Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
by Jodi Frediani
1. Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rules Approved
After a lengthy 2-year public process, the Board of Forestry unanimously adopted the proposed Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rules, previously known as the Threatened or Impaired (aka20Threatened and Impaired) Watershed Rules.
The package that was approved on a 9-0 vote was the modified CAL FIRE/DFG version with one change submitted by Board Member Tom Walz, SPI employee, which weakens the determination process for 'Large' Class II streams. The approved rules for the Southern Subdistrict significantly weaken Class II protections from those approved elsewhere in the state, reduce the size of the Class I WLPZ from 150-100' allowing for road building and heavy equipment use, plus increased harvesting, within the 50' band now excluded from WLPZ protections.
Here are a few salient excerpts from a six-page letter dated September 8, 2009, from NMFS to the Board of Forestry:
"-NMFS is concerned that the current Rule Notice contains modifications and optional amendments proposed by BOF members that lack a scientific basis and depart significantly from the February 2009 BOF staff proposal. (The modifications included reduced canopy retention standards for all watercourses and greater allowances for timber activities closer to watercourses.)
-The July 24, 2009 BOF Rule Notice contains substantively less protective standards for salmonids for nearly all watercourses than those standards under west coast forestry HCPs that authorize incidental take of federally listed salmonids.
- ...NMFS finds the proposed Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rules are not no-take rules, are unlikely to meet the intent of the Rules themselves and are not likely to abate the risk of extinction for listed salmonids where these Rules are implemented.
-NMFS recommends CalFire, landowners and timber harvest plan submitters ensure compliance with the ESA in approving, and operating under, CalFire approved timber harvest plans. To this end and depending on the decision of the BOF, NMFS is intending to re-initiate discretionary reviews of timber harvest plans (including post harvest reviews) and become more engaged in pre-harvest inspections and the timber harvest approval process."
In my August 2009 Forest Update on the Lagomarsino THP (1-08-063 SMO), I made the following comments: "Roy Webster is the RPF. Mr. Webster agreed to not submit any more THPs to avoid being prosecuted over the St. Francis THP on Mt. Madonna, which violated a number of Forest Practice Rules and caused environmental damage." In a September 9, 2009 email Mr. Webster brought to my attention that the statement was false and asked for a retraction.
In double-checking with my sources, it has become apparent that some misunderstanding of the situation had arisen on the part of some of my sources as well as myself. At my request, on September 17, 2009 CAL FIRE's Forest Practice Inspector, Rich Sampson, RPF, provided the following clarification:
There was no official agreement between CAL FIRE and Mr. Webster that he would stop practicing forestry. However, Mr. Webster has made the verbal comments in front of various Review Team members at PHIs and Review Team meetings that he would no longer submit THPs, and the earlier Lagomarsino THP (2004) would be his last.
No agreement (avoiding prosecution in exchange for agreeing to no long er submit THPs) was ever made as part of a settlement in conjunction with the St. Francis THP investigation. In fact, CAL FIRE's complaint on the St. Francis THP violations, which was referred to the District Attorney's office, named the Licensed Timber Operator (Columbia Helicopters, LTO), the timberland owner (St. Francis) and the Registered Professional Forester (Roy Webster, RPF). The case was ultimately dropped by the DA's office.
CAL FIRE's Sampson also stated that Webster had filed plans in the past and been asked by CAL FIRE to withdraw them or they would be denied based on errors in those plans which had been pointed out by CAL FIRE. The 2004 Lagomarsino THP, 1-04-227 SMO, was withdrawn.
The second portion of the above statement disputed by Mr. Webster regarding violation of "a number of Forest Practice Rules" which "caused environmental damage" is clarified here: Multiple CAL FIRE Notices of Violation (NoVs) were recorded against the LTO and the RPF. Violations in two November 22, 2009 NoVs included failure to comply with CCR 1035.3(e), 1035.3(a), 916.9(e)(1), 916.9(t), 916.3(a), 916.3(e), and 916.5(e)"E" against the LTO, Columbia Helicopters, and CCR 926.1 Violation against the RPF, Roy Webster: "The RPF failed to be present on the logging area a sufficient amount of time to assure compliance with the terms and specifications of the approved plan." Further, the NoV dated Nov 22, 2006 naming Roy Webster as the Violator states, "As a result of the RPF's failure to be present on the logging area a sufficient amount of time to assure compliance with the terms and conditions of the approved plan, the LTO engaged in:
Additionally, "The RPF indicated during an August 22nd site visit that he was not on site during falling and yarding operations." "Further legal action pending."
Additional violations against the RPF were recorded on August 18, 2006 regarding Plan Submittal and Notice of Intent (923.6(h)(2), 923.6(h)(3), and 923.6(h)(4)).
David Nawi, who has served in a Public Seat on the Board of Forestry since 2002 has announced that he will resign his seat. He has been appointed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for California and Nevada.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar today announced that he has named David Nawi of Sacramento, Calif., as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for California and Nevada.
“The current water crisis and land management challenges in our nation’s most populous state, California, as well as the extensive Interior land resources in Nevada can be better served with an ‘on the ground’ representative of the Department and the Administration,” said Secretary Salazar.
“The newly created Senior Advisor will serve as our ‘eyes and ears’ in this important region,” the Secretary noted. “ David Nawi is well suited for this job because of his extensive experience with resource and environmental issues and his knowledge of the Department of the Interior and the western states.” Administratively, his position is part of the Office of the Secretary.
Nawi served from 1993 to 2001 as Interior’s Regional Solicitor for the Pacific Southwest Region, where he was responsible for providing legal and policy advice to national and regional department leadership and for coordinating the department’s legal offices in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. He was extensively involved in California water issues and the implementation of reclamation law and the Endangered Species Act, and he worked closely with counterparts in other federal agencies and representatives of state and local government.
Most recently he has served as the principal of David Nawi Environmental Mediation, focusing on water, air pollution, endangered species, and land use. Since 2002, he has been a member of the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, where he serves as the Chair of the Forest Practice Committee and is the Board's principal liaison on greenhouse gas issues.
Before his tenure as Regional Solicitor, Nawi served for ten years as the General Counsel for the California Air Resources Board, and as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice Environment/Natural Resources Section.
David graduated from Harvard College in 1962, and was awarded an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1966.
In his new job, Nawi will ensure that the views of the Secretary are considered and implemented in all appropriate venues, and that the Secretary has adequate, timely20information about project developments, opinions and concerns from elected officials, upcoming deadlines, legal issues, potential media attention, and imminent controversies in any area of the Department’s jurisdiction.
At the request of Mr. Roy Webster, Registered Professional Forester (RPF), the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) conducted a marbled murrelet pre-consultation for the proposed THP on Redwood Meadows Ranch in the Lidell Creek watershed. The northern boundary of the THP includes part of Mill Creek, which drains into San Vicente Creek. The plan area is approximately 99 acres in size. The marbled murrelet (MAMU) is state listed as endangered and federally listed as threatened.
DFG staff conducted a site inspection of the proposed THP area on April 24, 2008 and identified four patches of residual coast redwood and Douglas-fir trees with structural characteristics favorable for nesting murrelets. At least 20 potential nest trees were observed within the THP boundary.
A MAMU survey was prepared by Matt Greene a consulting forester. No murrelets were detect ed within the proposed THP area during both survey years. DFG has determined that the surveys were adequately conducted to conclude that MAMU are not occupying the proposed THP area. However, DFG has concluded that trees marked as no-cut should include the approximately 20 potential murrelet nest trees. DFG also recommended that screen or replacement trees be retrained for the purpose of recruitment of special habitat elements.
A THP has yet to be submitted for Redwood Meadows Ranch.
For Immediate Release, September 21, 2009
Contact: Brian Nowicki, Center for Biological Diversity, (916) 201-6938
Conservation Organizations Oppose California Policy That Would Give Carbon Credits for Forest Clearcutting
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— A coalition of conservation groups today submitted a letter of opposition to a rule proposed for adoption by the California Air Resources Board this week, urging the state agency to remove a provision that could encourage forest clearcutting as part20of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The provision is part of the forest project protocols that would guide the assessment of greenhouse gas impacts of forest growth and harvest. One provision appears intended to specifically allow forest clearcutting to qualify as a greenhouse gas reduction method under the protocols.
The measure under consideration comes less than a year since Governor Schwarzenegger publicized his agreement to partner with other governors in the U.S. and internationally to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in tropical forests. In that announcement, Schwarzenegger signed an MOU with the governors of Brazil and Indonesia, agreeing to “develop rules, incentives and tools to ensure reduced emissions from deforestation and land degradation.”
“A clearcut is about as beneficial to the climate as a new coal-fired powerplant,” said Brian Nowicki, Center for Biological Diversity. “The20state should be doing everything it can to protect California’s forests, not encouraging business-as-usual logging that destroys forest ecosystems while releasing carbon stored in trees and soil. It would be beyond hypocritical for the Governor to preach to other countries about the climate impacts of deforestation in their countries while California adopts rules that encourage clearcutting in our own state.”
“Forest clearcutting is not a solution for achieving greenhouse gas reductions in California. Uneven aged stands will better filter our drinking water supplies, avoid erosion, restore our fisheries and provide more diverse habitats,” said Michael Endicott of Sierra Club California. Rather than ignore Mom s tried and true advice –‘Don’t run with chainsaws’ -- we should focus on practices that are less destructive and have more chance of promoting resilient habitats. There are plenty of lands that would be available without promoting clearcutting.”
“To begin to meet the threat of global warming, we need to protect the carbon stored in forests and soils, and restore the old forests and big trees that store the most carbon for the future. Right now, however, giant industrial logging corporations like Green Diamond are doing just the opposite - they are clearcutting redwoods less than fifty years old,” said Scott Greacen, executive director of EPIC. “It's past time that California banned clearcutting altogether: allowing carbon credits for clearcutting would encourage an obsolete and destructive practice that threatens not just clean water and wildlife habitat, but our collective future.”
“For us in the Sierra Nevada, climate change effects are already here – and happening fast. Our snowpack is melting earlier and earlier, and fire season is essentially year-round,” said Addie Jacobson, Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch. “Clearcutting not only exacerbates these effects, but is a carbon emitter, not a sink, for years. California cannot pretend to lead the world in controlling climate change without ending clearcutting here in our own state.”
The conservation organization letter asks the California Air Resources Board to eliminate the forest clearcutting provision before adoption of the protocols at their upcoming board meeting on September 24.
The conservation group letter is available at:
The governor’s announcement of the agreement on deforestation is available at:
The forest protocols are available at:
You won't want to miss our 2009 event, which will be hosted by the City of Cupertino and held in the Cupertino room of the Quinlan Center on November 14th from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The theme of this years event is Urban Stream Restoration and we have invited Internationally know author and speaker Ann L. Riley to speak. She has a new presentation entitled "Is Urban Stream Restoration Possible?" which I understand will be the topic of her new book.
As usual we will begin with a welcome spread of light breakfast items and you will have some time for networking before the formal conference gets underway at 9:00. There will be a brief welcome talk followed by our Awards Ceremony. Two awards will be given this year. We are very pleased to have Assemblymember Paul Fong joining us to speak and answer some questions for us this year. Of course we will have some additional presenters on hand for you as well as a lively group of exhibitors with fascinating displays and handouts. Please pass this on to everyone you know.
The agenda should be available soon so check our website often or become a fan of our Facebook page. Santa Clara County Creeks Coalition on Facebook.
If you want to table at our event let us know ASAP to ensure we have space for you.
On the web at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/redwoods/redwoods
Read the full article at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/redwoods/bourne-text/1
"The mantra of industrial foresters has long been to grow trees as fast as possible to maximize the return on investment and provide a steady flow of wood products to market. For them, the most profitable time to cut redwoods is at 40 to 50 years, even though such young trees contain mostly soft, low-quality sapwood, with little of the redwoods' legendary resistance to rot. But after coring and measuring two dozen trees—95 feet to 370 feet tall—from canopy to base in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Sillett discovered that a tree's annual rate of wood production increases with age for at least 1,500 years. More important, the older it gets, the more high-quality, rot-resistant heartwood it puts on. The bottom line: Redwoods produce more wood, and better wood, as they age. Sillett says this is true for the tallest eucalyptus trees in Australia too, and he thinks it may be true for other trees around the world."
National Geographic Journey into Redwoods
One hour NGC Episode Premieres Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at 10 p.m. ET/PT --October Magazine Inc ludes Pull-Out Poster of Full Length Digital Portrait of Redwood Tree, Composed of 84 Images Stitched Together
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This fall, National Geographic journeys deep into the great redwood forests on the American West Coast. For the first time, we'll size up the health and future of the entire redwood range and scale the trees to glimpse rich canopy ecosystems in the clouds. Then, we'll see how state-of-the-art digital technology provides a never-before-seen perspective of a 300-foot tall titan.
The redwood adventure is described in the cover story of the October issue of National Geographic magazine and in NGC's Explorer: Climbing Redwood Giants, premiering Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. More information can be found at nationalgeographic.com/redwoods.
In 2007-2008, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay set out to walk the entire redwood range to study how forestry management is affecting the trees' survival. Both the magazine cover article and film illuminate Fay and his hiking partner's unprecedented 333-day, 1,800-mile trek from Big Sur north to southern Oregon.
Juxtaposed with the challenges of Fay's 11-month trek through clear-cuts, second-growth forest, dense underbrush and soaring cathedral-like old-growth stands, Explorer: Climbing Redwood Giants highlights the work of forest scientist Steve Sillett of Humboldt State University the first scientist to climb into redwood canopies and pioneer studies of their rich canopy ecosystems.
Sillett's painstaking cataloging and measurement of trees by hand is complemented by a new use of lidar (light detection and ranging) technology, which allows him to pinpoint trees from airplane surveys -- prompting discoveries of tall trees hidden on slopes or valleys. Viewers are taken up into the trees to experience the grandeur of the canopy and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how National Geographic photographer Nick Nichols captured a unique perspective of a 300-foot tall tree.
With insight from Fay's expedition and Sillett's research, as well as that of foresters practicing forest management, National Geographic celebrates the majesty of the remaining ancient giants and shines a light on what the future holds for our redwood forests.
October 13-16 2009, Garcia River
The Salmonid Restoration Federation, CA Department of Fish & Game and Pacific Watershed Associates will offer a field school to learn techniques to address culvert and road drainage practices as well as erosion control techniques. This field school will be held at Oz Farm on the Garcia River. All meals and lodging are included in the course fees. The curriculum includes conducting road sediment assessments (problem identification and prescription development); implementing fish-friendly road upgrading practices (stream crossing upgrades and improved road drainage practices to protect water quality); proper road decommissioning practices; road inspection, and maintenance practices; erosion control and erosion prevention practices,=2 0and spoils management. Throughout the course we will emphasize the concepts of making our road systems as “hydrologically invisible” and as resilient to storm events as possible. We will also focus on educating participants about how best to address the root causes of observed erosion problems, through both maintenance and repair practices at each potential work site. Please visit the SRF website to see the field school registration form or call (707) 923-7501.
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