Sierra Club
Jump to
Ventana Chapter  
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet  
Politics and Issues
Chapter Organization
Contact Us
National Sierra Club
California Sierra Club
Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Forestry Updates

by Jodi Frediani
April 2009

1. County Appeal of THP 1-08-159 SCR
2. Bohemian Grove Vanity Fair article
3. AB 1066 - 10 year THPs
4. Grizzly Flat NTMP continues
5. Janet Webb takes over Big Creek
6. New THPs
7. Salmon season cancelled
8. Michael Endicott takes on Forestry for Sierra Club CA
9. Central Coast Water Board's 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies
and 2009 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan now on line, public comment open

1. County Appeal of THP 1-08-159

Both the CA Department of Fish and Game and Santa Cruz County filed non-concurrences on this Redwood Empire THP (1-08-159 SCR) along Eureka Gulch adjacent to Nisene Marks State Park. Mike Duffy, the RPF, has proposed operations throughout the winter period, and is unwilling to give up that option.  Both DFG and the County want a winter cut-off date and rainfall amount. Supervisor Pirie urged staff to 'work with' Redwood Empire to come to some resolution, but even with the County backing off on a much-needed winter cut off date, RE was still unwilling to meet the County's requests. The County had asked for permission to do site visits with 24 hour notice, among other concessions.

Sierra Club and CCFW have found additional errors, omissions and bad practices in this THP which covers 196 acres with 20 Class III streams and 10 Class IIs, 46 landslides, the world's most confusing winter operating plan and othe r issues. Sierra Club and CCFW have submitted two comprehensive comment letters into the file, and Sierra Club has hired Tom Lippe, Attorney, to submit a comment letter as well.

Mark Stone has placed a letter requesting an appeal on the April 14 BoS Agenda. This appeal request is item #34 on the consent agenda: "Adopt resolution authorizing Environmental Health to file appeal of THP #1-08-159 SCR on behalf of the Board of Supervisors should the California Department of Forestry find the plan in conformance with the Forest Practice Act, as recommended by Supervisor Stone. " If you can attend, be there at 9:00 sharp.  The item could get pulled off the consent agenda, but we won't know until that morning.

There are also two TPZ rezone applications on next Tuesday's BoSupes agenda.

2. Bohemian Grove Vanity Fair article

For a good read:

An outstanding article (long but worth the read) has been published in Vanity Fair, exposing the logging plans (NTMP) currently under review by CAL FIRE for the Bohemian Grove, playground of the rich and powerful. Bush Senior and Junior, along with Rumsfeld, Kissinger, et al all belong to this old boys club where urinating against the old growth redwoods is a way of life. Now they want to log in perpetuity their hallow ground.  John Hooper, who resigned from the Bohemian Club over the logging proposal, has led the opposition to this poorly written and ill-conceived NTMP. CCFW and Sierra Club have been offering our assistance to help ascertain the true amount of timberland owned by the Club.

The Bohemians' previous forester, Ed Tunheim, determined that the Club owned more than 2500 acres of timberland, making them ineligible for an NTMP and he resigned when asked to increase the percent cut from earlier selection harvests. The new RPF, Nick Kent, claims that Tunheim was mistaken and has crunched the numbers in the Club's favor. 

Using similar methodology to that used to secure the denial of the San Jose Water Company NTMP in Los Gatos, we believe that the Boho's also are fudging their numbers. They have even gone so far as to grant a Conservation Easement on their old growth stands in an attempt to claim those acres now no longer constitute timberland.  Hooper is not finished in his efforts to protect this redwood forest, and we will continue to help in any way we can.

Check out the website of Save the Bohemian Grove:

3. AB 1066 - 10 year THPs

Assembly Bill No. 1066 was introduced by Assembly Member Mendoza on
February 27, 2009. We learned about this bill from the Central Coast Regional 
Water Quality Control Board.

The Z-Berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 prohibits a person
from conducting timber operations, as defined, unless a timber
harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester has been
submitted to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and
approved. The act provides that a timber harvesting plan is effective
for a period of not mor e than 3 years, unless extended as specified. 

This bill would instead provide that a timber harvesting plan is
effective for a period of not more than 10 years, unless extended as

You can read the proposed language changes at the following link:

This is very bad news!  Please contact the following local legislators (or your representative) and let them know you are strongly opposed to this bill. It will make it impossible to keep track of the numerous local logging plans, cumulative impact assessments will become even more meaningless, neighbors won't know when logging will occur, etc.

Senator Joe Simitian


Assemblymember Bill Monning


4. Grizzly Flat NTMP saga continues

A Pre-harvest inspection was conducted on the City of Watsonville's Grizzly Flat property for their Eureka Gulch NTMP, 1-08NTMP-010SCR.  Foresters for the City are Gary Paul and Chris Hipken.  Between the two, they were unable to identify all of the existing culverts on the property and all of the existing slides. Mr. Paul also had the same problem when working as the Registered Professional Forester for Cemex. Given that he has been active as an RPF in Santa Cruz County since at least the early 1980s, you would think he'd have learned to search out and identify culverts by now.  As a result of this incomplete work, the PHI was 'held open', meaning that all the review team members will have to participate in another site visit on your tax dollar.

Remember, this plan has already been returned once for serious inadequacies and resubmitted.

And talk about attitude.  In response to a First Review Team Question asking that a description of the listing status for the plant and wildlife species discussed in the plan be included, the RPF has responded with this: 

We have purposely identified whether or not species considered in the scoping have listing status by various agencies, however, we have purposely not discussed these species’ specific listing status.  We have done this to demonstrate that our scoping methodologies and protection measures are all at the highest level and treat all listed and species of concern equally.  We do not give lower quality consideration or protection measures to species with different listing status.  For those readers who wish to explore the listing status of various species further, reference numbers 13, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, and 55, from item 6 of the Cumulative Impacts Assessment Checklist in Section IV provides further reading on this topic.

In addition, the RPF claimed that he did not understand what was being asked in seven First Review questions regarding projected growth, stocking, confidence intervals, analysis for sustained yield, target retention levels, etc. These questions all pertain to the long-term management of timber, which differentiates an NTMP from a THP. We question whether the RPF(s) understand the complexities of long-term timber management.

5. Janet Webb takes over Big Creek

Big Creek founders step down
Posted: 04/05/2009 01:30:22 AM PDT

DAVENPORT -- Homer "Bud" and Frank "Lud" McCrary, brothers who co-founded Big Creek Lumber with their father and uncle in 1946 and have led the North Coast logging company ever since, stepped down this week.

Taking their place is the next generation in the McCrary family. Lud's daughter, Janet McCrary Webb, 48, took over for her dad as president. Lud's daughter Ellen McCrary Rinde, 52, and Bud's son Ken McCrary, 57, assumed Bud's role as co-vice presidents.
Both Bud, 82, and Lud, 80, insist they are not retiring, exactly. "Oh no," Lud said. "Bud's not either. We'll be around. We like what we're doing."

But Lud said he will cut his schedule from five to four days a week at the sawmill, to spend more time on his cattle ranch and with the Willamette raspberries, crookneck squash and Kentucky Wonder pole beans in his garden. Bud said he looks forward to learning more about his new Canon camera with a 20x zoom and his first personal computer, among other creative mechanical pursuits. (continued)

6. New THPs

While THP submissions are down statewide, they are on the rise in the Santa Cruz area. The following have been submitted since mid-March.  A number of others are also under review.
1-09-021SCR 53 acres Hildreth, RPF Truong Trout Gulch
1-09-027SCR 45 acres Culver, RPF Salvation Army Bean Creek
1-09-032SCL 57 acres Bishop, RPF Cortez Little Arthur Creek
1-09-035SCR 75 acres Bissell, RPF Redtree Properties San Lorenzo River
1-09-038SCR 4 acres Staub, RPF UC Regents San Lorenzo River
1-09-043SCR 23 acres Culver, RPF Wicht Jones Creek/Amaya Creek
1-09-045SCR 230 acres Hamey, RPF RMC Pacific Materials, Inc. San Vicente Creek
1-09-047SCR 30 acres Hildreth, RPF Pat ton Branciforte Creek

7. Chinook salmon season cancelled

MILLBRAE, CA (KGO) -- Regulators cancelled California's commercial Chinook salmon fishing season. This is the second year in a row of a closure due to dismal spawning in the Sacramento River Delta. Experts say the cancelled season last year cost the fishing industry close to $400 million in lost sales and jobs.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council at the Westin Hotel near San Francisco International Airport. It was approved after input from an advisory board made up of recreational and commercial fishermen and from a scientific study conducted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Larry Collins, who has fished commercially for 28 years, agrees with the vote. His fishing boat, the Autumn Gale, docked at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
He and Washington State fisherman Joel Kawahara, who were seated side-by-side at the council meeting, said they would welcome releasing more water into the delta to provide a better spawning ground for the salmon, although they realize this is not practical, given the state's third year of drought conditions.

Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA), would like to see state hatcheries operating at full capacity to restock the delta. The PCFFA is the largest trade group of commercial fishermen on the West Coast.

Unclear is what the Pacific Fishery Management Council will decide on allowing sport fishing for short periods in a limited area this summer.

Ecologist Steven Lindley of NOAA has been researching why the salmon population has dropped. Pesticide runoff from agricultural fields, damming of rivers, and a lack of food in the ocean may all be contributing factors.

8. Michael Endicott takes on Forestry for Sierra Club CA

From: Sierra Club California Activists List [mailto:CALIF-ACTIVISTS@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG] On Behalf Of Bill Magavern
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 10:38 AM
Paul Mason, who has been a mainstay of Sierra Club CA for 7 years, is moving on to his new duties with Pacific Forest Trust, where he will be able to devote himself entirely to his favorite issue of forestry. We thank Paul for his diligent advocacy and his dedication to building our organization, and we're happy to still have him as a tree-hugging ally in the Capitol.
I'm very happy to announce that we have been lucky enough to retain the services of Michael Endicott to represent us for this legislative session on the issues that Paul had been handling, including forestry, land use, habitat, coast/ocean, and transportation. Michael is a great fit for this duty, having worked as one of the Legislature's leading environmental staffers for years, in between his stints on our own Legislative Committee. Michael can be reached at his memorable email address: .
Bill Magavern
Sierra Club California
801 K St., Suite 2700

Sacramento, CA 95814
916-557-1100, x102

9. Central Coast Water Board's 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies and 2009 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan now on line.

"This email is to let you know that documents are now available for the Central 
Coast Water Board's 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies and 2009 Triennial 
Review of the Basin Plan.  Written comments are invited during a 45-day comment 
period from April 10, 2009 to May 26, 2009.

More information the 2009 Triennial Review of the Central Coast Basin Plan can 
be found at

More information on the 303(d) List of Impaired Water Bodies and the Integrated Report for the Central Coast Region can be found at

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

< back to all issues

In This Section