IN SEARCH OF COMMON GROUND

It seems like an exercise in futility for the “New Century of Forest Planning” group to be discussing and cussing forest planning &/ policy when we haven’t even agreed to the scientific fundamentals that serve as the cornerstone and foundation for any such discussions. Below, I have developed a tentative outline of the high level …

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The Tahoe Basin

Lake Tahoe would probably be a National Park, by now, if the Comstock Lode had never been found. There was clearcutting right down to the lakshore, for mining timbers, in the silver mines. Incline Village was named for the switchback road that transported logs to a flume that went all the way down to the …

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Rim Fire Update

Apparently, enough of the hazard trees within the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus NF have been cut so that the travel ban has finally been lifted, after more than a year. I heard one report that says that the litigation has failed at the District Court level, losing their pleas to stop the logging three …

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The Rim Fire: Landscape View

Here is a view of the Granite Creek watershed, and a peek at the Tuolumne River canyon, too. The Rim Fire burned all the way to those most-distant ridgetops. For scale, you can see a vehicle in the middle of the picture. That road is the Cherry Oil Road, which connects Cherry Lake with Highway …

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Natural amenities, “the creative class” and economic success

This map got my attention because of the disproportionate amount of “green” in the rural intermountain west.  In this case it means counties have a disproportionately high number of employees in jobs like management, finance, technology, engineering, science, sales, entertainment and non-primary education (and of course lawyering). “The creative-class thesis holds that communities that attract …

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Rim Fire Terrain Effects

Below is a picture of the Tuolumne River and Poopenaut Valley, just a mile or so below Hetch Hetchy’s O’Shaughnessy Dam. As you can see, the area burned rather lightly. What might be the reason for this area to survive, almost unscathed? I think there is a “micro-climate” at play, here. Most of this is …

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Supreme Court Affirms Programmatic EIS for Sierra Nevada Framework

Jun 20: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 08-17565.Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. The Appeals Court indicates that, “This court’s opinion filed on February 3, 2012, and reported at 668 F.3d 609 (9th Cir. 2012), is withdrawn, and is replaced by the attached Opinion and Dissent. …

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Hooray for Transparency!

Here is Region Five’s “Ecological Restoration Implementation Plan”. It is definitely worth a browse, especially if you are a local within or near any of these National Forests. Each Forest spells out what it is doing and what it is planning. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5411383.pdf (The picture is an old one, from fall of 2000. I had been …

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California’s Dense Forests Present New Opportunities

Forestry operations and bioenergy have been part of the economic and social fabric in Northern California for decades. A five-year study produced in 2009 by the USDA Forest Service modeled forest management under different scenarios across 2.7 million acres encompassing the Feather River watershed. The model’s time horizon spanned four decades, examining wildfire behavior, forest thinning operations and a range of environmental and economic …

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Indian Valley Meadow Restoration

Indian Valley, part of the Amador Ranger District, Eldorado National Forest, is being restored as a high elevation meadow, after decades of misuse. Grazing has ceased but, its impacts still linger. In the past, willows were removed and water was channeled away, causing increased erosion of these shallow and fragile soils. The water table has …

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