New clearcut logging plan adjacent to Big Trees State Park

SPI has a new clearcutting logging plan near Arnold and Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Here is a summary of that plan from the THPtrackingcenter. The aerial view above shows how much complete forest removal has already occurred in this area. EPFW plans to submit comments opposing the clearcutting in this sensitive area.

THP 4-12-026 TUO (Boulder THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 1073 acres; 36% clearcut, 35% selection, 26% no-harvest, 3% commercial thinning, misc roadside logging.  Doud’s Landing, Lower Beaver Creek, Lower Griswold (MD: T4N, R15E, Sec 1; T4N, R16E, Sec 3,4,5,7,8,9; T5N, 15E, Sec 33,35,36).  Winter operations, high erosion hazard, 4 unstable areas, road failure sites, slopes up to 70%, 23 road drainage work sites, near Calaveras Big Trees State Park, 3 goshawks within 1mi, osprey within 1 mi, 13 CA spotted owls within 1mi, trees up to 140 years old.  Estimated public comment deadline: 11/30/12.

This THP is generally East of Stockton, CA about 4 miles SE of Arnold and Highway 4.  It is in a mid elevation (3,800 – 5,400 feet) watershed that flows down the North Fork of the Stanislaus River.  This THP is adjacent to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and is on the western edge of an area where SPI has been doing a lot of clearcutting in the past.  SPI is using so-called 100 foot “operational buffers” around units which allows them to harvest additional damaged trees, and to do fire line construction, etc.  There are 3 oversized units proposed, and 4 unstable areas; including hummocky ground and wet areas in units 1542 and 321, a slump in unit 1025, and wet areas in unit 1818.  SPI plans to use 2 skid trails in unstable areas (units 1542 and 321), and construct 6,200 feet of new road construction and 2,200 feet of road re-construction.  They are planning some limited use of tractors and haul roads during the winter period, and to use 2 skid trails inside a class II watercourse.  They also want to use an excavator for site prep on slopes over 40%.  23 road drainage work sites are proposed including culvert repair/replacement, rocking and dip construction.  There are 3 goshawk territories within 1 mi, with 1 goshawk nest in or around units 1455 and 1510 that was active in 2012.  An osprey nest site was reported to be 1 mi upstream of THP area along the North Fork of the Stanislaus River.  Clarkia Australis was found in unit 610.

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