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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Forestry Updates

by Jodi Frediani
November 2011

1. SDSF Management Plan Comments Due 12-7
2. SDSF Fern Gulch THP - major amendment
3. Governor Brown makes appointments to CCRWQCB
4. CCRWQCB to reissue Timber Waiver 2-2-12
5. Chinook breed in San Lorenzo River
6. New Big Creek THP Two Bar Creek
7. Movie time: The Lorax hits the Big Screen

1. SDSF Management Plan Comments Due 12-7

Review of the revised Management Plan is moving forward at break-neck pace now that the Advisory Committee has been reconstituted and met three times. Cal Fire and the Committee chair seem to have decided the best way to proceed is for Committee members (and interested public) to review the whole document (144 pages) on their own and submit comments by December 7. These may or may not be incorporated, but there will be an opportunity to dialogue about them at the April 2 meeting.

From a recent email:
The SDSF Annual Report for 2010 has been posted to the website, and additional versions in Word of the General Forest Management Plan (GFMP)- both a 1998 and a current version- will be posted shortly. Also, a draft of the minutes from the November 7th meeting will be posted as soon as they are available. Please check the website periodically for updates.

The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be Monday, April 2, 2012, and the Scotts Valley City Council Chambers have been reserved. There will be no meeting on December 5, 2011. Please submit your comments on the GFMP by replying to this email address by December 7th. (Send comments to: )

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Staff of
Soquel Demonstration State Forest
4750 Soquel-San Jose Road
Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 475-8643

2. SDSF Fern Gulch THP 1-09-96 SCR - major amendment

The Fern Gulch THP was approved by Cal Fire March 16, 2011, but no one has been willing to bid on the plan due to costs required to implement some portions and possibly with concerns about future liability (just guessing on this latter item).

I am told a major amendment is in preparation and will be submitted next week. This THP is dependent upon construction of a major road through difficult and tricky terrain. The original proposed road alignment was reviewed extensively in the field, well before the first version of the plan was submitted in 2004. It included Styrofoam block stream crossings, never before done in a forest setting, where if the crossing were to fail, Styrofoam blocks could end up downstream. One road segment requires constructing a crib wall, as the road would need to be cantilevered out and built up over the downhill slope. And it requires a bridge across Soquel Creek.

Prior to plan approval, the road was shortened and the bridge made temporary, but now SDSF is planning on turning this seasonal road into a temporary road altogether, which would require pulling all crossings, including the bridge prior to the winter. Of course, without the bridge or any of the other stream crossings, maintenance of the road and pulled crossings during the rainy season becomes problematic.

The word is that SDSF would like to put the modified plan out to bid by January, which means another PHI and review period during the holidays. Oh happy day!


3. Governor Brown makes appointments to CCRWQCB

Governor Brown has made four new appointments to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board:

Bruce Delgado, 50, of Marina, has been appointed to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Delgado has been the mayor of the City of Marina since 2008. He has worked as a botanist for the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management since 1988. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Delgado is registered Green Party.

Michael Johnston, 59, of Watsonville, has been appointed to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. He is currently a consultant for Teamsters Local 948 and the California Teamsters State Council of Cannery and Food Processing Unions. Johnston was a campaign coordinator at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 2006 to 2009, and a business representative for Teamsters Local 890 from 1988 until 2005. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Johnston is a Democrat.

Michael Jordan, 57, of Santa Barbara, has been appointed to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Jordan has been an account executive for Hub International Insurance Services since 2000. He was a staff agent for State Farm Insurance Company from 1995 to 2000. Jordan was an administrative officer for Commander Fleet Activities, U.S. Navy, Yokosuka, Japan and a supervisory recreation specialist from 1989 to 1992. This position requires Senate confirmation and compensation is $100 per diem. Jordan is registered decline-to-state.

Jean-Pierre Wolff, 62, of San Luis Obispo, has been appointed to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, where he has served since 2010. Wolff has been a viticulturist and owner of Wolff Vineyards since 1999. He was an independent technology consultant from 2000 to 2002, senior vice president at Global Energy Services from 1998 to 2002, and vice president of Electro-Test Inc. from 1981 to 1998. Wolff is vice president of the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District and the vice chair of the San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Liaison Advisory Board. He received his doctorate in science and technology from Walden University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation $100 per diem. Wolff is a Republican.


4. CCRWQCB to re-issue Timber Waiver 2-2-12

The new Regional Water Board will take up re-issuance of the timber waiver at their February 2, 2012 meeting in Salinas.

From the Staff Report Summary: Water Board staff has inspected approximately 30 percent of sites enrolled since the monitoring and reporting program was revised in July 2009. Based on a summary of inspection results, Water Board staff is evaluating the waiver's conditions. Water Board staff plans to substantially update the enrollment and application evaluation processes, including the eligibility criteria and the monitoring and reporting program. Students from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) Timber Program are developing a GIS-based system that will aid Board staff in verifying the accuracy of applications, in addition to other features.

For copies, please refer to the Central Coast Water Board's internet website at:

For more information contact : Mike Higgins at 805-542-4649


5. Chinook breed in San Lorenzo River

In late September, early October of this year quite a few Chinook were found in the back of the Santa Cruz Harbor and up into Arana Gulch. The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBSTP) has been rearing Chinook in net-pens in the Santa Cruz Harbor for a number of years. These fish, not native to our local streams, are fin-clipped and released into the Bay for the benefit of recreational fishermen. The program is sanctioned and funded in part by DFG and NMFS.

For years, I've been told there would be no problem as the fish were very unlikely to spawn in local streams/rivers due to the timing of the opening of the stream/river mouths. Then local biologists saw a rhedd (nest) or two in Arana Gulch and the San Lorenzo River lagoon, and again I was told there was no problem as the eggs were very unlikely to hatch and mature.

On November 14, 2011 fish identified as Chinook by Jerry Smith were spotted off the Ocean Street bridge: "Those fish are Chinook salmon. Narrow caudal peduncle, fan tail = salmon (not steelhead) They have been in the stream a while (fungus on fins)."

These fish are fin-clipped and believed to be strays from the harbor net pens.
In addition, Chinook were seen recently in Ben Lomond. Don Alley says he is more concerned about competition between pen-reared and wild-stock Chinook in the Bay, but did note that spawning Chinook may compete with spawning coho.

While we do not have coho in the river at this time, the same MBSTP hatchery has a captive broodstock program with the intent of breeding enough coho to repopulate our local streams and river.

Does anyone else see a problem with the federal and state agencies supporting and/or funding a project to breed and re-establish endangered coho, while simultaneously supporting/funding a program to plant non-native Chinook that might have multiple adverse effects on those endangered coho???

6. New Big Creek THP Two Bar Creek, THP 1-11-102 SCR

A 96-acre THP was accepted for filing on November 10, 2011. Adjacent to Doeg Creek, a tributary to Two Bar Creek, the properties to be logged are owned by Big Creek Lumber, Michael Skurko and William Fletcher. The RPF is Nadia Hamey of Big Creek Lumber.

7. Movie time: The Lorax hits the Big Screen

The Dr Seuss cartoon & book story about forest destruction, The Lorax, is now coming out as a feature film: The Lorax, release date: 3.2.12

Taylor Swift, Betty White, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle.

"From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Jodi Frediani
Forestry Consultant
Santa Cruz Group
Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club
ph/fax 831-426-1697

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

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