June 2014 Activist Alert!
YOU CAN HELP INFLUENCE SALVAGE LOGGING PLANS WITHIN THE GIANT RIM FIRE ON U.S. FOREST SERVICE LANDS
The Forest Service recently released a thick 500-page Rim Fire Recovery “salvage logging” planning document. The plan discusses different options for where and how much salvage logging to allow in the 154,000 acres of Stanislaus Forest land within the fire. There are 3 “action alternatives” -- all of which call for removing more board feet of timber than regional mills can realistically handle.
None of the current proposed alternatives fully provides a “middle ground” balance between wildlife, watershed, economic, and restoration needs. So CSERC is recommending a “Modified” Alternative 4 that still allows extensive salvage logging, but eliminates logging on many steep hillsides, avoids many sensitive watershed areas, and reduces the overall amount of wood produced to a more feasible level.
Your comment letter can help shape the future of the Rim Fire area. Here are some comments you could provide to better protect wildlife and watershed values.
Ask the USFS to modify its current Alternative 4 to do the following:
- Retain additional large snags on every acre – Snags are highly important to many species of wildlife. Over time, as snags fall over, they become down logs that help to hold soil and prevent erosion. Down logs also provide beneficial habitat for species that need cool, moist “homes” in the rotting logs. Whatever large snags are left now will likely be the only large logs on those acres for the next 50-100 years.
- Reduce the number of miles planned for new temporary road construction (the burned watershed doesn’t need more bulldozing and compaction or more vehicle disturbance for already stressed wildlife).
- Keep salvage logging completely out of the core roadless area in the Clavey River canyon that is so important for wildlife.
- Reduce or eliminate expensive skyline and helicopter treatment units – Steep slopes are most vulnerable to soil disturbance, and although skyline and helicopter logging operations have the least on-the-ground impact, there is more value to eliminating these types of logging, especially since the existing Alternative 4 calls for removing more board feet than regional mills can handle.
- Leave patches of untreated areas along commercial timber plantation buffers – Right now the Forest Service proposes to heavily log almost all snags across vast USFS areas adjacent to private timberlands. Yet most of the private timberlands within the fire are already being heavily logged, creating a large expanse of disturbance with few remaining snags. Thus, to provide some natural diversity, the Forest Service should leave extensive blocks of untouched snag forest habitat in the areas around the denuded private lands in order to support wildlife and provide watershed and soil protection, instead of heavily logging the private land buffer.
- Focus the most intensive fuel reduction and snag removal treatments around the heavily visited private family camps, residential areas, and other vulnerable at-risk communities. Those are the areas where the most aggressive treatments make the most sense.
Submit your comments by June 15th
Mail them to:
Stanislaus National Forest
Attn: Rim Recovery
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370
Or email them to:
with the subject: Rim Recovery
Contact CSERC at (209) 586-7440
Many of CSERC's key victories come when we get enough activists to write letters, make phone calls, or speak at public meetings about issues of concern. We need your pen, e-mail, or voice!
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