Today this story was in the AP “Burned forest value central to Tahoe logging fight.”
So far, I have seen it in a Bellingham Washington paper and the San Jose Mercury News. I wonder about the timing, as the lawsuit was filed in February (11th?) as per this press release.
As with all vegetation management lawsuits, I hunted around to get the acreage of the project. It was a bit hard to tell from the article since it seemed to be focused on “why fire is good” but not so much on “why whatever the project is proposing is bad.”
I found the EA and DN here, and the appeals here.
I decided to take a look at the John Muir Project appeal decision since those folks were interviewed in the AP story. Here is what that appeal decision says about the project (my apologies for the quality of Adobe to blog conversion):
Alternative 2 includes activities on approximately 1,416 acres of the approximately 2,700 acres on National Forest System lands. The modification included:
Hand thinning and piling/burning will be used instead of aerial logging approximately
447 acres where slopes are over 30%.
The prescription will change in Units 1, 3, 6, 8 and 11 to remove 16 inches and less live
trees and 20 inches and less dead standing and downed trees (See final EA Figure 2-2).
Piles would primarily include woody material 14 inches and less. The portion of tree
boles over 14 inches would be left on the ground.
Alternative 2, as modified, includes the following activities:
Fuel removal of standing dead and downed wood and thinning of live trees on
approximately 1,411 acres.
Within the 1,411 acres:
o 6 acres of conifer removal for aspen stand enhancement;
o approximately 77 acres of treatment proposed in wildlife snag zones (39 acres in
SEZ; 38 ac Subdivision);
o 13 acres of conifer removal for meadow restoration/aspen enhancement in the
Gardner Mountain meadow.
A ground-based logging system on up to 964 acres (including 13 acres of Cut-to-Length
mechanical thinning in Gardner Mountain Meadow) located in areas with slopes under
New construction of new roads (up to 7.7 miles) and landings to facilitate fuel removal.
Reconstruction or opening of existing roads, trails, and landings to facilitate fuel removal.
Decommissioning/restoring 1.9 miles of road and 16.7 miles of trail.
Existing and new landings and staging areas would be utilized to facilitate removal of
fuels for ground-based operations.
Reconstruction of 1,200 feet of Angora Creek.
Treatment of the following noxious weeds: bull thistle, field bindweed, St. John‘s wort,
tall whitetop, and oxeye daisy.
But here’s my favorite appeal point..(I couldn’t easily find the appeal itself, so I am assuming that the appeal point was accurately summarized; if anyone can point me to a copy of the appeal, I will post it here.)
Contention A: The CO2 emissions from the Angora project will have a significant impact on climate change. (Appeal #10-05-00-0102-A215, pp. 12-13)
I’m hoping that something got lost in translation between the appeal and the appeal decision.