th Floor, County Building, 702 Ocean St.

The 128 acre, Redwood Empire, Memory Lane THP, 1-09-098SCR, plans to install a rock ford crossing (10 x 25-30') without a culvert. Seems a bridge would be more appropriate, but apparently because of the angle of the crossing, it would require THREE flat cars placed side-by-side to cross this channel. Redwood Empire is also objecting to the cost of a culvert and apparently CGS has no problem with filling the channel with rock. In my experience, it is only a matter of time for that pile of rock to clog up and function as a dam. Brian Bishop is the RPF.

The 130 acre Redwood Empire Olive Springs THP 1-10-002 SCR along Soquel Creek will require temporary bridges crossing both Soquel Creek and Hinkley Creek. Dave van Lennep is the RPF. Santa Cruz County's Review Team member was not allowed to participate in the PHI as CAL FIRE decided that they needed to use ATVs to see the necessary sites in one day. The County does not own an ATV nor is there RT member certified to use one. This is a preposterous requirement, applied without justification by CAL FIRE. The Regional Waterboard Review Team member was also unable to attend, as was the NMFS rep. I understand an additional PHI will be held on foot next week. I wonder how much of the plan area they will be able to cover?

Memory Lane THP

Olive Springs THP:


4. Young THP Waiver Hearing, March 18, 8:30am, Watsonville


The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region (Water Board) proposes to issue Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements (Waiver) Order No. R3-2009- harvesting operations described in the THP 1-08-018 Young, Santa Cruz County.

This letter is to inform you that Water Board staff hereby postpones the public hearing of proposed Order No. R3-2009-0063 to the following date and location:

8:30 a.m. on March 18, 2010
at the
Watsonville City Council Chambers
275 Main Street - 4th Floor (new bldg)
Watsonville, CA 95076.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Higgins at (805) 542-4649 or Lisa McCann at (805) 549-3132


5. State Budget Woes Cancel Board of Forestry Meeting

California budget woes have led to cancellation of the August meeting of the Board of Forestry. Committee meetings as well as day-long meeting of the full board have been cancelled due to “spending restrictions imposed as a result of the current budget impasse."

The following memo from Eric Huff, RPF and Executive Officer, Foresters Licensing, gives a taste of the mood in Sacramento, where state employees had been ordered to work for minimum wage by the Governor, until the courts deemed that order illegal:

“In an effort to raise funds for the Board, YG and I will be auctioning off autographed copies of some of our more memorable harvesting plans. Collectors of antique instruments of diplomacy and wit won’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to indulge a passion while helping a cash-starved policy body continue its good work on behalf of the citizens of California.”

6. From RAN to Sierra Club - Michael Brune, new E.D.

Two perspectives on the Sierra Club's new Executive Director, Michael Brune, who has resigned as head of Rainforest Action Network to take over leadership of Sierra Club.

Shake Up at the Sierra Club? Group Names New Executive Director

New Sierra Club chief brings confrontational style to the job

The Sierra Club’s new leader will come to the job with a record of “environmental agitation” against big industrial polluters. The group announced on Wednesday that Michael Brune, currently head of Rainforest Action Network, will replace Carl Pope as executive director. Jonathan Hiskes chats with Brune to find out about his plans for the nation's largest environmental group.

Sierra Club Interview with Michael Brune

and an interview with Brune on CNN's Mad Money about clean energy and the Club's campaign to stop the Coal Rush.

7. Coho Salmon on the Brink

Article in Science Magazine: In California, Coho Salmon Are on the Brink
While this article focuses on Lagunitas Creek, the same applies for the coho in Santa Cruz County.

8. Rewilding the World

This article is long, but worth reading. Not directly about logging, but about this planet of our, biodiversity and a path for the future.

Rewilding the World

Published: January 21, 2010

Introduction: The Predicta Moth

Over the years, coyotes ate many of Michael Soulé's cats. For most people, this might have been the end of the story, a nasty reminder of nature's darker proclivities. But Michael Soulé is not most people.

Soulé is a biologist. At the time, he was a professor at the University of California at San Diego, living in the chaparral canyons outside the city. He had grown up in the canyons, poking around in the leaf litter, catching lizards. When the boy became a biologist, he recognized that the chaparral was a unique ecosystem, with its own suite of interdependent plants and animals, the coastal sage scrub home to fox and bobcats, wren-tits and spotted towhees, cactus mouse and California quail. But to real estate developers, the canyons were empty wasteland, waiting to be turned into homes. As he watched the progressive paving of the canyons, Soulé found himself even more distressed about the big picture, the loss of the ecosystem, than about the cats. Recent breakthroughs in biology had suggested that fragmentation of habitat inevitably threatened species. As developers carved the canyons into suburban lots, leaving behind islands of isolated brush, Soulé was alarmed enough to investigate that theory, and he sent students to compile data on the disappearance of birds from thirty-seven forlorn chaparral islands. He also had them collect data on local carnivores, to see if predation was a factor. After two years, as expected, data showed that the number of birds and other species in each patch was diminishing.

But the data revealed something else, something counterintuitive. In canyons with coyotes, a greater diversity of birds survived. Canyons without coyotes supported fewer species. Having seen ample evidence that coyotes were responsible for his disappearing pets — cats flying through the cat door as if "chased by the devil" — Soulé had a theory: more coyotes meant fewer cats. Fewer cats meant more birds. Coyotes were eating not only cats but also other midsized predators, such as foxes. Coyotes were acting as a control. Without that control, the midsized carnivores ran wild in an orgy of predation that Soulé termed "mesopredator release." Another study confirmed it: one in five coyote scats contained domestic cat.

For the rest of the article:

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

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

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