A comment on opposition to another USFS project. I don’t know anything about this project except from the Decision Memo, here:
This is a 100-acre fuels-reduction project. There are ~60 cabins and outbuildings within the project area.
Would this project affect the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog? I don’t know. However, having worked on the El Dorado, just over the hill from this project, and having fought fire in that area, including in the adjacent Desolation Wilderness, I disagree with the biologist’s opinion that “no material threat of wildfire exists at all.”
The DM says:
“In project treatment areas the landscape would shift from Fire Regime Condition Class 2 and 3, toward 1 and 2, improving the overall resiliency of the forest to large scale disturbances.”
Article below from Greenwire. A Sacramento Bee article, which mentions that the biologist’s family “has owned a cabin for three generations,” is here:
Nev. professor sues Forest Service over logging proposal
Published: Monday, November 18, 2013
A biologist has filed suit against the Forest Service for its plans to log above Lake Tahoe.
The agency is ignoring its own analysis of the wildfire risk in the high-altitude, old-growth forests near Echo Lakes, said Dennis Murphy, a biology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. The region is located about 8 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
“Cutting activities on the Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail in the scenic Lake Tahoe Basin are occurring where no material threat of wildfire exists at all,” said Murphy, who has done research for the agency for more than a decade.
He argues that the logging threatens the survival of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, which is being considered for endangered species protections.
“In its zeal to implement the project, the Forest Service has disregarded these facts and is violating procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act by blazing ahead,” according to the lawsuit filed earlier this month.
Murphy’s lawyer, Paul Weiland, last week filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order to suspend logging operations. But U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell denied the request, saying Murphy should have made a request earlier if it was an emergency (Scott Sonner, AP/Sacramento Bee, Nov. 17). — JE