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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

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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