Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
by Jodi Frediani
1. SDSF New Forest Manager
After more than 2 years, Cal Fire has finally replaced Thom Sutfin, who retired as Manager of the Soquel Demonstration State Forest in July 2009. Cal Fire had to get an exemption from the Governor's current hiring freeze to be able to fill the vacant position.
Angela Bernheisel has been promoted from her position in charge of the local Vegetation Management Program (Felton Office) and is now responsible for the Demo Forest as the new Manager. Many of you remember Angela who worked as a Forest Practice Officer under Nancy Drinkard, before switching over to the fire-side of the agency.
2009 article about Thom Sutfin upon his retirement:
The Rim THP on SDSF has been buttoning up for the winter, as early storms hit the central coast. Operations have not been completed, but it is anticipated that logging will cease for the winter, with erosion control in place and lopping of slash scheduled to continue. There is a possibility that if the weather warms up after this week's rain, however, that operations might begin again before the winter cutoff. Most, if not all timber operations in the Santa Cruz area must stop once 4 cumulative inches of rain have fallen after October 15. Here in Bonny Doon, we've had nearly 4 inches this week, but it is still before October 15, and less rain fell elsewhere in the County. It will be interesting to see how Cal Fire will deal with this. It has been a number of years since early Fall rain was the norm.
The SDSF Advisory Committee is up and running. The second meeting of the reinvented committee was held in Scotts Valley on October 3. The next meeting will be held again in the Scotts Valley City Council Chambers, 1 Civic Center Dr., from 9-12 on November 7. The public is invited to attend and comment.
Committee members began reviewing the first several chapters of the latest draft General Forest Management Plan. Concern was expressed by the Chair and some of the seven Cal Fire staff in attendance, that the detailed discussions and word-smithing that was occurring would drag the process out too long. The Chair decided that committee members and the public should submit their proposed changes to Cal Fire staff who would incorporate them with the necessary word-smithing. It was not clear who would be making decisions on which proposed revisions would get included. I am guessing this will be a topic for the next meeting.
Members were directed to review the whole plan for the November meeting, so they would have the big picture and could see and understand the context for various items scattered throughout the document. Of course, this is a tall order for a volunteer committee in such a short amount of time. The document is 141 pages long.
I would encourage everyone interested in the future of our Demonstration State Forest to attend and participate in the monthly meetings. So far, beside myself, the only attendees seem to be members of the local mountain bike community. Remember, the squeaky wheel is the one that usually gets the grease. If you cannot attend, but have recommendations, you can submit them to: .
Documents including the original Management Plan, latest revision, meeting minutes and agendas can be found here:
Located in the Pajaro River Watershed, this plan was submitted to Cal Fire August 25, and the PHI was held the last week in September. Bill Vaughn is the RPF. The Pajaro river is seriously impaired for a host of stressors including Chlordane, Chlorpyrifos, DDD, E. coli, Low dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate, Nutrients, PCBs, pH, sedimentation /siltation, Sodium and Turbidity.
The western portion of the plan is adjacent to Gamecock Canyon. A 150' no-cut buffer adjacent to Gamecock Canyon was applied during the last entry in 2009. The same buffer is being proposed for the NTMP.
The plan documents can be found here: ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/NTMPs2011/1-11NTMP-010SCR/
From Assemblymember Bill Monning:
Please Join Me for a Community Forum in Felton Hosted by
Please join me at The Valley Women's Club of San Lorenzo Valley where I will speak on environmental issues and look forward to listening to comments, questions, and concerns from those in attendance. I want to thank the Valley Women's Club for inviting me to speak and everyone is encouraged to attend this event.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
For information call 831.338.1728 or visit the Valley Women's Club of San Lorenzo website at: www.vwcweb.org.
This timber industry inspired and supported program will be returning to Santa Cruz Fall 2011. "The California Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry issues. Using the forest as the classroom, the California Forestry Challenge is project-based learning at its best."
The program includes field training with forestry professionals, a field test which includes identifying and measuring trees, analyzing stand data, and making forest management decisions, a problem solving field trip where students will be presented with a real life problem or situation to give them a "hands-on" forest experience. Students will each give a 15-minute presentation that will be scored. Reg. fee for Santa Cruz is $160 and includes food, lodging and an event t-shirt.
Who is willing to create a comparable youth education program that focuses on forests as the lungs and circulatory system of our planet: a program that will teach students about the importance of forested watersheds as providers of clean drinking water, habitat for endangered fish, key environment for sequestering carbon to buffer global warming? Who will create the program that shows kids how larger trees provide canopy to cool the forest floor, shade out understory and resist fire: a program that sees a forest as a complex, living ecosystem, not a compilation of numbers and measurements?
Singer, songwriter, activist Dana Lyons was invited to sing "Drop of Water" at the Elwha Dam Removal Ceremony in Olympic National Park.
" I got to experience one of my ultimate fantasies a couple weeks ago at the Elwha dam removal ceremony in the Olympic National Park. After singing "Drop of Water" with outstanding backup from the Port Angeles High School singing group "Vocal Unlimited," I watched in disbelief as Secretary of Interior Salazar picked up a bullhorn and ordered a giant excavator to start demolishing a section of the dam. Concrete cracked and splintered, rebar caved and twisted, rubble tossed every which way." – Dana Lyons
Watch Dana singing at the ceremony as the excavator rips the dam asunder. Very moving:
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