CDF tries to re-start Lompico timber cut
Despite the fact that the application by Redwood Empire to log the
Lompico Creek headwaters was denied by the Board of Forestry, the
California Department of Forestry (CDF) is trying to restart the logging
plan. The end run includes a plan to allow public comment for only
10 working days.
A timber harvest plan denied on appeal, as was this one, is not
open to reactivation as proposed by CDF. The agency might have gotten
away with the restart, however, were it not for the watchful eyes
of the Lompico Watershed Conservancy and the Santa Cruz County Planning
Department. Both wrote to CDF pointing out that restart of a denied
timber harvest plan is in conflict with the Forest Practice Act.
Under that act, Redwood Empire must file a new timber harvest plan
if they wish to proceed.
It is not clear if CDF will try to persist in its illegal action.
When the County of Santa Cruz appealed the original timber harvest
plan, the Board of Forestry stunned its own staff and the industry
when it found that this logging plan did not adequately address
the cumulative impacts on Lompico Creek. The Board of Forestry found
that the timber harvest plan was not in compliance with an existing
plan to reduce sediment in Lompico Creek under a section of the
Clean Water Act. Lompico Creek has been designated as "impaired"
under the Clean Water Act.
Lompico Creek has a viable population of listed Steelhead which
would also be harmed by a big logging operation. The Lompico headwaters
have extensive areas of extreme erosion hazard rating by CDF's own
measurement standard. The land is second growth redwood forest with
scattered old growth growing in stream gorges and terrain so inaccessible
that the trees can only be removed by helicopters.
Efforts began in 1997 to try to purchase this property for watershed
and wildlife protection. To help in this effort, call 335-8136.
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