More clearcutting planned for Calaveras forests

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) has already had plans approved or pending to use clearcut type/evenaged logging methods on approximately 16,000 acres – equivalent to 25 square miles in Calaveras County.  You can see what has already been clearcut on a satellite map made for EPFW at Which forests are being clearcut this year? How much more is planned?

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) has already had timber plans for clearcut-type logging covering about 16,000 acres – equivalent to 25 square miles – of forest approved in Calaveras County.  You can see what has already been clearcut on a satellite map made for EPFW at (For more information on the specific clearcutting logging projects mentioned here view this pdf.)

  • Sierra Pacific Industries is currently clearcutting even more this year

Two plans in the Mokelumnne River watershed, Swamped and South Rim, include 722 clearcut acres, over 1.1 square miles.[i]

Another ongoing logging plan in Calaveras County is the Big Buck THP, located about 8 miles southeast of West Point, and involving a total of 1,375 acres of selection and group selection patch cutting.

CAL FIRE recently approved the Wilson Lake logging plan containing 354 acres of clearcut-type logging three miles east of West Point on Winton Road in the Bear Creek watershed.

  • Sierra Pacific Industries continues to submit new plans to clearcut even more

The Blueberry logging plan, including 318 acres of clearcutting, is now being reviewed for approval by CAL FIRE.  This plan is located 16 miles west of West Point on Winton Road and is in the lower Blue Creek watershed, an area already damaged from aggressive clearcutting as shown on the Calaveras map at  (Winton Road is marked on this map)

The most clearcut logging plan submitted by  Sierra Pacific Industries is  4-11-014 CAL (Porkchop) it totals  500 acres. Estimated public comment deadline: 10/16/11.
It contains 73% clearcut, 14% selection, 10% no-harvest, 4% shelterwood logging. Some of the timber harvest units are near Winton Rd., (see link in paragraph above) but most of them are closer to Forest Creek, immediately to the south.

Some of the clearcutting is, according to the map, probably within 30-40 yards of the creek. Usually, clearcutting to within this distance of a watercourse, portends increased erosion and an increase in creek sedimentation, especially during significant rain events.

This THP is generally SE of Sacramento about 6 miles NE of West Point, CA. It is in a mid elevation watershed from 3,800 to 4,980 feet that has been hammered by past SPI clearcut logging. Given the high percentage of clearcutting and over story removal proposed, it is likely that SPI is removing whatever habitat remains (trees up to 60″ dbh and 200 years

  • Take action now! Help EPFW end clearcutting in the Sierra.

Background on clearcutting in Calaveras County

Sierra Pacific Industries has said it intends to clearcut 2/3 of the 1.7 million acres of California forest land. This is well over one million acres – over 1,750 square miles – of clearcutting in the Sierra Nevada.

SPI owns 74,000 acres of land in Calaveras County (shown in red in Figure 1, below).  This means 50,000 acres of forest crucial to our lives and our communities are being clearcut and converted from diverse, natural forests into tree plantations.  They are unlikely to ever again become rich biological forests, especially since SPI’s plan to is continue clearcutting these areas every 60-80 years.

To see a map of current and planned clearcuts in Calaveras, click here.


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