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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Redwood Empire again tries to log Lompico headwaters

by Kevin Collins

The Lompico Timber Harvest Plan (THP) which was stopped by an unprecedented decision of the CA Board of Forestry on appeal by Santa Cruz County in April 2004 has come back as a “new” filing. Essentially the same logging plan, it is newly numbered 1-05-158 SCR. We could find no reference whatsoever in this “new” THP to the Board of Forestry’s ruling. This is probably because the Timber Industry and California Department of Forestry (CDF) are terrified of having to deal legitimately with the issue of cumulative watershed impacts. Perhaps they think if they ignore the issue, it will go away.

This is unlikely. The Sierra Club and its partner organizations such as the Lompico Watershed Conservancy have no intention of abandoning our rivers and streams to continual decline from water pollution.
Lompico Creek is listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act as is its parent watershed, the San Lorenzo River. The water from this creek for the Community of Lompico and the steelhead which spawn in Lompico Creek are critical public resources. We will continue to defend our right to live in healthy watersheds surrounded by wildlife. Wildlife can only survive in streams that we protect from abuse. About 40% of our steelhead and salmon runs are now extinct. We cannot afford to lose any more.

The Lompico Watershed Conservancy and the Lompico County Water District both tried to resolve this dispute by arranging a purchase of this headwaters land. In 2001 the landowner asked a price for these 425 acres far in excess of its legal appraisal value.
There will be a public hearing at the Zayante Fire House on this new THP. At press time the date of the hearing was not known. Please check the Conservancy’s website for the hearing date and additional information, or call 335-8136.
How to help

• Attend the public hearing.

• Write a letter to CDF opposing this Timber Harvest Plan. The address for comment is Public Comment (List the THP # 1-05-158 SCR), CDF Forest Practice, 135 Ridgway Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

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