Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
by Jodi Frediani
1. SDSF prepares 2 THPs for Soquel Creek
The Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) has submitted a 201 acre THP for the same area as their 2004 plan which was ultimately withdrawn. That's the one where they allowed a CDF training class to fell a bunch of redwoods in the plan area while the plan was under review. And SDSF insisted on the need to fell an old growth redwood even though the enabling legislation and management plan prohibit felling old growth for any reason. The RPF got his hand slapped (put on probation) for the illegal cutting. He has now submitted a new plan, which I believe is a replay of the early THP, with some changes that had been required by CAL FIRE (an Option A plan, for instance). The plan is located along the East Branch of Soquel Creek. RPF is CAL FIRE's Ed Orre.
There are two sets of First Review questions for this plan. Interestingly the original plan proposed a monstrous new road (and it is still being proposed with some changes), but the new 1st RT questions want to know why more cable yarding isn't being considered. Good question! Of course, I'm having a hard time understanding why a CAL FIRE forester doesn't get all the questions answered prior to submission. He's got the whole agency to go to for assistance. It's their property to manage!
Other problems identified include multiple pages stating that coho do not exist while elsewhere in the plan it states that they were found in Soquel Creek in 2008. Apparently all the applicable rules for watersheds with coho have not been identified as being applicable!!!! Wrong California Red-legged frog guidelines have been referenced. Incorrect info about the presence of Western pond turtles was noted by DFG. No protocol for identifying raptors has been included either, as generally required by DFG. But I do know that Mr. Orre gets out there with the mountain bike community, creating trail, as photos exist online of him hard at work. Priorities, priorities.
Lots of geological issues still need addressing and the plan neglects to mention the previous plan (1-04-046SCR), which was withdrawn.
The second SDSF plan (approximately 150 acres) has been noticed in the newspaper, but has not yet been submitted to CAL FIRE. It has been prepared by a different CAL FIRE RPF from Fresno and is also located along the East Branch of Soquel Creek.
Redtree Properties submitted THP 1-09-091SMO-SCR on November 11. The PHI was held on December 10. The plan straddles San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties and is in the Pescadero Creek and Waterman Creek area. Both creeks flow through the plan area. Matt Bissell is the RPF.
On December 3 Redwood Empire submitted a 128 acre THP (1-09-098 SCR) for the lands of Roger Burch, Mildred Holmes and RE Sawmills in Boulder Creek. The plan area is approximately 4.5 miles NW of the town of Boulder Creek and on a tributary to Boulder Creek, approximately 3,400 ' upstream of the confluence. RPF is Brian Bishop. This plan has not yet gone through First Review.
The plan was originally submitted on November 30 and put on 'Return/Hold' to correct the location of the plan relative to the town of Boulder Creek. The Notice of Intent said the plan was NE of Boulder Creek, when in fact it is NW of Boulder Creek. Details, details.
On December 2, Roy Webster, RPF, submitted responses to questions raised during the previous 30 day extended comment period for this plan in San Mateo County. The THP 1-08-063SM0 plans to harvest 10 acres of old growth redwood, not very well disclosed in the original submission. DFG has asked for retention of many of those trees, CBD and Sierra Club and CCFW have submitted extensive comments as well. One of the key issues brought up was that the harvesting of old growth could have adverse effects on Green House Gas emissions (GHG) and global warming. The RPF responded by submitting material quoted from a Green Diamond THP. In addition, he did calculations of GHG based on some undisclosed methodology utilized by Sierra Pacific Industries. CAL FIRE joined in, with Deputy Director, Bill Snyder, submitting comments in support of the RPF's proposal with a finding that harvest of old growth will have no adverse effects relative to carbon sequestration.
I have been informed, informally, by CAL FIRE that the comment period will be reopened for another 30 days, but that announcement and the new Close of Comment have not yet been posted on the ftp site.
This is a message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region (3)
Dear Interested Parties,
This message is to provide you with an update to the current status ofthe 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies.
On July 10, 2009, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality ControlBoard adopted Resolution No. R3-2009-0053, approving the 2008 CleanWater Act Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies and Section 305(b)Water Quality Condition Report. Together referred to as the 2008Integrated Report.
The Final Report is available online at
The 2008 Integrated Report for the Central Coast Region has beensubmitted to the State Water Resources Control Board to be incorporatedinto a statewide 2010 California Integrated Report.
A draft 2010 California Integrated Report is scheduled to be releasedfor public review and comment in early 2010. The 2010 CaliforniaIntegrated Report is scheduled to be brought before the State WaterResources Control Board at a public hearing in Spring of 2010 forapproval, and then submitted to the USEPA. Updates to the 303(d) listmust be finalized by USEPA before becoming effective. Therefore, untilthe 2010 Integrated Report is approved by USEPA, the 2006 303(d) List ofImpaired Waters is the current and active List.
For questions on the 2010 California Integrated Report contact ShakooraAzimi-Gaylon of the State Water Resources Control Board at . You may also contact Mary Adams at theCentral Coast Waterboard (see contact information below).
To subscribe to the State Water Resources Control Board's email listfor the 2010 California Integrated Report, subscribe to the "IntegratedReport" email list at:
From the State of the Salmon website: "During 4–7 May 2010, the State of the Salmon Program (SoS) will host an international conference in Portland, Oregon entitled: “Ecological Interactions between Wild and Hatchery Salmon.” In recent years debate has heightened regarding hatcheries and their effect on freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems. Indeed, a number of reviews highlight a critical gap in our understanding of the ecological relationships between wild and hatchery salmon. This conference represents the first international effort to convene a diverse group to explore the scale and magnitude of the ecological effects of hatcheries, identify gaps in our knowledge and develop research plans to resolve key issues. We expect participation by scientists, fishery and hatchery managers, conservation organizations, indigenous groups, industry representatives and decision makers. The conference will culminate in a panel discussion to develop a vision of working together to contain and manage ecological risk. We hope that this gathering will inspire collaboration among attendees and across jurisdictions to influence the future course of hatchery programs and produce a guiding set of principles for managing hatcheries to conserve wild salmon across the Pacific Rim."
The Resource Conservation District, in conjunction with NMFS, Balance Hydrologic and other consultants, recently completed the second of two stream enhancement projects on San Vicente Creek. The earlier project (2008) altered a side channel to the inlet into the ag pond just east of Hiway 1. This pond has turned out to be excellent rearing habitat for coho and steelhead and substitutes for the missing wetlands lost when the Hiway 1 overpass was originally constructed. Unfortunately, there were problems with consistent stream flow to the inlet into the pond and sediment deposition into the side channel and the pond, so NMFS, with assistance, designed a channel modification which allows year round flow and lessens sediment deposition into the channel and pond. A complex weir system has been created to slow the flow allowing sediment to deposit and be redirected prior to entering the pond.
The more recent project (2009) was completed a short ways upstream from the pond. An off channel abandoned ag pond was fitted with large wood along the banks to create undercut habitat. The pond is fed by a small tributary and also now receives backwater from the mainstem. Additional large wood was installed at the mouth of the pool/pond area mimicking a beaver dam. This allows for a healthy pool with low step flows beneficial to juvenile coho salmon.
Both projects have yet to experience much weather to see how well they will function and what modifications, if any, may be needed. I am certain researchers are making observations during the current storm.
The following have been developed for Forest Ethics based on info from the state using the Freedom of Information Act. While we see very little herbicide use in the southern subdistrict, those working outside the area may be interested in the following:
From Anne Kessler:
These databases were specifically created to dog Sierra Pacific Industries, however I have created buttons to see all records, not just those for Sierra Pacific THP's.
I COULD EASILY MODIFY THESE DATABASE TO TRACK A DIFFERENT SPECIFIC LOGGING COMPANY IF I HAD A LIST OF THEIR HERBICIDE APPLICATIONS OR THEIR THP'S. I would be happy to do this at no charge. The first time CAL FIRE saw reports from my Herbicied Database which were attached to THP comments, they reportedly fell right off their chairs.
Herbicide Use Database
Has records of all Herbicide Applications in California from 1995-2007 including kind of herbicide, lbs used, location (by township/range/section or by county). I update the data whenever new data becomes available.
You can research by REGION:
GRAPHS are also available containing.
Has records for all CA THP's from 1982-2008 divided into acreage for each kind of silviculture. I update the data whenever new data becomes available.
You can choose one/multiple years, one/multiple counties, one/multiple types of silviculture and immediately see a listing of these cuts plus.
GRAPHS are also available comparing SPI to Non SPI on county by county basis; comparing silviculture methods year by year; and comparing different silviculture methods.
Please pass this along to anyone who you think might be interested.
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